The Higher Power of Lucky

The Higher Power of Lucky

Book - 2006
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Believing that her French guardian is about to abandon her to an orphanage in the city, ten-year-old Lucky runs away from her small town with her beloved dog by her side in order to trek across the Mojave Desert in this Newbery Medal-winning novel from Susan Patron.

Lucky, age ten, can't wait another day. The meanness gland in her heart and the crevices full of questions in her brain make running away from Hard Pan, California (population 43), the rock-bottom only choice she has.

It's all Brigitte's fault -- for wanting to go back to France. Guardians are supposed to stay put and look after girls in their care! Instead Lucky is sure that she'll be abandoned to some orphanage in Los Angeles where her beloved dog, HMS Beagle, won't be allowed. She'll have to lose her friends Miles, who lives on cookies, and Lincoln, future U.S. president (maybe) and member of the International Guild of Knot Tyers. Just as bad, she'll have to give up eavesdropping on twelve-step anonymous programs where the interesting talk is all about Higher Powers. Lucky needs her own -- and quick.

But she hadn't planned on a dust storm.

Or needing to lug the world's heaviest survival-kit backpack into the desert.
Publisher: New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, c2006.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781416901945
Branch Call Number: j F PATRON S
Characteristics: 134 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Additional Contributors: Phelan, Matt


From the critics

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Feb 05, 2018

This book is not a "thrilling" or "exciting" read--it is soft, with a gentle pull that not everyone will feel. The pace of the book is laid-back, just like the setting of Hard Pan California, Pop. 43--but the ease and gentleness of it allow you to really contemplate with Lucky the big questions she's asking and the difficult situations she's facing. In the end, the story gives you a satisfying exhale and lets you answer the questions for yourself.

May 16, 2015

Winner of the 2007 Newbery, this is the story of a little girl named Lucky living in the middle of the California desert with her guardian. It's a short, quick read, and Lucky's character is very well-drawn, even though I felt that the tone at times was too deliberately quirky. Lucky was precocious to the point of being annoying, but the story had a heartwarming ending and I'm not surprised it appealed to the awards committee that year, as this is exactly the sort of story they tend to reward. I loved the illustrations sprinkled throughout, too.

afzalupal Mar 12, 2014

This is a good book

Jun 22, 2013

My review here:

Jul 27, 2012

This book was such a sweet and swift read. The author does an incredible job of capturing the thoughts of a 10.5 year old, and telling a story of belonging and letting go. It would be a wonderful book to use in a 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade classroom.

Aug 23, 2010

Lucky lives in Hard Pan, California (population 43) in a series of trailers that have welded together. Her mother is dead, her father lives somewhere else and sends too little money to her guardian, Brigitte to make ends meet. The scrape by with the help of Government Surplus rations, the food that no one else wants.

But Lucky has a problem. She is certain that Brigitte is about to abandon her to move back to France, leaving Lucky to go into an orphanage where Lucky's dog HMS Beagle can't follow her. To get back at Brigitte, Lucky plans to run away. Unfortunately a dust storm is coming, and local Kindergärtner Miles is making things more complicated.

This book won a Newbury award, but is not as good as the Newbury committee thinks it is. A little more explanation at the end, via some conversations between Brigitte and Lucky would have made this a five star outing.

Jul 02, 2010

I don't know why this book won a Newbery Medal. It's not very moving or exciting.

May 02, 2010

I started reading this book and was 3 chapters into it, and then I put it down and forgot about it. I didn't feel the pull to go back to it, it just wasn't engaging for me.

Book_Damsel May 11, 2008

Deals with the philosophy of life from a child's perspective. Beautiful book for both young and old.


Add a Quote

Oct 09, 2012

But then she realized that, with ants, it wasn’t so much the one individual ant that counted. They all stayed seriously on their jobs and none of them went off on tangents the way people do. For instance, you didn’t have one ant deciding to meet a friend and another ant knocking off work early and another ant lying around staring at the clouds.

Oct 09, 2012

Brigitte watched, but one of the good things about her was that she didn’t act like she was the total boss of everything.

Oct 09, 2012

Lucky noticed that most people in Smithy’s didn’t actually _eat_ their parsley – it was there just for the fanciness of making a pretty green decoration and also because it looked healthy and made health-conscious people not worry so much about the bad cholesterol teeming around in their juicy hamburger.

Oct 09, 2012

It’s almost _impossible_ to get control of your life when you’re only ten.

Oct 09, 2012

Her regular clothes were faded from many washings and from the sun, but the redness of this dress was the same thing for your eyes as a sonic boom is for your ears, or a jalapeño pepper is for your mouth.


Add Age Suitability

Aug 23, 2015

ilovedogs2808 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Jul 28, 2015

violet_dog_8351 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

May 18, 2012

lenorajoy thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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