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Lucky Breaks

by Susan Patron
Illustrated by Matt Phelan

Published by Ginee Seo Books / Atheneum, 2009
181 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4169-3998-6

Ages 8 - 10

Podcast featuring this book

Lucky Trimble is about to turn eleven. “Not the thud of ten, but flouncy e-lev-en, with its sophisticated three syllables . . . eleven is much more intrepid than only ten.” Maybe that’s why life in Hard Pan, California (pop. 43), seems less than exciting these days. Lucky’s best friend, Lincoln, is focused on his latest knot project, and talks about going to England if he wins the competition he’s entering. It’s a thought that makes Lucky’s heart uneasy, so uneasy that it does a little flip, and things about Lincoln begin to annoy her. When a group of scientists stops for lunch at her stepmother Brigitte’s café, Lucky meets Paloma, a girl her age who finds everything about Hard Pan fascinating, or funny in a good way. Lucky is sure she’s found a new friend—maybe even a new best friend—despite Paloma living hundreds of miles away. Paloma’s name is even the same as a woman of legend who is said to have wandered into Hard Pan a hundred years before, and Lucky knows things like that matter. Revisiting the vivid characters and community of Hard Pan first introduced in The Higher Power of Lucky (Atheneum, 2006), Susan Patron again looks at the life of a girl who is open-hearted but not always kind, adventurous but not always careful, keenly observant but not always thoughtful. Lucky’s fallibility makes her so very real as she stumbles on the path to turning eleven, and finds that a new friend can help her appreciate an old one. Susan Patron’s superbly written novel is full of surprising, acute descriptions of what Lucky thinks and feels—just one of the many treasures it holds. CCBC categories: Fiction for Children.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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