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Lucky Ones, The Hardcover – August 26, 2008

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 278 pages
  • Publisher: GreenWilBk (August 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061565865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061565861
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,577,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—This thoughtful coming-of-age novel, set sometime in the past in a world of privilege, tells the story of a pivotal time in the life of 12-year-old Cecile. Her family is once again spending the summer on tiny Gull Island at her grandfather's manor-like residence, and she's looking forward to swimming and soaking up the rays with her older sister. Unfortunately, Natalie, 14, has other plans that mostly involve locking lips with William, an "Interloper" who is vacationing on the island with his family. Despite Cecile's continued protests that she will never become obsessed with boys and appearances like Natalie, she finds herself facing changes as she buys her first bra, attends a dance at the club, and longs to catch the attention of a particular young man. Cecile is a likable and sympathetic individual who wants things to go back to the way they were last year, before her parents were fighting and puberty took her sister away. Readers on the verge of crossing the line between childhood and adolescence will relate to her internal struggles. In the end, Cecile realizes that while she cannot stop herself from growing up, she can do so at her own pace and in her own way, not necessarily following in Natalie's footsteps. The well-written book introduces a memorable main character.—Robyn Zaneski, New York Public Library
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From Booklist

With Cecile’s parents at odds, the annual family summer vacation by the sea seems more important than ever this year. Yet with her 14-year-old sister Natalie distracted by thoughts of boys, their time together on Gull Island is distinctly less satisfying. Though just two years younger, Cecile is fundamentally different from her sister and finds herself bemused by Natalie’s shifting interests and hurt by her occasional cruelty. After a rocky summer of observations and experiences, Cecile, poised on the verge of adolescence and reluctant to leave her childhood behind, finds a way to take a small step forward without compromising her strong sense of self. Greene’s prose can be very fine, notably in the use of metaphors—she describes Natalie as “all pins and needles; Cecile was her favorite pincushion”—but something about the writing suggests an adult audience rather than a younger one. Still, kids will recognize aspects of themselves in the beautifully nuanced story of Cecile. Grades 5-8. --Carolyn Phelan

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on December 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
No matter what else is going wrong, no one is unhappy at Gull Island - or so twelve-year-old Cecile Thompson believes. Even if her parents are quarreling, even if her older brother Henry is away working, even if her sister Natalie is suddenly pretending to be grown up, they will all be happy once they are on their holiday, a month away at the idyllic Gull Island over the summer.

But now things are different. Cecile's parents fight more than ever, she never hears from Henry, and worst of all, Natalie appears to be boy obsessed. Is it possible that the magic of Gull Island has disappeared?

In this touching coming-of-age story, Cecile learns that you may have to make your own magic as she navigates the unknown waters of the grown ups for the first time.

Stephanie Greene presents a complicated situation of familial discontent with flair in THE LUCKY ONES, and utilizes a winning protagonist in Cecile to narrate the story. Cecile is a precocious girl hovering on the cusp between childhood and the land of teenagers, and as such, she is an ideal character for narrating the story of her entire family - like Cecile herself, the Thompson family is one caught in between - in between happiness and discontent, in between giving up and holding on.

I would have liked to see the book delve deeper into some of the conflicts it presents. In many places THE LUCKY ONES illuminates a hidden conflict only to shy away from complete exposition. While this may be partially due to Cecile's limited point of view, I feel myself wanting more resolution than THE LUCKY ONES eventually comes to regarding certain situations.

All in all, though, THE LUCKY ONES is a bittersweet coming-of-age story that tells not only the story of Cecile, but also that of her entire family.

Reviewed by: Rebecca Wells
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Edith Cohn on October 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It's summer and twelve-year-old Cecile is on her family's annual vacation to Gull Island, a special place she likes to consider her own. "Things will be better when we get to Gull Island," the book begins. Her parents will stop fighting, her older sister will stop growing up without her, and she'll no longer remember how many days she's been there or how many are left..."then she'd be on vacation." But even Gull Island can't stop the changes around Cecile.

Greene writes a true coming-of-age story about that precious in-between time when a girl still very much a child comes to have the eyes of an adult. With gorgeous descriptions and a fantastic voice, this is a story that lives on long after you close the back cover.
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More About the Author

Stephanie Greene is the author of many books for young readers, including the popular Owen Foote books. Ms. Greene lives in Chapel Hill, N.C. Her website is

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