Thursday, June 28, 2007

Book Review: "The Higher Power of Lucky"

The Higher Power of Lucky, by Susan Patron, is the most recent Newberry Award winner. It was good, so I can see why.

The book follows Lucky, a ten year old girl, around the tiny desert town Hard Pan, CA (pop. 43). Here Lucky has several interesting encounters with all kinds of things from snakes to government issue cheese to a house made from an old water tank. And she frequently eavesdrops on the "anonymous people's" meetings -- alcoholics anonymous, smokers anonymous, gamblers anonymous -- trying to find out the secret to discovering your Higher Power.

Unforgettable characters. And not just unforgettable, but believable too. Lucky has a lot of guts and a lot of know-how, but she isn't perfect. No one in the story is. I like the fact that there were no one sided "bad guys." The style of writing is very easy to read, also. Descriptions give you a clear picture in your mind, but don't take forever doing it. Small illustrations (by Matt Phelan) also accompany the story and add to it.

When you first begin, it doesn't take long to realize that the book is going to deal with some strong emotional issues. Somehow, though, this book deals with those issues gently but thoroughly. The book was emotionally moving, but didn't bring me to tears.

Totaling 134 pages, this is a short, recommended read.

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