Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com
LUCKY BREAKS is the second book in Susan Patron's THE HIGHER POWER OF LUCKY trilogy. It continues the story of Lucky, who lives in the middle of the desert in a tiny town called Hard Pan.
Lucky is about to turn eleven, and she can hardly wait. She is sure that being eleven will cause her life to be much more exciting than being ten. After all, being eleven is at "the door of becoming a teenager."
Not a whole lot has changed in Lucky's life. She still lives with Brigitte, her French adopted mother. She helps run the Hard Pan Cafe, which is open on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. Business is good, and Lucky is proud that Brigitte has made it such a success.
When she's not helping at the Cafe or busy at school, Lucky spends time with her two good friends, Lincoln and Miles. Lincoln, also eleven, is a world-class knot tier determined to win a knot competition that could earn him a chance to live and study in Europe for a year. Miles is about to turn six. He has been tested at school and told he has a genius IQ. With the help of Lucky and Lincoln, he is studying to be a brain surgeon.
Together they make an interesting and unforgettable trio.
Not much changes in Hard Pan, but one day Lucky meets a new friend. One of the guests at the Cafe is another eleven-year-old named Paloma. She turns up with her uncle, a geologist, and becomes fast friends with Lucky. Lucky can't believe what she has been missing. Having a girl as a best friend is much more satisfying than hanging around with two boys.
Lucky continues to think of herself as self-sufficient and independent, but being so enthusiastic and adventurous almost turns out to be Lucky's downfall. She and Paloma venture into the desert on a mission that almost ends in tragedy. Her experience teaches her lessons about respecting danger and preserving friendships.
Author Susan Patron won the 2007 John Newbery Medal for THE HIGHER POWER OF LUCKY, and this second book is surely medal-quality, as well. She keeps Lucky true to her original character and adds just the right combination of adventure and new intrigue to keep readers waiting anxiously for the final episode.
I applaud Lucky's freshness and purity, and Patron's determination to include plot elements previously attacked by critics.