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Half a Chance

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  5,851 ratings  ·  702 reviews
A moving new middle-grade novel from the Newbery Honor author of Rules.

When Lucy's family moves to an old house on a lake, Lucy tries to see her new home through her camera's lens, as her father has taught her -- he's a famous photographer, away on a shoot. Will her photos ever meet his high standards? When she discovers that he's judging a photo contest, Lucy decides to e
Hardcover, 218 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Scholastic Press
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Catherine I think it is for girls and boys but maybe girls would prefer it slightly more.

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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Ms. Yingling
Dec 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Lucy's father is a photographer who suffers from Pa Ingalls Syndrome-- he doesn't like to stay in one place for very long, so he leaves Lucy and her mother in New Hampshire while he flies off to Arizona to shoot pictures of endangered bugs. Lucy manages missing her father by taking pictures of her own. When she meets Nate, she is glad to have a friend (the girls she meets are a little snotty), and is glad when his grandmother invites her to be on Loon Patrol and keep notes on the endangered loon ...more
You can tell that Cynthia Lord was a teacher because she knows how to write honestly about kids and their motives and emotions. Get tissues for the end. I read every word, but the last two chapters were a little blurry through the tears. A special and remarkable book that I cannot wait to pass into kids' hands. I already have a few names in mind:)
This is a great summer read for a 10 or 11 year-old girl, especially someone who may not be ready for more mature content. My family used to go to a lake like this one every Summer with two or three other families, and I remember that there was a certain magic to those trips that rendered invisible all of the differences between us kids. For two weeks, it didn't matter if you were a boy or a girl, or if you were the oldest or the youngest--you were best friends with everyone else there. I think ...more
Circus Hufflepuff Unicycle Pig
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I quite liked this book and I won it at a school competition after me and my best friend dressed up as fluffy the three headed dog from harry potter and won a prize for cutting holes in a cardboard box and holding up an extra dog head made of old tights (:

good times
Jessica | Bookish Serendipity
*ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review*
This review originally appeared on

One of the things on my book wish list was more middle grade novels about goal-oriented children—kid writers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, activists, etcetera. One of the main reasons that I was interested in this novel was because I love the idea of a novel featuring a kid photographer. So many different possibilities there!

That being said, Lucy was sweet and friendly and overa
Ian Tymms
Lovely story. Worthy selection for the Red Dot Older readers awards. I think my Grade 6s will love this one.

A story about finding your place and coping with change. On the surface Lucy's story is about her first summer at her new home - bird watching, getting to know her new neighbours, taking photographs. The photo competition that her father is judging works as a clever narrative device as the mechanisms of visual story-telling bleed into the themes of Lord's novel. It's clever and subtle and
Jill Farr
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Don’t ever choose the people who don’t matter over the ones who do.”
Kanye Smith
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord is one of the best books because it involves taking an adventure, having fun, and starting a new life in a new place. It reminds me of when I left elementary school and came to middle school, it was strange because I didn't know that many people but as the days went by, I had fun and became friends with lots of people. This relates to Lucy's position because at first she didn't know anyone on the lake but when she met Nate they soon became good friends.

Lucy, her mom
Brittany Creek
May 18, 2016 rated it liked it
"Half a Chance" is a book that is about a Lucy who loved photography very much, partially to do with her father being a professional photographer that traveled all over the world. Lucy never believed that her pictures were good enough to compare with her father. She really wanted to show everyone she was good enough so she decided she needed a way of knowing for sure. When Lucy meets a boy named Nate that is visiting his grandmother next door that's suffering from memory loss in her old age. Eve ...more
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Cynthia Lord captured a snapshot of life in New England so realistically. Though set in New Hampshire, it easily could portray life on a Maine lake as well. She introduces us to Lucy,'the new kid', figuring out the pecking order of friendships, when her family moves frequently. We also meet her new neighbor's family, who's matriarch is dealing with the onset of dementia. Cynthia has a way of revealing real life issues without being preachy or dark. From autism in Rules, to foster children in Tou ...more
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Half a Chance is just an outstanding book- a true work of art. Beautiful, fun, and full of truths and new thoughts, (not to mention the best ending EVER!) Half a Chance will keep you wanting to turn the page and yet never wanting to get closer to the last page! Lucy has just moved to an old house on the New Hampshire lake, and her dad, a famous photographer, has just left for another business trip. Wanting to prove herself to her dad, she secretly enters a photography contest that he is jud ...more
Kristy Gillespie
Nov 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Half a Chance is one of the ten Virginia Reader's Choice novels. Things I like about this novel: it's appropriate for all students at my middle school. There isn't any foul language or content and it's easy to read so it would be suitable for reluctant readers. Lucy, the main character, is likable and the plot is simple yet complex.

Things I didn't like about this novel: it's very slow to start. There's a lot of talk about photography but there aren't any pictures which I think would add to the
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a lovely little read about summers, photography, new friendships, missing, birds, family and respecting our subjects. The language is accessible, the arc simple but the gentle way Lord tackles loneliness and vulnerability and love hits a chord. I liked this one a lot. Many of you will enjoy it.
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
And Cynthia Lord does it again! I have no idea how she writes like this! Her stories are always sweet and sad and beautiful all at the same time.

The characters were wonderfully realistic, especially Lucy herself. Her jealousy, her want to prove herself to her father, everything. I really almost cried in parts. I definitely recommend this book to anyone, young or old.
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I quite liked this book and I borrowed it from my best friend when she won it in a school competition after we dressed up as fluffy the three headed dog from Harry Potter and won a prize for cutting holes in a cardboard box and making an extra head with old tights :)

good times
3.5 stars.
I mean, it was okay, but not great. For school.
Barb Middleton
My mother-in-law's photography hobby led her to tipping a canoe in a quagmire of lilypads and sending her expensive camera to the bottom of the lake. I've had my own adventures where my scared dog tipped the canoe jumping out, then tried to drown my husband by wrapping his body around his shoulders and head. Lucy Emery, the new kid, is not a klutz and while she takes pictures in a kayak and brings her dog with on one trip she is a cautious girl that doesn't have any disasters like me. She assimi ...more
C.J. Milbrandt
Lucy and her parents move a lot, and their newest home is a lakeside cabin in New Hampshire. One of the first people she meets is Nate, whose family is staying in the cabin next door for the summer. He's happy to show her around, and she's glad to accept ... with camera in hand. Photography contests and finding the story. Pink kayaks and mountain views. Tremolos and loonsong lessons. Business trips and bad days.

I did like this story (wish I could bump to 3.5 stars), but the tensions and pettine
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
A sweet and inspiring story of a girl who deals with multiple moves and a father who is often away. Her interest in photography provides some foundation for her, and making a new friend (again) starts her summer off well.
This is set in New Hampshire and I read just before moving to NH myself. Main characters Lucy and Nate kayak in the lake and study the loons, and I had never seen or heard the call of a loon. After reading I looked them up (and now have seen and heard many loons!). Readers will
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
For being a small book it was surprisingly pretty good. It wasn't my typical adventure fiction but it still brought me in. At the end of the story I was particularly grasped by the story and left me with a rollercoaster of emotions.
Meghan Hunt
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Cynthia Lord is currently one of my favorite juvenile authors. Rules, Half a Chance, and a Handful of Stars are amazing, empathy-building reads. They're well-written and not saccharine or preachy.
Mike in Nevada
Jul 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Good story and good message about young friendships, nature and compassion for others without being too sentimental. Theme probably targets early teens, perhaps a little younger.
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book I read Rules by this other and Touched By Blue and those were good as well keep up the good work.
Alex  Baugh
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lucy Emery's family has moved yet again, this time to a lovely old lakeside house in New Hampshire. And even though it won't be the first time she's been the "new girl," Lucy, 12, knows it can be difficult to make friends with kids who have known each other for a long time.

To make matter more difficult, Lucy's father, a well-known nature photographer, is off to Arizona immediately, leaving her and her mother to deal with the new house. Just before he leaves, Lucy discovers her father is going to
Holly Mueller
I finished this book on my birthday; it was like unwrapping a gift. What a beautiful story! Lucy just moved with her family to a lake house in New Hampshire, and her dad, whom she admires, is frequently gone on photography assignments for work. She is a budding photographer herself, but needs approval from her father, which she doesn't always get. When a photography contest comes up that her dad is judging, she decides it's the perfect opportunity to show off her talent and hopefully get validat ...more
Carol Royce Owen
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was already in my TBR pile when a friend posted that after reading it she just sat and hugged the book for a while. I thought to myself, "We'll see." I just didn't want to get my hopes up since I've been reeling from some critical book reviews of some favorites lately, and was beginning to wonder who I could trust. Well, I didn't hug the book. I kissed it. In fact, I think I kissed it a couple of times. It's a gem.

Lucy has just moved to a home by a lake with her mom and dad, but as soon as
4.5 stars.

A beautifully written, introspective, realistic middle-grade about a girl, Lucy, who moves to a New Hampshire lake house and befriends a boy visiting for the summer and his grandmother who seems to be suffering from the early stages of dementia.

There are so many layers to this story: Lucy and Nate's family looking after the lake's loons; Lucy's relationship with her famous photographer father, who spends most of the book away on assignment and who Lucy aspires to impress with her own
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Alice, Librariansteph, Marti, Elissa, Nadine
Recommended to Martha by: NetGalley
When Lucy moves to New Hampshire, she is once again the new girl living in a cottage surrounded by summer folks enjoying the beautiful lake and nearby majestic mountains. Almost immediately her famous photographer father departs on a photo shoot leaving Lucy and her mother once again, to unpack their new home. While departing, her father mentions a photo competition for children he must judge upon his return. Being his daughter, Lucy realizes entering his photo contest might prove a conflict of ...more
Apr 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
What would you do if you only had half a chance to do something?This book is realistic fiction.I thought was a fantastic book with an interesting story and detailed chapters.

The main character is Lucy. The setting is in New Hampshire. When Lucy just moved to New Hampshire, she feels that she's going to have a tough summer, but she meets her neighbors Nate and Emily. After her father(a famous photographer)goes away on a trip, she enters a contest that he's judging. The conflict is person vs pers
Erin Reilly-Sanders
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
I absolutely loved this one! Lord's writing is so good- it doesn't get long and complicated but each little phrase is carefully constructed so that it has the essence of poetry without being overwhelming. I suspect that this book will get a lot of attention. It includes some great characters and touches on some good interpersonal conflicts like aging, dementia, absent parents, and peer relationships without feeling sodden and preachy. The content on art, photography, and art appreciation will ma ...more
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2016 Spring Child...: Rickords Digital Book Promotion 1 6 Mar 10, 2016 10:09PM  
Henrico Youth Boo...: Half a Chance 3 8 Nov 20, 2014 12:48PM  
Mock Newbery 2021: May Read - Half a Chance 25 267 Sep 02, 2014 12:40PM  

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