Green Bay's Largest Independent Bookstore.
Twelve Thousand New & Used Books.
Imagine Infinitely. Shop Locally.
Staff Reviews

Amy Mazzariello

See All Reviews

Lucky Breaks
Susan Patron
Simon & Schuster
Publish date: 2009-03-01
Review date: 10/08/2009


Lucky Breaks is the second book in a continuing series by 2007 Newberry Award winning author Susan Patron. Like the first book, entitled The Higher Power of Lucky, Patron joins her readers with the unforgettable characters she's created and their uncommon lives. In the previous book we learned about the pasts of these characters and why fate brought them all together. However, in this story there is no recap of the first book, which lends to this newer work appearing as a stand alone novel.

The setting is a small town in the middle of the Mohave Dessert. Lucky has little variety in choosing who her friends are and what she will do to keep herself occupied. She is a budding scientist, which allows her to find many interesting subjects in the vast landscape of sand, rock and cacti. Part of her charm is the ability to link just about anything she does, sees or finds with its scientific characteristics. My favorite line from the book takes place on page 122 when Lucky finds herself in a bind. Patron's humor shines through when she writes "Her brain corpuscles felt grouchy and snappish." The book is filled with similar analogies of this kind that left me picturing the fleshy folds of a brain; a glistening, pulsating "anxiety" gland, and many other functions of the nervous system.

While eavesdropping on a conversation between her best friend, Lincoln and her French foster mom, Brigitte, Lucky discovers Lincoln has entered a knot-tying contest. And, if won, would take him out of Hard Pan and all the way to England for the summer. The idea of spending the summer without her best friend begins Lucky's internal struggle with the unknown. Once Lucky finds herself on this new path she convinces herself that she is bored with her world class knot tying friend, and decides she doesn't need him anyway. Soon after a girl, who is on assignment with her uncle and his geologist colleagues, from LA walks through the gates of Brigitte's French Café, and into the belly of Lucky and Brigitte's U shaped courtyard, which is defined by a trio of travel trailers fit together to make up their home. Instantly, the two giggly girls hit it off .

Lucky Breaks is a wonderful story about what it means to stay true to ones self and how unsavory life can get when that truth is denied. I admire Patron's ability to speak in the voice of a tough yet loving young girl, who through many unwelcome obstacles continues to grow and learn the lessons life has to offer. I think this is a great book for girls and boys alike who are just becoming acquainted with the power of empathy, and who are beginning to see life with greater perspective.

Suitable for kids 8-12 years old

Published by Antheum Books, a division of Simon & Schuster

Other suggested reading: The Higher Power of Lucky, by Susan Patron