Brandy's Reviews > The Higher Power of Lucky

The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron
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I’m not sure what can be said about this that hasn’t already been said—it’s a good book, a very pretty book, somewhat atmospheric, in its way. But there’s not a lot of action. It’s another in the Newbery committee’s standards: a book with a strong character who has some internal conflict, but not a whole lot happens externally. In this particular case, I think it worked better than, say, Criss Cross, because THPOL really is about being in a town that’s perfectly happy with the status quo. The big conflict comes when 10-year-old Lucky finds evidence that her guardian, Brigitte—who came all the way from France to take care of her—wants to move back to her home country, probably without Lucky. The conflict is resolved in pretty much the way I’d expected, but it was still very sweet and comforting.

That’s the main word I think I’d use for it, actually—comforting. It’s a story of a girl who lives a quiet life, surrounded by people she loves and who loves her. Reading this book leaves you with the feeling that you’ve been sitting on the couch with a loved one—it’s not quite a hug, but still a very comfortable proximity, if that makes any sense. It wouldn’t have been my choice for the Newbery (I’ve ranted on this in earlier years; I find it very sad that books like Ramona stand no chance at all these days), but I can appreciate that they did finally choose a middle-grade book, instead of the teen-friendly novels they’ve been picking.
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Todd Criss Cross is a good comparison. I didn't think a whole lot of that one either, but at least it was written for an audience old enough to appreciate the big ideas of Who Am I and What Is Art and all that adolescent stuff.


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