Anyone lucky enough to take in Newbery winner The Higher Power of Lucky (2006, Simon & Schuster) will be thrilled to know that Susan Patron’s follow up, Lucky Breaks (2009, Simon & Schuster), is equally as well written and just as touchingly introspective as its predecessor.
Lucky is back, and she’s about to turn 11. A much more intrepid age than 10, to be sure, at least that’s what Lucky thinks. Brigitte (her French-born adoptive mother) is bringing the entire dusty little dessert town of Hard Pan together to celebrate. Miles and Lincoln return, and Lucky makes her first female BFF in Paloma, daughter of an archeologist digging near Hard Pan.
As before, the relationships are really the story here. Lucky’s feelings are all over the place, as any 11 year old’s would be. She’s not sure how she feels about Lincoln, he simultaneously intrigues and flabbergasts her. Miles is a less central character, but just as cute and brainy. But it’s Lucky’s new friendship with Paloma that makes this book so delightful to read.
“Higher Power” stirred up some controversy with a particular biological word (a controversy which IMHO is narrow-minded and petty), and if that offended you, be aware, that word is here again. But if you can look beyond that word to the bigger picture, you’ll find a story that touches the heart and captures the essence of childhood as it sits with its feet in the cold pool of adolescence, trying to gather up enough courage to plunge in. 4 bookmarks.