The Higher Power of Lucky

Author:  Susan Patron

Reading Range: 5.9 (AR Finder)

Interest Range: 4-8 (AR Finder)

Plot: Lucky lives with her father’s ex-wife, Brigitte. After Lucky’s mother died, her father asked Brigitte to come from France to take care of her. Lucky does not have a relationship with her father. Brigitte is raising her in the town, Hard Pan, California, where Lucky lived with her mother. Brigitte and Lucky have lived together for the past few years. Hard Pan is a small town with only a few people that live there. People there are tight knit but they also not have a lot of money. They depend on the government to provide them with things because there are not that many jobs available. Lately, Lucky has noticed  that Brigitte seemed to want to go back home to France. She worries that Brigitte is going to leave her alone and that she would be forced to live in an orphanage in Los Angeles. She would not see her friends or her dog, HMS Beagle. She needs to convince Brigitte to stay and continue to take care of her. She believes that finding her Higher Power will help her do that.

Review: This is a charming book. Lucky has an unique way of viewing the world. She lives in a world that is different from what most people experience. The characters in this book live in a very isolated place. Many of them are very poor. A lot of the adult characters are dealing with addiction. They are addicted to alcohol or cigarettes. The book does not shy away from showing how these addictions have affected their lives. A character lost her wife because of his addiction. One of the parts of the book I liked is the relationship between Lucky and Brigitte. Brigitte does not have to take care of her but she agreed to. She left her home in France and traveled to a country where she barely spoke the language. She went to help a child she never met. Brigitte does love Lucky and Lucky loves her. Lucky is afraid she will lose Brigitte like she lost other people she loved. I would recommend this book to just about any tween.

Additional Info:

This book has been challenged in few places because the word scrotum was used in the story. A story is told, in an AA meeting, about a dog who is bit on the scrotum by a rattlesnake. Some people feel that word should not be in a story for children.

Main Characters:

Lucky-She is the main character of the book. Her mother is dead and her father abandoned her before she was born.

Brigitte-She is taking care of Lucky because Lucky’s father asked to. She is from France.

Short Sammy-His dog was the one that was bit on the scrotum. He makes good chili and he is an alcoholic.

Lincoln-He is Lucky’s friend. He likes to tie knots. His mother wants him to become president.

HMS Beagle-This is Lucky’s dog.

Miles-He is a five year old boy carries a book called “Are You My Mother?”. His mother is in jail so his grandmother had to take care of him.

Themes:  Friendship, Loyalty, Love

Bibliographic Info:

Patron, S. (2006) The Higher Power of Lucky. New York, NY: Scholastic

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