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The Higher Power of Lucky (Hard Pan Trilogy)

(Book #1 in the The Hard Pan Trilogy Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. 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...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Don't let little things turn you away.....

Lucky Trimble is a 10-year-old scientist living in Hard Pan, CA, a town with only 43 citizens. Her best friends, a dog named HMS Beagle, a recovered alcoholic cowboy named Short Sammy, a knot tying president-to-be named Lincoln, and a cookie-eating five-year-old named Miles. She lives in a series of 3 connected trailers with her Brigitte, a young French woman who loves to cook but (according to Lucky) probably doesn't always love her job as a gaurdian ever since Lucky's mom died after a desert thunderstorm, whose ashes still sit in the urn Lucky cannot let go of. I am a teen and I loved this book. It was nice, unique, and short, too, and wasn't 100 pages too long like last year's Newbery Metal, "Criss-Cross". It is very original with simple pencil illustrations, which was a nice touch, and will probably keep its young readers interested. I cannot think of any other book that is similar to "The Higher Power of Lucky". Don't let the use of the "s" word on the first page turn you away. Of course, I was surprised and for this reason it may be an iffy read-aloud. I do believe the author could have chosen many other more appropriate places for the dog to get bitten on, but that is beyond the point. Ms. Patron chose this word and that is what is published; that was her own free choice as an author to include that in her book, just as it was to include Lucky listening in on people's testimonies in the Smoker, Alcoholic, and Drug meetings. You can make your own choice whether to include this in your children's library or not, but the "s" word reference seems to be causing a stir and I can completely understand why, but kids need to read, and this is literature, and literature and books are very important. A few sentences shouldn't let a child miss out on the tale of Lucky and her adventures in Hard Pan and her search for a Higher Power. Who knows, maybe it'll just go right over some kids' heads? Without a doubt, "Lucky" is truly a unique story without any comparisons!

Beautiful book, not for the faint at heart, every word relevant

I bought this book for my 8 and 11 year old boys. And then I bought more for presents for my friends' kids. The idea that some librarians are choosing to keep this book off the shelves due to the use of the word "scrotum" right at the beginning of the book is more offensive than the word. Reality check: my boys have lots of words for that part of the anatomy, it's about time they read the proper word used in context of another boy saying it. Surprisingly, if it is the "word" that stuns people, then they haven't read the book and thought about how stunning it is to consider a child (Lucky) listening in on a variety of 12-step groups. But those two aspects, and all the rest of the "shocking" things that happen in this book, are all absolutely appropriate, and beautifully written, to make this book something special. I highly recommend "Lucky", and I fully agree with the age suggestion assigned it (9-12). My 8yo thought it was awesome, but then, he is in the 4th grade. My 11yo loved it. The reality is kids in this age range have all kinds of scary ideas and powerful curiosities. Being able to read about Lucky going through such things gave my kids the opportunity to think about and talk about all kinds of things. As a family, we thought this was an excellent book. As for the librarians and teachers who think they don't want to have to give a vocabulary lesson on the word scrotum, ask them how many times they have heard boys in the 9-12 age range yell a variety of less savory words for that part of their anatomy. The scientifically correct word is always worth teaching. Read it for yourself, and see.

Shouldn't be banned

I was surprised to hear that some libraries were banning this delightful book for one word, 'Scrotum'. A word I used to refer to 'that place' from the time my son was two years old without embarrassment or making him feel uncomfortable about his body. Since when was scrotum a dirty word? It reminds me of a time when my son was five and overheard the word 'vagina' while we were in the waiting room of my doctor's office. When he curiously asked me what it meant, I was able to explain it in a way appropriate for his age without a red face or the type of reaction that would make him self-conscious. Perhaps grown-ups need to do a bit more 'growing up', for these words are 'out there' in the real world and banning a book isn't going to take away all exposure to commonly used dialogue about the human anatomy (unless you raise your child in a bubble). This is a good children's book, and obviously I'm not the only one who thinks so or it wouldn't have won an award. As parents, perhaps we need to help children feel good about themselves on the inside, and our reactions to words that describe them on the outside can sometimes make the difference between them feeling comfort, or discomfort about their own bodies. As for my own son, he's a mature, confident twenty-one year old in college who shows no signs of 'mental damage' from hearing the words scrotum, vagina, rectum, (he was present when our dog had to have a 'rectal' thermometer), etc. at a young age. I believe many adults have to get over their own childhood memories of unnatural reactions to medical terms for the anatomy, and that's the real reason they avoid books that might put them in the position of explaining anything 'natural'. But enough of that. This is a fantastic children's story with great illustrations that I found very enjoyable to read, and I plan on reading it to my future grandchildren. Chrissy K. McVay Author of 'Souls of the North Wind'

Lucky is as lucky does

Lucky has not had it, well, lucky. Her father has abandoned her, her mother died in the desert, and she lives in a tiny dusty town of 43 residents. Lucky's town, Hard Pan, doesn't have much going for it. There's an improvised beauty salon, a post office, and the Found Object Wind Chime Museum and Visitor Center. Lucky cleans up the Visitor Center, and spends her time eavesdropping on the Anonymous meetings (smokers, drinkers, overeaters, and gamblers). She likes their stories and she's especially inspired by their search for the Higher Power. If only she, Lucky, could find the Higher Power. Then she could stabilize her life. At the moment, Lucky doesn't feel that stable. She lives with her guardian, Brigitte, a Frenchwoman and Lucky's father's first wife. Brigitte is homesick, still speaks to Lucky with French terms of endearment, and, most importantly, has kept her passport. Lucky knows what that means: Brigitte will leave her in Hard Pan and head back to France. Brigitte and Lucky live in an improvised home, comprised of three trailers linked together and mounted on concrete blocks. She has one friend in town, a knot-fantatic named Lincoln, and is followed around by a sad 5-year-old boy named Miles with a penchant for cookies and "Are You My Mother?" Lucky resolves to follow the twelve step program, embarking on the "next step after rock bottom, the getting-control-of-your-life step." She decides to run away during a dust storm, taking a survival pack of her own design with her. Better leave than be left. "The Higher Power of Lucky" is a charming, powerful tale for the younger Middle Grade reader (7-11). Susan Patron uses the Anonymous metaphor to good effect here. As Lucky herself explains, "It's almost impossible to get control of your life when you're only ten. It's other people, adults, who have control of your life, because they can abandon you." Isn't that the truth? Lucky is a scrappy young protagonist and a straightforward narrator. She's also an intelligent girl, interested in biology and Charles Darwin, and means well in her search for the truth. The reader roots for her in her attempt to take control of her life, even when she makes mistakes, and is thrilled when she finally finds home.
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