The class book review: Electrigirl, by Jo Cotterill and Cathy Brett

This part-book, part-comic proves a hit with girls and boys alike

Jo Clarke

News article image

Title: Electrigirl
Text: Jo Cotterill
Illustrations: Cathy Brett
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Teacher review

Electrigirl is a brilliant new collaboration from Jo Cotterill and Cathy Brett. When 11-year-old Holly is hit by lightning one day in a freak storm, she finds she has developed amazing electrical superpowers. Guided by her superhero-obsessed brother Joe, Holly tries to control her ability and stop herself from blowing everything up. But, when her best friend Imogen goes missing after behaving very oddly, her new powers are put to the test as she faces a sinister enemy. Can she save the day and uncover the truth behind these strange events?

This book is a joy to read from start to finish. Part-comic, fast-paced and brilliantly entertaining, it will keep you frantically turning the pages. I’m passionate about the importance of allowing children access to highly illustrated books. They help to break down barriers for reluctant readers and encourage newly confident readers to be engaged and enthused in the story. Jo Cotterill has created a strong, heroic role model in Holly and it’s really unusual and refreshing to have a girl featured as a superhero. Cathy Brett’s illustrations are vibrant and vivid, perfectly capturing the dramatic, dangerous, emotional journey Holly is experiencing. It offers a perfect combination of superbly crafted storytelling and stunningly executed comic strips.

Full of action and adventure, this book would be a perfect addition for any school library or classroom and is ideally pitched for upper key stage 2 children. There is more to come from Electrigirl when she returns in The Deadly Swarm in August this year.

Jo Clarke is school librarian at Whitchurch Church of England Primary, in Hampshire. She writes a book blog, and tweets as @bookloverJo

Children’s reviews

“I think that this book was very engaging with a great storyline and plot. I loved it and once I started it I couldn’t put it down, and two hours later I was finished! Also, I like how it was part-book, part-comic. It felt like a diary, my favourite genre of book. I give it five stars.”
Abi, age 10

“This needs to be the children’s book of the year! The most exciting chapter for me was when Holly got struck by lightning. The way Jo Cotterill describes the feelings and questions going through Holly’s head it makes you feel you are in that situation.”
Anwen, age 11

Electrigirl story clippings

Electrigirl is a mind-blowing adventure. It may look girly but boys will enjoy it too, as it’s a dramatic read. I enjoyed the comic strips – the pictures help develop your imagination. It’s full of strong heroic characters. I would recommend it to my friends.”
Freya, age 10

“The cliffhangers were very good. I couldn’t put the book down at the end of the chapter! I also enjoyed the contrast of the writing and comic-style illustrations. To sum it up: it is an exciting read for both boys and girls.”
Hetty, age 9

“A real page turner! Every chapter leaves you on a cliffhanger, leaving you in suspense to read more. I loved reading Electrigirl so much, I cannot wait to read Electrigirl and the Deadly Swarm!”
Isabella, age 9

Electrigirl story clippings

“The characters were interesting, and the comedic style of the main character’s brother was shown throughout the story, as the two of them try to solve the main problem. He was my favourite. This book is a mixture of story and comic. The artwork of the comic sections was phenomenal.”
Jack, age 10

Electrigirl is an amazing adventure story. Perfect for girls aged 8-12 who are not afraid to dream big. I couldn’t stop reading it – it felt as if I was part of the adventure. Full of suspense and mystery from start to finish.”
Lena, age 9

If you or your class would like to write a review for TES, please contact Adi Bloom, on

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