the lightning queen

An indigenous boy and a Romani (Gypsy) girl form a friendship in rural Mexico that spans the rest of their lives and embraces magic, music, and predictions of impossible destinies. Ages 8 & up, Scholastic Press, Oct. 27, 2015, available in hardcover, paperback, e-book, and audiobook.

awards and honors

Maine State Book Award Nominee

Oregon Battle of the Books

New Mexico Battle of the Books


"* A poignant, lovely work that weaves humor, heartbreak, and whimsy into a narrative spell that will surely capture readers’ hearts." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, STARRED

"* This vibrant, intergenerational tale is nothing short of magical." --Kirkus, STARRED (Full review here)

"* If books were written in black and white, The Lightning Queen would be written in color... The diverse characters, heartbreaking events, and historical and present-day backdrops are excellently executed." --School Library Journal, STARRED

"*A celebration of culture and history, The Lightning Queen is a heartwarming, lyrical and inspiring tale of love, redemption and overcoming adversity." --Shelf Awareness, STARRED

"A masterful and moving story with the hopeful message that, with a kindred spirit by one's side, nothing is impossible." 5Q, 4P --VOYA

"Readers will appreciate how this story comes full circle, and many may find themselves wiping away tears." --Publisher's Weekly

"The Lightning Queen crackles with heartfelt magic." --Ingrid Law, Newbery Honor Winning Author of Savvy

 photo credit: Charlie Cox of the Irish Rose Farm

photo credit: Charlie Cox of the Irish Rose Farm


  • Here you can read my blog post on my research and inspiration for the book. (Note that originally, The Lightning Queen was titled The Impossible Caravan.)
  • Here you can read about my funny research about ducklings.
  • Here you can read about my funny research about skunks.
  • Here you can read and see pics of my research on Gypsy horses.
  • Here you can read my post involving baby waterfowl research.
  • Here you can read about my fascinating Romany caravan research.
 Interior of caravan at Irish Rose Farm

Interior of caravan at Irish Rose Farm

The audiobook is beautifully performed! Listen to it on your next family road trip, or while you're driving around town on errands.

Order the audiobook now: Indiebound * Amazon * Barnes and Noble * Audible