Sunday, April 17, 2011
The Higher Power of Lucky
Patron, S. (2006). The Higher Power of Lucky. New York, NY: Atheneum.
Lucky lives in Hard Pan, California with her French guardian, Brigitte. Lucky never knew her father, on account of he never wanted kids, and her mother was accidentally electrocuted during a storm a few years before. Hard Pan has a population of 43, the number didn't change after her mom died because Brigitte came into town to take care of Lucky. Brigitte is Lucky's father's first wife, and she was only supposed to take temporary care of Lucky while she waited for a foster home. Lucky aspires to be a scientist, she collects insects and specimens wherever she goes, carrying all the tools in her survival kit backpack, which she always has with her. Lucky works at Hard Pan's Found Object Wind Chime Museum and Visitor Center cleaning up garbage after each twelve-step anonymous meeting. It is here that she overhears the concept of having a Higher Power, which she determines she needs in her life. After seeing Brigitte's passport and suitcase out one night, Lucky jumps to the conclusion that Brigitte is heading back to France and Lucky will move on to an orphanage. This prompts Lucky to run away.
I thought this was a sweet little book, but to be honest, I am surprised that it won a Newbery Medal. Lucky is a likable character, and the other characters in the book are well developed and unique, but I felt that the story was a little predictable and similar to other stories. The little illustrations were a nice touch, especially in showing Lucky's home (constructed out of three trailers), the cholla burr, the parsley grinder, and the knots Lincoln ties. The setting was pretty interesting for the story, a tiny town in the desert where residents live in old water towers or cut up trailers. The story was enjoyably quirky, in the characters and the story of how Brigitte came to be Lucky's guardian.
Ages 8 - 10
loss, self-identity, runaways
First book in two book series, second is entitled Lucky Breaks
Newbery Medal Winner 2007
Lucky Trimble: 5th grader; lives in Hard Pan; wants to be a scientist; doesn't know her dad and her mom is dead
Brigitte: Lucky's guardian; moved from France to take care of Lucky after Lucky's mom passed away; was married to Lucky's father before Lucky's mom
Lincoln: lives in Hard Pan; is in the 5th grade with Lucky; loves tying knots
Miles: in kindergarten; lives with his grandmother in Hard Pan because his mother is in jail; loves the book Are You My Mother?; likes to ask everyone for food
HMS Beagle: Lucky's dog
Aspiring scientist, Lucky, is always prepared for a disaster with her survival kit backpack. But when she fears her guardian, Brigitte, is going to leave her, Lucky decides to put her backpack to good use and runaway.