A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky is a hopeful story of fifth grader Auggie and her grandfather, whose run-down home in a poor section of town becomes a target of the House Beautification Committee. Auggie endures verbal bullying by her classmate Victoria, whose dad runs the committee. Also, Auggie, who's being raised by her grandfather, thinks her mother has deserted her and desperately wants her to return.
What's the story?
At their new school, fifth-grader Auggie's best friend Lexie is lured away by Victoria, a wealthy classmate. Worse, Victoria's father starts a House Beautification Committee ("Making our city beautiful, one house at a time") that targets Auggie and all her neighbors in the poor section of town and insists that they improve their homes. Auggie's grandfather, who runs a salvage business, collects items with which they create a colorful new look with ingenuity and creativity -- turning a worn-out toaster into a rooftop flower, for example. Their project horrifies the committee even more, and it deems their home in violation and demands a hefty fine, which Auggies' family can't afford. Eviction looks probable -- until a folk-art museum director sees what they've created, and the town's concept of what's beautiful changes.
Is it any good?
THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY starts slowly, but once the conflict emerges, readers will be rooting for Auggie and Gus to outwit the committee and keep their home. There's much to cheer about in the pair's hopeful resourcefulness -- and much to disdain in the committee's narrow-minded, discriminatory attitudes.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what they consider "beautiful" in a person. How about in music, art, or your town?
Auggie and Gus are underdogs in The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky. Can you think of other books or movies in which the main character is an underdog? What's fun about those kinds of stories?
Try to make something beautiful out of some recycled materials others might call trash.
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