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Grade 4-6–When Lucky's mother is electrocuted and dies after a storm, Lucky's absentee father calls his ex-wife, Brigitte, to fly over from France to take care of the child. Two years later, the 10-year-old worries that Brigitte is tired of being her guardian and of their life in Hard Pan (pop. 42) in the middle of the California desert. While Lucky's best friend ties intricate knots and the little boy down the road cries for attention, she tries to get some control over her life by restocking her survival kit backpack and searching for her Higher Power. This character-driven novel has an unusually complicated backstory, and a fair amount of exposition. Yet, its quirky cast and local color help to balance this fact, and the desert setting is fascinating. Lucky's tendency to jump to conclusions is frustrating, but her struggle to come to terms with her mother's death and with her new life ring true. Phelan's cover and line drawings are simple and evocative, a perfect complement to the text. Fans of novels by Deborah Wiles and Katherine Hannigan will be happy to meet Lucky.–Adrienne Furness, Webster Public Library, NY
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Lucky, age 10, lives in tiny Hard Pan, California (population 43), with her dog and the young French woman who is her guardian. With a personality that may remind some readers of Ramona Quimby, Lucky, who is totally contemporary, teeters between bravado--gathering insect specimens, scaring away snakes from the laundry--and fear that her guardian will leave her to return to France. Looking for solace, Lucky eavesdrops on the various 12-step meetings held in Hard Pan (of which there are plenty), hoping to suss out a "higher power" that will see her through her difficulties. Her best friend, Lincoln, is a taciturn boy with a fixation for tying knots; another acquaintance, Miles, seems a tiresome pest until Lucky discovers a secret about his mother. Patron's plotting is as tight as her characters are endearing. Lucky is a true heroine, especially because she's not perfect: she does some cowardly things, but she takes pains to put them to rights. Francisca Goldsmith
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Granted, this series is not for everyone, and the target audience is hard to pin-down. Children's book??? Read morePublished 1 month ago by Rez
Susan Patron has written a marvelous book, flat and simple.
The concerns and interpretations of what is going on in the life of Lucky, a ten-year-old orphan living with... Read more
The book was absolutely hilarious but with a great story. Once you read one page you had to keep going because it was so entertaining.Published 12 months ago by V. Guiliano
I've read and reviewed, (and enjoyed), a lot of fantasy and adventure and action and school daze books, but sometimes you want a calm, mellow, well crafted book that's just about... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Pop Bop
I give this book 4 stars because it has an interesting story. I would recommend this to my friends and family.Published 16 months ago by Greg Figurski
This is kind of long.
Pictures- Easy to visualize and got me thinking about what the characters were going through.
Characters- I didn't fall in love with them. Read more
This was like the best book I've ever read!!!! It was sooo exciting and I couldn't put it down and I read it EVERYWHEREPublished 19 months ago by DeniseR
This is a short and sweet story. No more and no less. I enjoyed it and will be reading it to my eight-year-old boy and nine-year-old girl. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Valvool