Patron, Susan. 2009. Lucky Breaks. Simon & Schuster. 192 pages.
Eleven, Lucky thought from her seat at the back of the school bus, eleven, eleven, eleven, and the idea of it, the sound of it, threw off sparks in her head.
I had low expectations for this one because I was not really a fan of the award-winning first book, The Higher Power of Lucky. But this one surprised me. I enjoyed it a great deal, much more than I was expecting. It stars many of the same characters from the first book--Lucky, of course, and her new-mother, Brigitte, and her best-friend-even-if-he-is-a-boy, Lincoln, and the lovable though slightly obnoxious and much younger, Miles. But it also introduces a new character or two. Lucky meets a girl with best friend potential. Her name is Paloma. Of course, there are a few problems--one being that Paloma is only visiting Hard Pan. Has Lucky found a real best friend at last? Does Lucky even understand what it means to be a real friend?
But what if Paloma didn't like the canned-ham trailer? Being used to Lincoln, Lucky wasn't sure how it worked to be friends with girls. Did you have to tell every secret? Were you supposed to show you were cool by using swear words? No, Paloma was definitely a fun type of person, not a bad-mouth type. Lucky's optimism gland started pumping and she felt that kind of excitement of right before you open a present. (31)As for what the book is about...well, it's about friendship and family and what it means to be ten-and-eleven.
But Lucky was considering how, when you're eleven, you're interested in love and murder, blood and glory and kissing, things that are precious and fragile, things that are abandoned or condemned. Because eleven is much more intrepid than only ten. (6)The book is definitely unique. I like the style of Patron's writing. The way she describes things.
Lucky spotted a worm, a big soft fat one. The word for not wanting to touch a big soft fat worm is squeamish, which has a built-in sound of exactly the feeling in your fingers as they reach for that worm. Being, like Charles Darwin, a scientist, Lucky un-squeamished her fingers. Worms grasp their branch strongly, so you have to get a really firm grip on their bodies in order to pry them off. (13)What did I enjoy most about this one? Mostly Lincoln. Sure, I enjoyed Lucky. At times. But Lincoln is such an amazing person--an amazingly patient person--to care for her as he does. To be her friend through thick and thin.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews