The Higher Power of Lucky
By: Susan Patron
Genre: Contemporary Realism
Lucky, a strong-willed ten year old, lives in a small town, called Hard Pan. The population in this poor town in California is 43! Lucky is anything but lucky. Her mother passed away from a freak accident and her father wanted nothing to do with her. She is cared for by her father's former French wife. She is in constant search of her "higher power" and secretly eavesdrops on the town's local AA meetings, hoping to find information of her higher power.
A. This is a strong story. Some would say too strongly worded for a classroom.
B. The author does an excellent job of narrating the story of Lucky. The insight of this little girl is remarkable. She tries and tries to keep Brigette here in California to take care of her. Lucky often seems annoyed by Miles, the cookie loving child that lives in Hard Pan, but I don't think that she would be able to live without him. Her best friend, Lincoln, is unique as well. The details provided by Lucky's narration about the characters is what makes the story somewhat comical.
C. At one point in the story, Lucky is discussing her feelings of Miles. She knows that she can make him do anything if she rewards him with a cookie. Miles comes to visit one morning and instantly asks for a cookie. Lucky says no and tells him to go home. I don't really think she wants him to go home but acts like he is annoying her. Miles asks Lucky to tell him a story, one that she has told him a hundred times. Reluctantly, Lucky tells the story and Miles listens intently, only making noises once or twice.
Though this story could be considered controversial, I would love to use the story as an example of proper narration and an insight to express feelings. There is so much expression and insight into this text that I would definitely recommend it for a mature audience. Younger children won't understand the book.