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The Thing About Luck Paperback – June 3, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
What I loved about the book: abundant humor, strong "Greatest Generation" ethics, many kind but imperfect adults (just like in real life.) Summer has her first stab at romance (which doesn't go perfectly) and steps up when needed in a couple of very tough situations. While reluctant readers and Wimpy Kid fans may find this book too quiet, with too few cartoonish illustrations, `tweens who've enjoyed CHARLOTTE'S WEB, WONDER, THE BEST BAD LUCK I EVER HAD or OUT OF MY MIND should be the perfect audiences for this delightful (and funny) story.
About me: I'm a middle school/high school librarian
How I got this book: purchased for the library
I was especially intrigued because I have relatives who have done custom combining, so it was interesting to see how this story matched up with what I had heard before.
I would recommend the book for 10-12 year old readers and to adults who are interested in this topic. It would be a good book for a middle school library.
This is a quiet work about a girl adding size to her life. She has an introvert brother and ailing but tenacious grandparents. Of Japanese ancestry, they all live in Kansas but travel seasonally to harvest wheat on the Plains. The time frame covers perhaps a month of their lives.
There is very little action but a great deal of change. The young brother begins to stir. The grandparents are strong in character even as they physically weaken. And the girl gently emerges as she confronts a test of integrity and passes. Then she commits an act of family heroism, but does it in near anonymity and in the night. It is a firm step toward maturity, her only reward the satisfaction of knowing she came through.
Such a touching, comfortable book.
Strengths: The characterization is superb, I could really easily see Summer as an unsure 7th grader trying to 'settle her personality' and deal with the 'bad luck' that seems to be plaguing her family. The other characters are just as well done, especially Summer's brother Jaz, and her grandmother. The book felt very real and contemporary and the writing is fabulous.
Weaknesses: The plot moves slower than most child readers are willing to stick with. And the details about farming and wheat harvesting in particular are likely to turn off child readers. I also found the grandmother's constant criticism of Summer rather grating. Summer did make plenty of mistakes, but seriously, not even one kind word?! Especially when Jaz pretty much does what he wants. Realistic perhaps but also irritating.
OVERALL: A thoughtful book about growing up and a challenging way of life for the child reader who enjoys a book with a slower pace but a lot of depth.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Terribly boring book! The entire book is basically about wheat and mosquitos- not exactly gripping literature. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mom of 2
I think that the english was terrible, the author seemed bored and in the middle she acted like she was falling asleep while writing. Read morePublished 2 months ago by k.k.ko
Lovely book about immigrant family. I read this at the suggestion of my niece. It is a good book to read with a younger relative. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Sr. Brian Marie Latour
Summer's family has had a year of bad luck and it's getting even worse when her parents have to take care of relatives in Japan. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Suze Lavender
I also sent this to my granddaughter who loves to read and also has the name Summer. as of now, no word that she has spent any time on it and no thanks. O! well.Published 13 months ago by katieMcormond
For young adult girls. I read it to be able to exchange ideas and to explain context to my grandchild. It was okay.Published 13 months ago by Carmine Zappala
A book geared for middle school readers, this is the story of Summer and her little brother Jaz, and just what happens during one fateful summer in harvesting wheat. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Gaele
The book kept me interested. But passages about driving combine were at times too long. So I skipped a lot.Published 14 months ago by Wise bird