for The Higher Power of Lucky
by Susan Patron
and Matt Phelan
Ten-year-old Lucky lives in a trailer in Hard Pan, California. There are few secrets among the town’s forty-three residents, but Lucky has one: she plans on running away. It’s not that she doesn’t like Hard Pan. It’s home to the Found Object Wind Chime Museum and Visitor Center and an array of twelve-step meetings that provide wonderful opportunities for eavesdropping. It’s also home to her best friend, Lincoln, who challenges her to see old things in new ways, and her five-year-old neighbor, Miles, who never goes anywhere without his battered copy of Are You My Mother? But Lucky is worried. Her guardian, Brigitte, shows signs of planning to return to her home in France. Lucky is sure she will end up in an orphanage. She would much rather take control of her own destiny, even if it means leaving Hard Pan behind. Susan Patron’s quietly charged story builds to a dramatic climax in the midst of a desert dust storm. When the air finally clears, so, too, does the haze of Lucky’s uncertainty, and she is finally able to see what has been there all along: Brigitte’s unwavering love. Patron’s astonishingly fresh and literary novel, firmly grounded in Lucky’s perspective, features a memorable cast of singular characters and a distinctive sense of place. (Ages 9–12)
CCBC Choices 2007 . © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2007. Used with permission.
Lucky, age ten, can't wait another day. The meanness gland in her heart and the crevices full of questions in her brain make running away from Hard Pan, California (population 43), the rock-bottom only choice she has.
It's all Brigitte's fault -- for wanting to go back to France. Guardians are supposed to stay put and look after girls in their care! Instead Lucky is sure that she'll be abandoned to some orphanage in Los Angeles where her beloved dog, HMS Beagle, won't be allowed. She'll have to lose her friends Miles, who lives on cookies, and Lincoln, future U.S. president (maybe) and member of the International Guild of Knot Tyers. Just as bad, she'll have to give up eavesdropping on twelve-step anonymous programs where the interesting talk is all about Higher Powers. Lucky needs her own -- and quick.
But she hadn't planned on a dust storm.
Or needing to lug the world's heaviest survival-kit backpack into the desert.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.