A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Half a Chance, by Cynthia Lord, the Newbery Honor author of Rules, tells the story of 12-year-old Lucy, whose family has just moved to a cottage on a lake in New Hampshire in the summer. Lucy must establish new friendships and worries about fitting in when she starts a new school in the fall. The story features an elderly neighbor who demonstrates the beginnings of Alzheimer's disease and some ethical dilemmas for Lucy, who's anxious to gain the approval of her nature-photographer father.
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What's the story?
When Lucy and her family move from the Boston area to a small cottage on a New Hampshire lake, she meets her neighbors Nate and Emily, and together they go on Loon Patrol. Nate helps her scout out perfect pictures for the photography contest Lucy wants to enter to see how good her skills really are. But one day she takes a photo that threatens and angers Nate. Plus she's told him a big lie about the contest.
Is it any good?
The leisurely paced HALF A CHANCE explores thorny topics while telling a contemporary story with realistic characters. And it raises some intriguing ethical issues: Is it dishonest to enter a contest for which your father is the judge? Is it right to submit work that may make a private family issue public? Also, to what lengths do you go to win praise from a parent?
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about dementia. How could you help an aging relative or neighbor who's struggling with dementia?
Take several photographs and see if you can arrange them so they tell a compelling story.
Find out about which wild animals are in your area, why they may be important, what threatens them, and how you can help protect their lives.
- Author: Cynthia Lord
- Genre: Coming of Age
- Topics: Arts and Dance, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, Science and Nature, Wild Animals
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Scholastic Press
- Publication date: February 20, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 218
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Award: ALA Best and Notable Books
- Last updated: February 6, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love coming-of-age stories
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