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Lucky for Good (The Hard Pan Trilogy, #3)
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Lucky for Good (The Hard Pan Trilogy #3)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  385 ratings  ·  91 reviews
ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD LUCKY adores Miles—a cookie fiend, genius, and the closest she’s got to a little brother. But when Miles’s mother returns to Hard Pan, Lucky finds herself with a tricky, challenging moral dilemma and no idea what to do about it. She also gets into big-time trouble for starting a fight with an older boy, discovers a relative (and much-needed ally) called Sti ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Atheneum
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I love the way this children's books author believes children have brains they can actually operate themselves.
Few dare in Children’s Literature like Susan Patron does, and I really think they should. Lucky’s Hard Pan Trilogy ends even more provocatively than it began; which, you may recall, was quite controversial. Can a Children’s Book use the word “scrotum,” let alone use it on the first page?! This was the worry with the 2007 Newbery Award-Winner The Higher Power of Luck
Review of all three books in the 'Hard Pan Trilogy'

Lucky Trimble lives in Hard Pan, California, in a canned-ham bedroom attached to a trailer. She lives with Brigitte, who is not her mother but her biological father's French ex-wife. Brigitte came to Hard Pan all the way from France because Lucky's father asked her to, after Lucky's mother went out into the desert after a storm and was struck dead by lightening.

So for now Lucky lives with Brigitte, who calls her 'petite puce' which sounds l
Eva Mitnick
If you lived in Hard Pan, who would you be? Are you a creative and thrifty Short Sammy type, living in a water tank? Or are you more like Klincke Ken, who can fix anything and has a fondness for cats and donkeys? Perhaps you're more like sociable Dot, who operates the only beauty salon in town or the Captain, who holds the only steady job with benefits that exists in Hard Pan (postmaster).

Myself, I'd be Mrs. Prender, grandma of the smart-and-sweet 6-year-old Miles and mom of Miles' mom, Justine,
Susan Patron writes so beautifully that sometimes it takes your breath away. In this third book of the Lucky trilogy, she continues to give Lucky a voice that rings utterly true. The children in it are mature beyond their years but are totally believable. They are also deeply affected by their unique community and its environs. Lucky's observations about life are descriptive and insightful in the most loving way. She grows up in this book in so many ways. Lincoln, Miles, Paloma, Brigitte, and th ...more
The reason behind two stars is simply the story. This one delved a lot into the nature of God, religion, and what not. Pretty deep stuff for an eleven year old to expound on. As Matt said while listening, "I've never heard an eleven year old talk like that". Fun characters and I still enjoyed the book (same reader as the previous- great reader) but just didn't like the subplots as much. Plus, I'm not really into sculptures made out of findings in owl pellets... :)
This is the third in the Hard Pan or Lucky trilogy. It seemed to meander a bit, but I continued to enjoy the setting, characters and development of Lucky as she researches her family tree. It is assigned as punishment for a fight she gets into at school. She learns more about her father's family and herself. Miles' mother is a new character, recently released from prison, where she became a saved Christian. She has strict ideas on what Miles should and should not be reading, which stifles his vo ...more

When a journey like the Hard Pan trilogy ends, after years of investment on the part of readers in the characters and the particulars of their lives, I think that the final book usually carries a bit more emotional weight than most stand-alone novels. In this case, I've been reading about Lucky for several years, faithfully obtaining a copy of each new book in the trilogy upon its publication, so for me this is more than just a nice, lovely story coming to a close. Lucky's odyssey toward an un
Anastasia Tuckness
Lucky is back, and she has some hard questions. Like, why is Miles' mother Justine obsessed with the Bible? Does Miles have to give up his beliefs about dinosaur origins and primate hominids now that he's found Jesus? Did Charles Darwin go to heaven? Why doesn't her father want anything to do with her? Will junior high be full of bullies? Will Lincoln understand how much she will miss him when he goes to live with a master knot-tyer in England? What does Justine want to do with hundreds of owl p ...more
Steve Clark
"Lucky for Good" wraps up her story in a still-winning fashion, but sometimes feels a bit like an effort to get it over with so the author can get on with something she really wants to work on. The story starts off with Lucky getting into trouble at school. She gets into a fight with a slightly older boy, and ends up punished with a school assignment where both she and the boy need to track down their family histories. Now, I suppose there's a chance readers might be disappointed with the predi ...more
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Madeleine - Tei
An amazing ending to the Hard Pan trilogy. Miles's mom is released from prison, Paloma visits over the weekend with her Hollywood parents, Ollie gets in a fight with Lucky, Lincoln - as usual - saves Lucky from danger, and Lucky, well, she's as lucky as usual. But it seems there is tension in the air with all of this happening. Lucky gets into trouble as usual, and there are still reactants from the trouble she got into in the last book. Lincoln won the Knot contest with his present to Lucky, so ...more
Kathie Jackson
It is so rare that a sequel lives up to the original, and rarer still for a third book in a trilogy. But Susan Patron has done it! I was introduced to The Higher Power of Lucky in my Children's Lit class for my Masters in Ed/Library Science; the professor read aloud and I was hooked. My professor shared this book with us because it had both won the Newbery AND been a banned and challenged book because Patron had the audacity to use the word "scrotum" in chapter 1. God forbid we use honest, anato ...more
Katie Fitzgerald
I'm sad to see this wonderful trilogy come to an end, but for the most part, I think it's been given a nice send-off. At times, I felt like it tried to wrap up too much in too small a space, particularly regarding Lucky's father and his relatives, and I was somewhat put off by the romantic overtones starting to appear in Lucky and Lincoln's friendship. That said, though, the exploration of the relationship between religion and science was an interesting one, which made references back to Lucky's ...more
Gail Shipley
Loved the book. Susan covers lots of issues in Lucky for Good that lots of kids face today. Everyone who reads Lucky will be able to relate to her in some way. From finding a family, loyalty, dealing with bullies, being poor, etc. This is the final book in the trilogy. I now need to go back and read the first two.
Another lovely book to put a bow on the package that is the Hard Pan trilogy. I am sorry to say goodbye to these characters and their diverse personalities. In this final book, there are several satisfying resolutions and hints at hope and love ahead. Lucky learns more about her father and her biological family tree. There's a surprisingly bold Christian thread running through Miles's relationship with his born-again mother. What I so like about these books is their description of problems/confl ...more
This series of three follows our girl Lucky through her 10th and 11th years. She comes from a rough situation but lands in a soft place ironically named, "Hardpan." This story is very focused on the psychological/ emotional world of the characters as much as events. I recommend this story for anyone who could appreciate a little real-life language (scrotum?) used in order to make a point. I can imaging getting my 8 year old to listen to all three.
Susan Patron hits it again (the third of her stories about the little girl, Lucky, who lives in the desert of Southern California with her French step-mother, Brigitte...)... I was hooked with the first book in this series, The HIgher Power of Lucky, which won the Newbery Award. And shortly after I read the first book, I met Susan Patron at a writers' conference. What a NICE woman! She told me she had had total writers' block for years... well it looks like she doesn't now. A great series, uniqu ...more
great children's books that make you laugh, smile, sometimes cry and always makes you fel for lucky who is a great character. i love this trilogy!
I'm not a huge Lucky fan, so I read this mostly just to say that I finished the series. While I thought it was good, as with the others, some things were alluded to and never explained, although I really enjoyed the development of Lucky's character in this one. In the past books, I felt like she was mostly just a know-it-all brat, but in this one it seems like she learns from the situations where this gets her into trouble, rather than just saying she learned. I also liked the importance placed ...more
Susan Reyna
Lovely end to the trilogy. I am so sad to say goodbye to the residents of Hard Pan, Ca and the ones they love.
Chris Go
This is the final book in the trilogy that begins with "The Higher Power of Lucky", which won the Newbery Medal for Susan Patron, who is a librarian in Los Angeles. Throughout this series, issues have been addressed which are often not discussed, despite that for many children, they are part of their normal. These include everything from alcoholism, drug abuse, having a parent in prison, adoption, secret family members, absentee parents, and conflicting religious beliefs. I think what I like bes ...more
loved this book. speaks to adults and children about questions of faith.
Lucky's summer before starting Middle School, billed as the last in the series but there's nothing in particular that makes it so except authorial fiat.

Like both of its predecessors, it's a series of linked but distinct sets of small incidents, each of which mirrors some great insight or truth. In the hands of lesser authors this would result in a set of didactic Teachable Moments--but Patron has both a gently comic tone and a sure hand with nuances of character, so the messages are delivered i
I had no idea that this book existed until I saw it on the library's book shelf. Having already read the first two, I was enticed to finish the trilogy. Though I liked the other two volumes better, I still found this to be a cute story - not as much action as the prior two, but some needed completion. I equally liked how the town of Hard Pan banded together to help Brigette save her cafe, how Lucky was "sentenced" to research her family tree, and how Lucky and Paloma continue to be true friends ...more
Bravo Susan Patron for not being afraid to tackle sensitive subjects like evolution and religion. Patron accomplishes this feat believably through her characters, without giving easy answers. I also appreciated this book for giving readers a real sense of what a family is -- how many different forms that can take. And how it can change over time. Lucky learns more about her father and her family and becomes more secure in her friendships . . . really finding her place. A worthy conclusion to the ...more
There are many changes in store for Lucky in her final book. Bridgette's cafe might be closed, Mile's mother is back, and Lucky's about to learn more about her father. On top of all that it's the summer before she enters junior high. What's a girl to do, but gather her courage and hope her higher power will see her through.

This is a lovely conclusion to the Lucky books, bringing in new story lines while also bringing closure. Lucky remains the same plucky girl as she struggles to navigate unchar
The final volume in the Hard Pan trilogy, I found this one kept the spirit of the series. Lucky is very much come into her own in this one - she searches for the truth about her family, learns some complicated things about relationships, and helps Brigitte keep the cafe running. This is a really sweet and lovely series overall. I very much enjoyed it, but am glad Patron didn't make it go on forever. I think the three books allow readers to watch Lucky grow up and mature just enough to feel satis ...more
Virginia Walter
This is the last in the Hard Pan trilogy, and all of our favorite residents of that desert town make appearances. I will miss these children and the adults who care about them. I would love to know how Miles reconciles his dogged scientific mind with his mother's fundamental Christianity and whether Lucky and Lincoln's childhood romance lasts. Will Ollie be a rival for Lucky's affections? What about Brigitte and the smitten geologist? It's hard to say goodbye.
Emily Morris
I have been long charmed with the Lucky books, and I feel this one definitely keeps up the magic of the first two. Returning to the little town of Hard Pan was an enchanting opportunity, and all 43 citizens were as charming as ever. As usual, Susan Patron takes her little girl heroine and tackles some tough situations such as health code violations and religion. This is a thought-provoking but fun novel full of characters I can't help but love. Wonderful conclusion.
This last book in the Lucky trilogy did not have an abundance of plot, but the writing continued to be strong, clean, and strangely moving just like the other two. I am not convienced this actually needed to be a trilogy, the first book felt resolved, while the second and third meandered about without a lot at stake for the characters - but they were pleasant meanderings and it is always nice to spend time in Hard Pan with its interesting inhabitants.
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Susan Patron specialized in Children's Services for 35 years at the Los Angeles Public Library before retiring in 2007, the same year her novel The Higher Power of Lucky was awarded the John Newbery Medal. As the library's Juvenile Materials Collection Development Manager, she trained and mentored children's librarians in 72 branches. Patron has served on many book award committees, including the ...more
More about Susan Patron...

Other Books in the Series

The Hard Pan Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Higher Power of Lucky (The Hard Pan Trilogy, #1)
  • Lucky Breaks (The Hard Pan Trilogy, #2)
The Higher Power of Lucky (The Hard Pan Trilogy, #1) Lucky Breaks (The Hard Pan Trilogy, #2) Behind the Masks: The Diary of Angeline Reddy, Bodie, California, 1880 (Dear America) Maybe Yes, Maybe No, Maybe Maybe Burgoo Stew

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“It was like the moment before you open a present, still hidden inside its box and wrappings; while you're waiting to find out what it is, the eagerness and impatience and curiosity and anticipation grip you in an even stronger, more thrilling way than you feel after you find out what's inside.” 2 likes
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