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The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron
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The Higher Power of Lucky (2006)

by Susan Patron

Other authors: Matt Phelan (Illustrator)

Series: Lucky Trimble (1)

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1,9481673,498 (3.67)87
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English (166)  Spanish (1)  All (167)
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Summary:
Lucky is a young girl living in a California desert town with the population of 43 people. Her mother died two years and her father wife seems to want to put lucky and her brother in foster care so she can move back to France. Lucky decided to look for the 'Higher Power that people on the 12 step program talk about to see if it will help her while she becomes closer to the others in her town.
Personal Reaction
This book does start as a slow read, at first I thought I wasn't going to like it and would have to trudge through it. One thing I really enjoyed is that Lucky wants to be a scientist and uses it to identify the things she collects. Lucky would be a great book to help give girls in class a start interest in science.

Exercises:

The teacher could make their own version of the "Higher Power" and give each student in the class their own quest to figure out. Students will then have to learn from each other to reach the "High Power" through talking to everyone like the small town in the book.
  CaitlinOH_22 | Mar 27, 2017 |
Growing up in a tiny, impoverished community in the high desert, Lucky must find a way to deal with her grief over her mother's death and her fear that her guardian might choose to leave her.

This book has excellent sensory descriptions, and the main character is nuanced and fully realized. However, I find that the plot is too ephemeral, and there are too many details which strain credulity, for me to really love it. This book won the Newbery when I was in grad school, the first year I really paid attention. It was a surprise to a lot of people then, and I still find it a quirky choice. I'm sure it has its readers out there, but it's not one I think of when I'm recommending books. ( )
  foggidawn | Aug 24, 2016 |
Kinda sweet, smart enough, but not amazing enough for the Newbery. As other reviewers here say, it's been done. I guess I liked the fact that Lucky's 'family' is poor, but that it isn't a big deal like Grapes of Wrath or something, it's just a fact of life.

But I'm not sure why they live in Hard Pan - I would have thought Brigitte would have moved to town so she could use her energy to get a job, and not be so isolated amongst all the different 12-steppers in this town Pop. 43."

Just weird things like that threw me. All those 12-steppers in a town so small it's 50 miles from an elementary school. And they can't even pick up their own litter. And it's ok for Lucky to tell Miles the truth about his mother, even though his grandmother hadn't told him. And the geography is wrong: Sierra City is in the forested mountains well north of Yosemite, not anywhere near LA. And Lucky had no idea Brigette loves her?

Fans of the over-rated and cliched [b:Because of Winn-Dixie|357664|Because of Winn-Dixie|Kate DiCamillo|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1391500951s/357664.jpg|25169] would probably like this." ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
The Higher Power of Lucky is one the most delightful young reader's books I have encountered. (The two sequels, Lucky Breaks and Lucky for Good are pretty high up there too.) It is a small, gentle and delightful tale set in an eccentric desert town with a population of 43. Lucky Trimble is a young orphan who is worried that her guardian, a young French woman who came to America to take the job, is going to abandon her and return to France. A handful of other townspeople, children and adults, flesh out the story, as Lucky learns what love and family and friends really are. If I were 10 again, I would want Lucky to be my best friend. ( )
  fingerpost | May 30, 2016 |
A marvelous story, well told and enchantingly innocent. ( )
  JNSelko | Apr 20, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Susan Patronprimary authorall editionscalculated
Phelan, MattIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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For René
First words
Lucky Trimble crouched in a wedge of shade behind the dumpster.
Quotations
It was a little disappointing that today nobody had explained how exactly they had found their Higher Power, which was what Lucky was mainly interested in finding out about.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Curriculum Connection:  AASL std. 4:  Pursue personal and aesthetic growth.

4.1.2 Read widely and fluently to make connections with self, the world, and previous reading.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 073933879X, Audio CD)

BONUS FEATURE: EXCLUSIVE AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Lucky, age ten, can’t wait another day. The meanness gland in her heart and the crevices full of questions in her brain make running away from Hard Pan, California (population 43), the rock-bottom only choice she has.

It’s all Brigitte’s fault–for wanting to go back to France. Guardians are supposed to stay put and look after girls in their care! Instead Lucky is sure that she’ll be abandoned to some orphanage in Los Angeles where her beloved dog, HMS Beagle, won’t be allowed. She’ll have to lose her friends Miles, who lives on cookies, and Lincoln, future U.S. president (maybe) and member of the International Guild of Knot Tyers. Just as bad, she’ll have to give up eavesdropping on twelve-step anonymous programs where the interesting talk is all about Higher Powers. Lucky needs her own–and quick.

But she hadn’t planned on a dust storm.

Or needing to lug the world’s heaviest survival-kit backpack into the desert.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:01 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Fearing that her legal guardian plans to abandon her to return to France, ten-year-old aspiring scientist Lucky Trimble determines to run away while also continuing to seek the Higher Power that will bring stability to her life.

» see all 2 descriptions

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