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The Higher Power of Lucky Hardcover – November 7, 2006
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From School Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
The idea that some librarians are choosing to keep this book off the shelves due to the use of the word "scrotum" right at the beginning of the book is more offensive than the word. Reality check: my boys have lots of words for that part of the anatomy, it's about time they read the proper word used in context of another boy saying it.
Surprisingly, if it is the "word" that stuns people, then they haven't read the book and thought about how stunning it is to consider a child (Lucky) listening in on a variety of 12-step groups. But those two aspects, and all the rest of the "shocking" things that happen in this book, are all absolutely appropriate, and beautifully written, to make this book something special.
I highly recommend "Lucky", and I fully agree with the age suggestion assigned it (9-12). My 8yo thought it was awesome, but then, he is in the 4th grade. My 11yo loved it.
The reality is kids in this age range have all kinds of scary ideas and powerful curiosities. Being able to read about Lucky going through such things gave my kids the opportunity to think about and talk about all kinds of things. As a family, we thought this was an excellent book.
As for the librarians and teachers who think they don't want to have to give a vocabulary lesson on the word scrotum, ask them how many times they have heard boys in the 9-12 age range yell a variety of less savory words for that part of their anatomy. The scientifically correct word is always worth teaching.
Read it for yourself, and see.
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.Read more ›
There is a silver lining to the controversy: nothing is more tempting than forbidden fruit. Those who may not have considered reading this book will be sure to seek it out, and many will then end up reading a story they enjoy. I'll bet they won't even think much about the "word" once they get into it.
I enjoyed reading about Lucky's world: the hard, dusty life in a remote California town, and the people who populate it. My favorite character was Miles, a five year old boy with a penchant for cookies and a certain picture book that, in the end, proves to be a much more poignant choice of a book than it first appears. But that's the joy of this book: even in such a relatively small book, all the characters, even those who only appear briefly, are multi-layered people with their own history. That's good writing.
Susan Patron (a librarian herself) has written a good book. Just read it and enjoy it. As for the rest, just let it go.
But enough of that. This is a fantastic children's story with great illustrations that I found very enjoyable to read, and I plan on reading it to my future grandchildren.
Chrissy K. McVay
Author of 'Souls of the North Wind'
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was a really good book addressing a sensitive topic of a child's issues around abandonment in a delicate way.Published 2 months ago by labbaw6824
My kids read this book and didn't want to finish it. I read it to see what the problem was. I can't blame them. The lead character Lucky is not very likeable or nice. Read morePublished 8 months ago by C's Mom
Let me start off by saying that the world needs more variety when it comes to representation of family in young readers literature. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mirrani
Granted, this series is not for everyone, and the target audience is hard to pin-down. Children's book??? Read morePublished 12 months 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 23 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 on May 25, 2014 by Pop Bop