Illustrator: Matt Phelan
Life in Hard Pan, California (population 43), feels a bit ordinary to almost-eleven-year-old Lucky. Her best friend, Lincoln, is a boy, and his preoccupation with tying knots seems, well, boring. Then Lucky meets Paloma, who is visiting Hard Pan with her geologist uncle, and Lucky realizes that what she wants is a girl best friend, an adventurous girl. "And without even knowing that she'd been looking, now Lucky longed for that girl to be Paloma." Unfortunately, Paloma lives two hundred miles away, and her mother is so overprotective she might not let Paloma return to Hard Pan. Black-and-white illustrations.
JLG Release: May 2009
Praise & Reviews
Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal
School Library Journal
Lucky is back. In this sequel to The Higher Power of Lucky (S & S, 2006), Milo, Lincoln, Brigitte, Short Sammy, and HMS Beagle are all present and accounted for, hewing to their idiosyncratic ways and weaving in the psychological safety that makes Lucky's world a charmer of a place. The girl settles in with Brigitte, her foster moth
Lucky is back. In this sequel to The Higher Power of Lucky (S & S, 2006), Milo, Lincoln, Brigitte, Short Sammy, and HMS Beagle are all present and accounted for, hewing to their idiosyncratic ways and weaving in the psychological safety that makes Lucky's world a charmer of a place. The girl settles in with Brigitte, her foster mother, and enjoys her home and friends. She discovers the fun of a best friend who shares her gender as she instantly bonds with a girl accompanying the "ologists" who've come to Brigitte's Hard Pan Café. However, Lucky is not a child who is ever going to proceed calmly and sedately through life. From the minute she meets Paloma, whose parents are overly concerned for her safety in the desert, it is almost inevitable that Lucky will think up an escapade that will bring them into real danger. Unusual metaphors, vivid language, felicitous writing, and the sense of hearing from a realistic, albeit unique child are the strengths that continue in this sequel that is as tightly plotted as the first book.
Carol A. Edwards, Denver Public Library
Junior Library Guild
Lucky is full of questions. Why is her best friend, Lincoln, so weird—and why is she starting to find him boring? How can Lucky get Paloma, a visitor to Hard Pan, to be her girl Lucky Trimble is back, along with all the other wonderfully quirky characters from Susan Patron’s Newbery Medal winner, The Higher Power of Lucky.
Lucky is full of questions. Why is her best friend, Lincoln, so weird—and why is she starting to find him boring? How can Lucky get Paloma, a visitor to Hard Pan, to be her girl best friend? Has Short Sammy, one of Hard Pan’s most eccentric residents, just had his own coffin delivered to his water-tower home? (Lucky fears the worst.) There’s also the heartbreaking question that Lucky asks her adoptive mother about her absent father: “Brigitte, why does my father hate me?”
Funny and full of life, Lucky Breaks celebrates the importance of family and friendship as Lucky navigates her way through a series of adventures with the help of her loved ones. She bravely confronts a wild burro in order to save Brigitte’s vegetable garden, searches for a missing treasure with Paloma, and falls down an abandoned well, where she is rescued by an old friend and a new one. The story culminates in a birthday celebration where Lucky receives two amazing, unexpected gifts and an insight into how families are formed—and why her father left her.
Matt Phelan’s charming black-and-white drawings enhance the beautifully told story by offering glimpses into both Hard Pan’s isolated landscape and the warm relationships shared by its inhabitants.
5 1/2" x 8 1/4"
Level 6; Points: 6;
Scholastic Reading Counts
Level 7.5; Points: 11;
Potentially Sensitive Areas
Birthdays, Legends, Knots, Tomato worms, Being an American, Hamburgers, Escargot, Names, Making friends, Charles Darwin (1809-1882), Sleepovers, Small towns, Gossip, S'mores, Parties, The Milky Way, The solar system, Cupcakes, Being mean, Burros, Telling lies, Parents, First impressions, Wells, Choices, Dangerous situations, Rescues, Regret, Dogs, Faithfulness, Forgiveness, Stars, Connections,