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The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky by Holly…

The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky

by Holly Schindler

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543218,071 (4.56)None



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This was a wonderful, empowering story about being true to who we really are and using this to build resilience. In this story, there was so much going against Auggie, but she did not let anything stop her. This is a wonderful story and moral for kids to hear. Too often in empowering kids books like this, it seems that the lives the characters lead are picture perfect, other than the driving connflict of the plot. However, Auggie's life was dynamic. At some points she was ashamed of the things that made her different, but at other times she was empowered by them, as we all often are. Overall, I found that I was able to empathize with Auggie throughout this story and I can see so many fun activities to pull from this book as a read aloud when I am a teacher. ( )
  alaina.loescher | Sep 18, 2016 |
Recommended Ages: Gr. 5-7

Plot Summary: Auggie and her neighbors are going to a new school for the first time. Right away, Auggie notices things she doesn't like, especially the way her best friend Lexie suddenly changes, especially when Victoria is around. Lexie cut her hair, shares personal stories about Auggie, and laughs at her! To make it even worse, Victoria and her dad come to Auggie's church to explain the House Beautification Committee's city codes, which every house in Auggie's neighborhood fails in some way or another, especially after the storm that just went through the town. Weird Harold was right; there is a conspiracy against them. What can they do? They don't have money to fix their houses? Auggie gets an idea. She takes amazing finds from her grandpa's junk collection and Grandpa Gus uses them to make her house more beautiful. Irma Jean and Weird Harold attempt to make changes to their houses too. They invite Victoria and Lexie to an open house, where Victoria takes pictures. Proud of their work, they are astounded, ashamed, and angry when every house in the neighborhood gets letters and major fines for violations they don't have the money to fix. Trying to put their discouragement behind them, Auggie convinces everyone to try hard. She and Gus make figures from the junk they collect and put them all over their yard. Will it be enough?

Setting: Willow Grove, Missouri, neighborhood: Serendipity Place

Auggie Jones - 5th grader, also named August like her grandpa, very aware that something must be weird about Victoria because she tells Lexie she doesn't have any other friends even though she's been going to school with most of their grade for a long time, has kinky hair
Grandpa Gus - named August, calls Auggie his little sister
Old Glory - Grandpa Gus's car, labels with Gus's Salvage across the doors
Lexie - Auggie's best friend, not from the same neighborhood
Irma Jean Pike - Auggie's neighbor, makes her own clothes, has long red hair that she puts into fancy new hairdos, has 7 siblings: Anna Beth, Cody Daniel, Ernest Francis, Gertrude Hannah, Irma Jean, Kelly Lilith, Michael Nicholas, and Opal Patricia
Mick McGunn - owner of McGunn's Iron and Metal junkyard
Victoria Cole - mean girl
Harold - AKA Weird Harold, Auggie's neighbor, always worried about conspiracies
Reverand Charles V. Taylor - AKA Chuck
Old Willow Hollis - has a great-grandson Noah
Mrs. Shoemacker - always seems like she's snooping on everyone by sitting behind them and leaning in or watching people through her blinds
Mr. Cole - on the city council
T. Walker Doyle - Ms. Dillbeck's nephew, folk art collector

Recurring Themes: art, prejudice, socioeconomic status, family, friendship

Controversial Issues: Auggie tries to run away to her mom but Irma Jean tells an adult who finds Auggie before she gets too far

Personal Thoughts: I really loved this one. It was a tad predictable in the sense that I knew at the first mention of Ms. Dillbeck's nephew that he would find a way to save the day, but it was still a very enjoying read. The characters were fantastic, the emotions were authentic, and the story kept me interested the whole way through.

Genre: realistic fiction

Pacing: medium/slow - mostly character driven, requires imagination, lots of metaphors
Characters: very well developed

Activity: ( )
  pigeonlover | Aug 12, 2015 |
A Book that Shines...

I knew I was going to love this one, just based off the blurb, and it didn't disappoint. I loved how Auggie faced so many of the upheavals that go with her stage of life, and some that don't. She was a brave and determined girl in circumstances that might have crushed others. I adored her grandfather and how he embraced her dreams and helped to make them reality. My favorite side character had to be Weird Harold and his funky baseball caps. He was always making a statement. I also adored the emphasis on hard work, the struggle of growing in and out of friendships, and how coming to grips with reality empowers us to go forward.

This is definitely a book I would recommend to young readers and adults who love reading MG books. ( )
  CrystalCollier | May 26, 2014 |
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Auggie and her grandfather use found objects to transform the appearance of their home and, in the process, change a whole town's perceptions of beauty and art.

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