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

(The Hard Pan Trilogy #3)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  496 ratings  ·  107 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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3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  496 ratings  ·  107 reviews

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Henry Martin
This was my second reading of the entire Lucky trilogy, and the second time around it was even better than the first time.

Susan Patron has a way to deliver a powerful impact with simple sentences. Never mind that this book is geared towards young readers - it is a fully developed masterpiece.

It starts with a setting - Hard Pan, California. A small town in the Mojave Desert surrounded by abandoned mines, sediments, and . . . desert. Miles from anywhere, even the dreaded cellphones do not get a
Oct 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Isabel Haber
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Middle-schoolers will have the easiest time relating with Lucky in this final Hard Pan installment. I enjoyed this book a lot, and think it would be hard not to love Lucky!
Eva Mitnick
Sep 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
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,
Sep 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children, audio-books
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... :)
Feb 06, 2012 rated it liked it

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
Nicolas Ivan
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
All ages should read this, why I chose this because it seemed interesting about kids who live in Hard Pan and how it looks like to have a small population. Why I enjoyed this is how all the characters go together and affect the personality. The adults in this book are mysterious, funny; enjoyable. Theyre fun to be with. The main character, Lucky seems realistic; she seems so real and typical. She struggles with her father, who left her because he did not want to have kids. She lies; and tries to ...more
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is my favorite Lucky of the three, and that's probably because of the family history connection. Contention is resolved and a large part of Lucky's angst is relieved, at least in part, to family history discovery.
Monica Hocking
Aug 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
Me stopped reading on page #22 cause me no can get a grasp of what was going on or where this story was going! Me was totally confused and frustrated! Guess this no for me.
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This might be my favorite of the three Hard Pan books. I really loved it. It has adventure, science, poetry, Viking runes, (view spoiler). What more do you need?
Katie Fitzgerald
This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.

Lucky for Good is the third and final book in Susan Patron's Hard Pan series. As the book begins, Lucky and her adoptive mom, Brigitte, learn that the cafe Brigitte runs is illegal because it's inside their residence. The people of Hard Pan come together, therefore, to find Brigitte a new location and to settle her into her new building. In the meantime, Miles's mother returns from prison with a new religious outlook that she tries to force u
Steve Clark
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
"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
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
Sep 16, 2013 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathie Jackson
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Madeleine - Tei
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-of-art
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
Kay Carman
Jan 31, 2016 added it
Shelves: christian, sons
Third in Patron's trilogy about eleven-year-old Lucky Trimble, resident of Hard Pan, California, it struck me that Patron is willing to tackle really hard topics and willing to confront criticism that might occur because of her stand.

Miles' mother is released from prison and returns move in with her mother and reclaim her boy. Miles is overjoyed to have her back in his life, but the joy is mixed with conflict as he tries to reconcile his fascination with science with her fundamentalist religion
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 18, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Feb 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
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
Sep 22, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Apr 21, 2016 rated it liked it
I liked this trilogy, very sweet stories about friendship, neighbors, and life in a tiny town. Lucky is a strong and funny main character. I like the way the author puts you inside Lucky's thoughts, and the sometimes silly yet logical way that Lucky thinks about things.

I think the best one in this series is still the first book. This third book was a little heavy (sad) and I was turned off by the religious theme, introduced via a new character Justine, and all the talk about Heaven, Jesus, dinos
Nov 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile, realistic
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
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
Jan 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-ya
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
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
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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

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)
“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
“It is not comfortable or easy to sit in a principal's office, waiting for a verdict.” 1 likes
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