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out of 5



Who Wrote It?

Vashti Hardy lives near Brighton with her husband and family. She was a primary school teacher for many years, and now works in copywriting and digital marketing alongside writing her own novels and visiting schools. Vashti graduated from the University of Chichester with a first class honours teaching degree, with an English specialism. She also holds an MA in Creative Writing.

Her debut novel, Brightstorm, has been shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards and Awesome Book Awards and is set to be published in many different countries, including Poland and Germany.

Vashti was inspired to write Brightstorm by the real life adventures of Ernest Shackleton and other adventure and exploration stories.

What's It About?

Twins Arthur and Maudie Brightstorm receive word in Lontown that their famous explorer father has died in a failed attempt to reach the southernmost point in the world. Not only that, but he has been accused of stealing fuel before he died!

The twins don’t believe the news, and they answer an ad to join a new attempt to reach South Polaris. It’s their only hope of learning the truth... and salvaging their family’s reputation.

As the winged ship Aurora sets sail, the twins must keep their wits about them and prove themselves worthy of the rest of the crew. But will Arthur and Maudie find the answers they seek?

Fact File

Brightstorm is Vashti’s first novel, but she has lots of exciting ideas for future books.

Vashti was first attracted to writing novels because she loves the idea of building a new world.

The Brightstorm character she most relates to is Arthur, because of his tenacity and his love of books.

Her favourite word is ‘gloaming’. It describes the part of the day after the sun has gone down and before the sky is completely dark.

Brightstorm was published by Scholastic on 1st March 2018.

To find out more about Vashti, check out her website or follow her on Twitter @Vashti_Hardy

Your Reviews

Praneel Devesh from Raynville Primary School:

The book Brightstorm is a race and also a mystery. Lots of captains (with their crew) are having a race to the South Polaris; they will travel on large and amazing sky ships. There are two twins (Arthur and Maudie) whose father dies in an attempt to reach the South Polaris. The twins find a chance to go on an expedition and to find out about their dad's disappearance.

Praneel Devesh gave Brightstorm 5 out of 5 and now plans to read The Chocolate Factory Ghost by David O'Connell.

Mehrin from Coop Academy Oakwood:

I adore Brightstorm due to the fact it inspired me to follow my dreams, even if it seems impossible. My favourite character is Maudie since she is hysterical.

Mehrin gave Brightstorm 5 out of 5 and now plans to read The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson.

Jessica from Calverley c of e:

I really liked Brightstorm because all of the characters persevere and inspire me to follow my dreams and there are lots of different characters that have lots of personalities.

Jessica gave Brightstorm 4 out of 5 and now plans to read The Children of Castle Rock by Natasha Farrant.