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Lucky is as lucky does,
This review is from: The Higher Power of Lucky (Hardcover)
Lucky has not had it, well, lucky. Her father has abandoned her, her mother died in the desert, and she lives in a tiny dusty town of 43 residents.
Lucky's town, Hard Pan, doesn't have much going for it. There's an improvised beauty salon, a post office, and the Found Object Wind Chime Museum and Visitor Center. Lucky cleans up the Visitor Center, and spends her time eavesdropping on the Anonymous meetings (smokers, drinkers, overeaters, and gamblers). She likes their stories and she's especially inspired by their search for the Higher Power. If only she, Lucky, could find the Higher Power. Then she could stabilize her life.
At the moment, Lucky doesn't feel that stable. She lives with her guardian, Brigitte, a Frenchwoman and Lucky's father's first wife. Brigitte is homesick, still speaks to Lucky with French terms of endearment, and, most importantly, has kept her passport. Lucky knows what that means: Brigitte will leave her in Hard Pan and head back to France.
Brigitte and Lucky live in an improvised home, comprised of three trailers linked together and mounted on concrete blocks. She has one friend in town, a knot-fantatic named Lincoln, and is followed around by a sad 5-year-old boy named Miles with a penchant for cookies and "Are You My Mother?"
Lucky resolves to follow the twelve step program, embarking on the "next step after rock bottom, the getting-control-of-your-life step." She decides to run away during a dust storm, taking a survival pack of her own design with her. Better leave than be left.
"The Higher Power of Lucky" is a charming, powerful tale for the younger Middle Grade reader (7-11). Susan Patron uses the Anonymous metaphor to good effect here. As Lucky herself explains, "It's almost impossible to get control of your life when you're only ten. It's other people, adults, who have control of your life, because they can abandon you." Isn't that the truth?
Lucky is a scrappy young protagonist and a straightforward narrator. She's also an intelligent girl, interested in biology and Charles Darwin, and means well in her search for the truth. The reader roots for her in her attempt to take control of her life, even when she makes mistakes, and is thrilled when she finally finds home.