Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Higher Power of Lucky

The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron

Every once in a while I enjoy reading young adult lit. Something about the simplicity of the writing, the ability to get through it fast, and the "younger" approach to adult topics is just a breath of fresh air. This wasn't one of the best I've read, but it did win a Newberry award, so it could be just what your grade-schooler is looking for!

School Library Journal review from

Grade 4-6–Ten-year-old Lucky is sure that if she finds her Higher Power she will gain special insight into her life, just like the people she eavesdrops on at the Anonymous meetings. Lucky knows about the uncertainty of life because she lost her mother in a sudden accident two years ago and her guardian, Brigitte, is homesick for France. Hard Pan, California, population 43, is a unique and sometimes harsh place, but Lucky loves life at the edge of the desert with people that she knows and loves. The youngster wants to be a scientist and has so many questions in the crevices of her brain. Her motto is to stay alert and to carry a survival kit at all times because things happen when you least expect them. When she thinks that Brigitte plans to leave, Lucky knows she has hit rock bottom and must run away, although things don't turn out the way she plans. Narrator Cassandra Campbell brings Susan Patron's Newbery Award-winning novel (Atheneum, 2006) to life, giving each character a slightly different, expressive voice. Brigitte's soft French accent and Lucky's earnest longing and unique view of life are especially captivating. The novel addresses difficult topics such as death, absent parents, and addiction with realism, humor, and wonder, making the overall message one of hope and love.–Teresa Wittmann, Westgate Elementary School, Edmonds, WA
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