Sonderbooks Stand-out

Sonderbooks Book Review of

Lucky Breaks

by Susan Patron

Lucky Breaks

by Susan Patron

Review posted May 25, 2009.
ginee seo books, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, New York, 2009. 181 pages.
Starred Review
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2009: #1 Other Children's Fiction

Lucky, who is about to turn eleven, is someone I can't help loving. She's intrepid, but she doesn't always use the best judgment. She's a good friend with a big heart, but she sometimes does mean things in spite of herself. Susan Patron writes in a way that makes you feel for Lucky as if you yourself were, once again, almost almost eleven.

Lucky Breaks is a sequel to the Newbery-winning The Higher Power of Lucky. The themes are bigger in the first book, because Lucky's dealing with the death of her mother and hoping Brigitte will adopt her. While the issues in the second book are not as cosmic, they are still important -- finding and keeping friends.

This book finds Lucky still helping Brigitte settle into Hard Pan, California, and she meets someone she hopes will become her best friend -- a girl to laugh with until they hiccup.

But Paloma's parents are worried about their daughter spending time in the dangerous desert. Meanwhile, Lincoln is working on a mysterious knotting project that may take him away from Hard Pan.

Susan Patron's characters are quirky in so many delightful ways. Miles' favorite book has shifted from Go, Dog. Go! to Brain Surgery for Beginners. Short Sammy is digging a mysterious pit. And Brigitte is figuring out what makes a person truly American. You can't help but feel that they are real people, friends about whom you're eager to hear the latest news.

As for Lucky -- She's the same exuberant, intrepid, scientifically curious, rarely cautious, delightful young lady we met before, a little further along in her amazing journey of growing up.

Susan Patron promises a third book after this one. I hope she writes quickly!