Anh Gordon's Reviews > The Luckiest Girl

The Luckiest Girl by Beverly Cleary
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it was amazing

When I was 8, barely 3 years into living in America and just polishing up my reading skills in English, a librarian recommended a Ramona book to me. I just shrugged and took the book home, but since I grew up in the 70s and we didn’t have constant TV, cable, smart phones or what not, I ended up getting bored one afternoon with no friends to play with and thus I resorted to this Ramona book. Not long after this day, I found myself snubbing my friends in order to read more Ramona books, and then Henry Huggins, Ralph S. Mouse, Ellen Tibbits and so many more of Beverly Cleary’s books.

I never got into her “teen” books though, so I was thrilled to see one of them, The Luckiest Girl, qualify for this back to classics book challenge as it was first published in 1950 (books for the back to classics book challenge must be published before 1968). I am glad to say Beverly Cleary writes about teens just as well as she writes about younger children.

This book is about Shelley Latham and her first real love. She is an only child and has been going “steady” with a boy named Jack whom she actually finds boring. Her mother and her friends at school, however, are impressed with Jack as he is handsome and from a good family and Shelley found herself in a situation where it was easier for her to just keep going out with Jack rather than break up with him and disappoint her mother and friends. But she doesn’t really like him and conversation is almost always difficult for them.

Shelley then gets an opportunity to spend the school year with her mother’s best friend out in CA, and she sets off on her first adventure away from the home she has always known. Shelley gets to start a “new life” so to speak, in a new school in a small town where she quickly becomes quite a stir and catches the eye of the most popular boy in school.

This book is so wholesome and fun—such a different life back then when girls and boys dated on Saturdays, and kept to hand holding and light kisses. I loved seeing Shelley growing up and learning about friendships, relationships and family. This book is definitely character driven and there is so much with each of Shelley’s relationships—the new boy interest, new friends, and a whole new way of looking at her relationship with her mother and her life in OR.

There were some situations that were overly simplistic and probably not realistic due to that, but all in all, I really enjoyed this book. I loved seeing Beverly Cleary’s style and creativity in teen version. Great book. High recommendation.
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Reading Progress

August 3, 2018 – Started Reading
August 3, 2018 – Finished Reading
August 5, 2018 – Shelved

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