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The Higher Power of Lucky



Last updated Friday, May 11, 2012

Author: Susan Patron
Illustrator: Matt Phelan
Date of Publication: 2006
ISBN: 1416901949
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: May 2012

Synopsis: From Booklist:
Lucky, age 10, lives in tiny Hard Pan, California (population 43), with her dog and the young French woman who is her guardian. With a personality that may remind some readers of Ramona Quimby, Lucky, who is totally contemporary, teeters between bravado--gathering insect specimens, scaring away snakes from the laundry--and fear that her guardian will leave her to return to France. Looking for solace, Lucky eavesdrops on the various 12-step meetings held in Hard Pan (of which there are plenty), hoping to suss out a "higher power" that will see her through her difficulties. Her best friend, Lincoln, is a taciturn boy with a fixation for tying knots; another acquaintance, Miles, seems a tiresome pest until Lucky discovers a secret about his mother. Patron's plotting is as tight as her characters are endearing. Lucky is a true heroine, especially because she's not perfect: she does some cowardly things, but she takes pains to put them to rights.

Note to readers:
•  The story contains the word "scrotum" on the first page of the book. If you are uncomfortable saying the word, please replace with a child-appropriate anatomical word (e.g. bum, fanny, rump).

Discussion topics:
•  Splendiferousness: magnificent, splendid
•  Mangled: injured
•  Resign: quit
•  Inventory: complete list of things you have
•  Anonymous: without a name
•  Crevices: cracks or small open space
•  Posture: way you stand and carry your body

Craft ideas:
•  Create a Wind Chime: Use an assortment of objects to create a wind chime like those that are in the Found Object Wind Chime Museum. Possible materials include: forks, beads, paper plates, yarn, markers, yarn, etc.
•  Create a Collage: Create an art collage. Use same type of materials as above.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!