2007: The Higher Power of Lucky (A Runaway’s Plan Gone Awry)

VERDICT: Trash

Sally’s Rating: 2.5/5

The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron was a book that slowly plodded along with irritating characters, awkward plotting and a lack of enthralling adventure.

The protagonist is Lucky, a ten-year-old girl who lost her mother and is currently living in a small town in California. She lives with her guardian, who she believes is planning to return to France and intending to send Lucky to another orphanage. Lucky decides to do what she can to avoid this fate and sets out to run away from her family and friends, which ultimately ends up on the day a huge dust storm strikes through town.

The themes of abandonment, loss and family are featured prominently in the book, but I had such a hard time caring about the main character and her friends that the overall message was kind of lost on me. Lucky is a fairly irritating character, and despite the fact that she is written as book smart, she always leaps to the wrong conclusions and whines constantly about her situation.

At times, I struggled to keep reading The Higher Power of Lucky. Despite being only 130 pages, it was about 50 pages too long as nothing exciting happens until about 2/3rds of the way through. It’s hard to say why this won the Newbery Award for this year; while its exploration of her abandonment issues was set up interestingly enough at the beginning, it failed to live up to the somewhat interesting premise of one girl’s struggle to make it through life with her confidence of knowing what she wants out of life and her willingness to do whatever is necessary to achieve her goals.

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