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Listening for Lucca Hardcover – August 6, 2013


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 580L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books (August 6, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385742991
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385742993
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-8–Thirteen-year-old Siena moves from New York City to a Maine coastal town before the start of eighth grade. Unlike most teens, she doesn't mind the change. Her strange visions make it difficult to establish close friendships, and she's hoping a new school will allow her to shed her reputation as a weirdo. Like her parents, Siena also hopes the new environment will encourage her mute three-year-old brother to begin speaking again. Siena starts to uncover oddities about their new home: she sees and hears flashes from the past, and an old pen begins writing its own story. She becomes engrossed in discovering all she can about the house's former inhabitants, a family living there during World War II. Although her weirdness doesn't disappear, Siena is able to form friendships and even a budding romance as she continues to investigate the house's secrets. Her ability to see, interact with, and even alter the past eventually provides her with the insight to help her brother regain his desire to speak. Although Siena's propensity for strange visions has the potential to create a creepy, suspenseful mood, the plot, especially in the first half of the novel, is more deliberate than gripping. The introduction to World War II battlefield trauma lends an interesting historical aspect. Recommend this one to readers willing to stay with a slow beginning for a satisfying conclusion.–Lindsay Cesari, Baldwinsville School District, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

The sources of Siena’s brother Lucca’s mutism are unknown, but her parents believe a move to Maine from Brooklyn will help the otherwise healthy preschooler. Siena is not so sure, and is worried not only about Lucca but about the strange visions of the past she’s prone to. Her new seaside-cottage home sucks her into the life of a dead girl whose brother served in WWII, and whose own mutism seems to bode poorly for Lucca. Both Siena and the ghostly girl she channels feel guilty over secrets they’ve kept. Can Siena change the past and, in doing so, the present? Meanwhile, the friendships she makes provide a warm framework for this story of change and possibility. The supernatural elements blend seamlessly with realism to appeal to thoughtful readers who like their spine-tingling paranormal moments to be grounded. The atmosphere of Siena’s world is palpable, from the beaches and breezes to the chaos of a soldier’s wartime experience. Mysterious and engaging, this is another wonderful outing from the author of Love, Aubrey (2009). Grades 5-8. --Karen Cruze

More About the Author

I grew up in the suburbs of Boston quite happily, reading, writing, playing outside, and swimming with my parents and three younger siblings. When I got a little older, I went to college (Washington and Lee, BA in English and European History), and a little older still, to grad school (The New School, MFA in Writing for Children).

Now I split my time between Natick, MA and New York City. I have written three children's books: Love, Aubrey; Eight Keys; and Listening for Lucca.

My interests include:
Crackers and cheese
Swimming 50 yards with one breath
Collecting dishes that don't match, and a few that do
Wearing a different-colored sock on each foot
Taking out too many books from the library
Writing letters
Planning travels to Europe
Reminiscing
and
Wondering how my desk got so cluttered.

You can learn more about these problems and other things at:
http://www.suzannelafleur.com/.

Customer Reviews

She feels that the things from the past will help Lucca will be okay.
S. Power
The author of "Listening for Lucca" crafted a neat story with some fantastic elements but that rings at the same time real and sweet.
Ana Braga-Henebry
What I really appreciated most about this book was how realistically drawn the characters and relationships were.
Unity Dienes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K.Wagner VINE VOICE on August 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Listening for Lucca is a well written story that has every requirement for a good juvenile read! Good families, good intentions and even a ghost or two! Well, maybe not ghosts, but it sure is fun trying to decide. Lucca, an intelligent three year old stopped talking for no reason, just when words were beginning to become part of his world. There was no reason, no diagnosis,, he just didn't talk. Of course him mother blamed herself, and sadly, his sister blamed herself, too. Lucca is a mostly sweet tempered boy and his family loves him. His sister has had some unusual experiences and feel somewhat outside the norm for kids her age. A family decision to move from
brooklyn New York, to Maine, thinking it would be good for both of the children is accomplished and that is when things become even more interesting.

This was a very enjoyable book, and I think it would be a great read for 9-12 year olds particularly.

Recommended
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Miss Darcy VINE VOICE on October 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Let me say up front that I really loved some things about the story. The ending is wonderful. The main character, Sienna, has a habit of picking up and keeping things that others have lost because she can't bear for them to simply be abandoned, and in the end she develops the sense of trust in the universe that is required to let them go and see the future. I also loved the relationship between Sam and Lucca. The scene in which they swap socks captures their affection extremely well.

The next paragraph contains spoilers.

In terms of unrealistic elements, it's a type of ghost story, and I'm not actually referring to that. (Although at times it can be a bit hard to follow, because Sienna seems to be "channeling" more than one person.) Instead, I'm referring to the fact that Lucca suddenly stops talking, as if he has developed autism, and then ends up speaking again. I think the fact that everyone in the family feels guilt is realistic. But I also think this may give readers false hope if they have siblings with autism. It also seems unrealistic that the family is suddenly able to drop everything in New York and find an affordable home (no matter the condition) on the Maine coast in the middle of summer---along with a local teaching job---and it's extremely convenient that her new friends aren't dating after all.

Sienna also has a pretty disrespectful relationship with her mom. This probably reflects the age level (8th grade), but at the same time, as a parent I hate the fact that my daughter is picking up books that basically say (or at least suggest strongly through example) that a parent is the most annoying person on the planet.

Re: the reading level, the kids in this book are about to enter 8th grade.
Read more ›
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. Kennedy on August 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Loved this book - unique, fun read. This book was interesting and a great "feel good ending. I finished the book in one day - it was easy to read and captured my interest from the get go. I would highly recommend it!!!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By ReneeSuz VINE VOICE on August 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I very much enjoyed this book although I think it may be too intense for 9-10yr olds. I think the target audience should be middle school students 11-14 yrs old.
I read an ARC so I don't now if the type will be the same but I found it hard to read the lighter type when Siena traveled back in time. I loved the method of time travel and think that young girls (and maybe even guys) will find it fascinating.
Great book for librarians and teachers to recommend to their students.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I had high expectations for Listening for Lucca. The combination of realistic fiction with supernatural elements is very intriguing for this age group and I couldn't wait to dive in. While I enjoyed the author's lyricism, especially in her depictions of dream sequences and beach scenery, I just never connected with this story. While I did admire the thoughtful portrayal of Sienna's feelings, I didn't find much to relate to, and often doubted the authenticity of her family's reactions to Lucca's plight and Sienna's struggles. It just didn't feel all that real to me. As a parent of two children with speech delays, I found the parent's way of dealing with Lucca's plight to be ill informed and overly dramatic. He's three for goodness sakes. Picking up the family, moving them to the beach, wondering if he doesn't like them and stressing about his anxiety levels seemed really out of place. When the final supernatural answer was revealed, it was very unsatisfying and frankly didn't make a whole lot of sense.

There are a lot of different plot themes competing with each other in this story, and I just didn't feel that the author did a very good job of balancing them out and ultimately tying them together. The mood is overwhelmingly melancholy and the pacing is languid at best. Young readers searching out fiction with a paranormal twist will no doubt be engaged by the ghost/time travel themes involved in Listening for Lucca, however I wonder if few will have the patience to stick with this story to the end. The resolution fell rather flat for me, along with this entire novel. This barely squeaks into the three star rating because I admired the writing, but I just didn't think it was very good storytelling.
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