A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this book is the third in a trilogy that began with the Newbery Award winner The Higher Power of Lucky. Each book can be read separately, but the whole story would make more sense if read in order. Lucky is a thoughtful character and this book includes discussions of evolution, Darwin vs. the Bible, life after death, heaven and hell, and other issues that make kids worry. Characters struggle with prejudice, addiction, and more, but there is a sweet message about the true meaning of family -- and how it can be about something far wider than biological relationship.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Lucky's life in the impoverished desert community of Hard Pan is not an easy one, and when the health department threatens to close down her adopted mother's restaurant, the challenges only increase. She is grappling with other big issues, too, like how she feels about her missing father, how best to confront the prejudice against her immigrant stepmom, and what to do when her dinosaur-loving friend is reunited with his mother, a recovering addict who wants him to read only the Bible. With the support of some very quirky characters she tries to put life in perspective, for herself and those she loves.
Is it any good?
This third book in the series is sometimes uneven and a bit disjointed, but the story is packed with humor, heartwarming episodes, and well-drawn characters. Readers will find it easy to care about spunky Lucky, a girl with a heart as big as the desert sky and a mind full of "what ifs." The characters are eccentric -- Lincoln is a knot-tying expert, and Lucky herself investigates anything she encounters, from owl pellets to the ancient Viking alphabet -- but kids will appreciate the topics she and her friends talk about, and the way they care for one another. Lucky and her crazy community make it a lot of fun to think about important issues, such as the meaning of life -- and family.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about this series. How does this third book compare to the other Lucky books? Why do you think the author wanted to write more about Lucky's story? Do you think the publisher would have been as interested in publishing them if the first book, The Higher Power of Lucky, hadn't won the Newbery Award?
There are a lot "what ifs" swirling around Lucky's brain, from what if her adoptive mother dies to what if she is going to hell? Do you think some of these worries are things that all kids think about? Parents may want to use this as an opportunity to address some of the things their kids may be worrying about.
For kids who love coming-of-age stuff
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