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Just Lucky
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Just Lucky
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Lucky loves her grandparents, and they are all the family she really has. True, her grandma forgets things...like turning off the stove, or Lucky's name. But her grandpa takes such good care of them...
Lucky loves her grandparents, and they are all the family she really has. True, her grandma forgets things...like turning off the stove, or Lucky's name. But her grandpa takes such good care of them...
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Description-

  • Lucky loves her grandparents, and they are all the family she really has. True, her grandma forgets things...like turning off the stove, or Lucky's name. But her grandpa takes such good care of them that Lucky doesn't realize how bad things are. That is until he's gone. When her grandma accidentally sets the kitchen on fire, Lucky can't hide what's happening any longer, and she is sent into foster care. She quickly learns that some foster families are okay. Some aren't. And some really, really aren't.

About the Author-

  • Melanie Florence is an award-winning writer of Cree and Scottish heritage. Her YA novels include The Missing, He Who Dreams, Rez Runaway, and One Night. She is the author of the picture books Missing Nimama and Stolen Words and the nonfiction Righting Canada's Wrongs: Residential Schools. Melanie lives with her husband and two children in Toronto.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    August 1, 2019

    Gr 9 Up-Florence's latest novel tackles the experience of a teen girl in foster care. Fifteen-year-old Lucky Robinson is being raised by her grandparents. After her grandfather passes, she is left as the sole caretaker of her forgetful grandmother. When a house fire lands Lucky's grandmother in the hospital, it is discovered that she isn't well and can no longer have custody of Lucky. Now Lucky finds herself in foster care where some families are good, and others are not. All Lucky wants is to move home with her grandmother, but it doesn't look like that can happen. Short chapters make the narrative feel choppy in the beginning but the book flows better as it progresses. Lucky's story, along with those she meets in her various placements, show the many different sides of foster care. In one of the foster homes she finds herself facing a pedophile foster dad, and though no sexual encounters take place between them it is indicated he wanted one to. Lucky is of Algonquin decent, which mainly comes into play when she faces racism among her peers at one of her new schools. VERDICT A quick read with accessible vocabulary on a needed subject. For larger collections and those looking to add more books about teens in the foster care system.-Amanda Borgia, Uniondale Public Library, NY

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    July 1, 2019
    Following her grandfather's sudden death and the worsening of her grandmother's dementia, 15-year-old Lucky Robinson is placed in foster care, where she encounters several very different families. Abandoned by her irresponsible mother years ago, Lucky lives with her grandparents in an unnamed Canadian town. After her widowed grandmother accidentally sets the house on fire, Lucky is removed by Children's Aid and brought to her first foster home. There, she must contend with a superreligious, conservative household and a predatory foster father. Lucky is brave, resourceful, and fierce in fending him off. Subsequent homes are not dangerous, which gives Lucky the stability to grapple with her grandmother's worsening Alzheimer's. An appealing thread woven through the book is Lucky's love of comic books, which offer her a way to bond with friends and foster siblings. Lucky is Cree, and she is bullied with racial slurs by a mean girl in one of her schools; her response, while understandable, has significant repercussions. This fast-paced novel is a sensitive portrayal of the challenges of coping with dementia, and the exploration of the feelings related to having a loved one suffering this condition feels authentic. Lucky's best friend is Ryan, a blond boy who is in love with another boy and wants to ask him to the prom; he has homophobic Christian parents. An uplifting and hopeful #ownvoices novel revealing the complexities of foster care and the heartbreak of dementia. (Fiction. 13-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 16, 2019
    From its opening pages, this affecting novel of family lost and found doesn’t pull punches. Regarding her absentee mother, 15-year-old Cree-Canadian Lucky Robinson says, “I’m not even sure I could pick her out of a police lineup at this point. To be honest, I secretly believe that I’ll be asked to do that someday.” After her grandfather dies suddenly and her grandmother’s dementia ramps up, Lucky is thrust from the relative protection of their home into the tumult of the foster care system. In a series of placements, she encounters hyper-religious homeschoolers, a sexual predator, ethnic discrimination, and foster siblings who are alternately welcoming and hostile. The writing is short on physical imagery and Lucky’s interior life, creating missed opportunities for character development, and readers may wish for deeper insights into Lucky’s true responses to her circumstances. The dialogue-heavy story moves along briskly, and Florence (He Who Dreams) portrays Lucky’s reality with candor and realism. A welcome addition to a growing body of work about life in foster care. Ages 12–up.

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    Second Story Press
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