Half a Chance [NOOK Book]

Overview

A moving new middle-grade novel from the Newbery Honor author of RULES.

When Lucy's family moves to an old house on a lake, Lucy tries to see her new home through her camera's lens, as her father has taught her -- he's a famous photographer, away on a shoot. Will her photos ever meet his high standards? When she discovers that he's judging a photo contest, Lucy decides to ...
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Half a Chance

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Overview

A moving new middle-grade novel from the Newbery Honor author of RULES.

When Lucy's family moves to an old house on a lake, Lucy tries to see her new home through her camera's lens, as her father has taught her -- he's a famous photographer, away on a shoot. Will her photos ever meet his high standards? When she discovers that he's judging a photo contest, Lucy decides to enter anonymously. She wants to find out if her eye for photography is really special -- or only good enough.

As she seeks out subjects for her photos, Lucy gets to know Nate, the boy next door. But slowly the camera reveals what Nate doesn't want to see: his grandmother's memory is slipping away, and with it much of what he cherishes about his summers on the lake. This summer, Nate will learn about the power of art to show truth. And Lucy will learn how beauty can change lives . . . including her own.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
Summer has arrived, and with it big changes for ten-year-old Lucy. Her family has moved to a house on the shores of a lake in New Hampshire. Lucy’s father, a professional photographer who has authored several books, is headed out of town on a lengthy trip; meanwhile, her mother is busy organizing their new home. Lucy is glad to make friends with Nate, whose family cottage is next door. Nate and his older sister Emily are summering at the lake with their parents, aunt, toddler cousins, and grandmother. As Lucy struggles with her feelings about the move, her relationship with her father, and her determination to develop her photography skills, Nate worries about his beloved and increasingly frail grandmother. Friendship grows between Lucy and Nate as they observe and track the loons on the lake, explore the mountain, and work together on an entry for a highly competitive photography contest. It is a summer of change and acceptance for the pair. In this book, Newbery Honor-winning author Cynthia Lord (Rules, 2007) presents another sensitive tale about the challenges of growing up. Recommended. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green; Ages 8 to 12.
School Library Journal
★ 02/01/2014
Gr 4–6—Twelve-year old Lucy and her parents have moved from an apartment in Boston to a lakeside cottage in New Hampshire, and her father, a prominent nature photographer, is immediately off to Arizona for a photo shoot. Her apprehension over fitting in at a new school is temporarily allayed when she is welcomed by Nate, whose family is spending the summer with his grandmother in the house next door. Kayaking, hiking, and loon-monitoring with Nate, Lucy chronicles their experiences using her own budding talent for photography. When she learns that his Grandma Lilah's failing health is keeping her from observing her beloved loon family up close, she and Nate devise a plan to rent a motorized raft to take her out on the lake. Their plan, however, involves a deception-Lucy will use Nate's name to enter a photo contest to be judged by her father. Newbery Honor winner Lord (Rules, Scholastic, 2006) has combined vivid, cinematic description with deft characterization and handles several important issues with sensitivity, nuance, and great skill. Lucy grapples with ambivalent feelings toward her self-centered father, rivalry in the face of new friendships, and an ethical dilemma in her decision to enter the contest and to use, against Nate's will, a photo which captures his grandmother's dementia. Readers will be absorbed in the well-paced plot, sympathize with the concerns of a likable protagonist, learn a bit about photography, and consider the impetus of using one's creative talent for good or ill. A deeply enjoyable read.—Marie Orlando, formerly at Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Publishers Weekly
12/09/2013
Lucy Emery has a passion for taking pictures, just like her photographer father. Unlike him, the 12-year-old doesn’t crave living in new places “the way other people crave staying put.” Now he’s moved Lucy and her mother from Massachusetts to a lakeside cottage in New Hampshire, and even before the family has settled, he’s off again on another assignment. Lonesome and eager to prove her skill with a camera, Lucy enters a photography contest that will be judged by her father. The shots she takes of her new environment eloquently track her most significant events over the summer, which include keeping endangered loons safe from harm, finding a friend in next-door neighbor Nate, and sharing his sadness over his grandmother’s slipping memory. Filled with moments of discovery, wonder, and sorrow, Lord’s story captures Lucy’s artistic sensibility and photographer’s eye, as well as her compassion for both animals and people. Through Lucy’s thoughts and actions, Lord (Rules) elegantly conveys how complex stories can be told through moments frozen in time. Ages 8–12. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (Mar.)
From the Publisher

Praise for RULES
A Newbery Honor book, Schneider Family Book Award, ALA Notable

"Catherine is an endearing narrator who tells her story with both humor and heartbreak. . . . A lovely, warm read, and a great discussion starter." -- School Library Journal

Praise for TOUCH BLUE

*"A thoughtful first-person narration . . . [Tess's] sense of humor keeps things light." -- The Horn Book, starred review

"Lord interlaces themes of loss, luck, superstition, family, and belonging . . . in this stirring novel." -- Publishers Weekly

"Realistic characters, humor, and a charming setting make this a great choice for collections of all sizes." -- Kirkus Reviews

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Starred Review
Twelve-year old Lucy Emery has just moved to a New Hampshire lakeside cottage, the latest target of her photojournalist father’s wanderlust. A work assignment soon takes him away for the summer, leaving Lucy and her mother to once again settle into a new home without him. Her own love of photography helps her channel her hurt over her father’s enthusiastic departure, and she decides to anonymously enter a photography competition he’s slated to judge, determined to win his approval through images that offer thought-provoking interpretations of the contest’s mandatory prompts. Luckily, she has help from her new friend, Nate, whose family summers at the neighboring house owned by his naturalist grandmother. When Lucy joins him on daily “Loon Patrol” kayak trips to track the hatching and growth of loon chicks, she discovers unexpected fodder for photographs and friendship and keenly feels how much she needs both. Lord offers a tender treatment of early adolescent needs and struggles in this thoughtful coming-of-age novel. The book sensitively depicts the complicated feelings and competing desires that afflict even ostensibly happy, middle-class families, understanding that things can be painfully amiss even when nothing big is wrong. With subtle but effective imagery (including the touching, recurring use of a loon call) and a relatable protagonist, the title speaks to both human loneliness generally and the plight of a young girl in need of friendship. Put this poignant and restrained novel in the hands of a preteen girl who has it all, or just seems to.

School Library Journal Starred Review
Twelve-year old Lucy and her parents have moved from an apartment in Boston to a lakeside cottage in New Hampshire, and her father, a prominent nature photographer, is immediately off to Arizona for a photo shoot. Her apprehension over fitting in at a new school is temporarily allayed when she is welcomed by Nate, whose family is spending the summer with his grandmother in the house next door. Kayaking, hiking, and loon-monitoring with Nate, Lucy chronicles their experiences using her own budding talent for photography. When she learns that his Grandma Lilah’s failing health is keeping her from observing her beloved loon family up close, she and Nate devise a plan to rent a motorized raft to take her out on the lake. Their plan, however, involves a deception–Lucy will use Nate’s name to enter a photo contest to be judged by her father. Newbery Honor winner Lord (Rules, Scholastic, 2006) has combined vivid, cinematic description with deft characterization and handles several important issues with sensitivity, nuance, and great skill. Lucy grapples with ambivalent feelings toward her self-centered father, rivalry in the face of new friendships, and an ethical dilemma in her decision to enter the contest and to use, against Nate’s will, a photo which captures his grandmother’s dementia. Readers will be absorbed in the well-paced plot, sympathize with the concerns of a likable protagonist, learn a bit about photography, and consider the impetus of using one’s creative talent for good or ill. A deeply enjoyable read.

Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-12-07
As deceptively quiet in tone as its New Hampshire lakeside setting, this affecting book affirms the power of art as it tackles profound issues of loss, memory, aging, belonging and the inevitability of change. Twelve-year-old narrator Lucy has moved again, and her famous nature-photographer father, whose attention she seeks, is traveling again. She meets boy-next-door Nate, whose grandmother Lilah is descending into dementia. This may be Lilah's last summer at the lake; her family struggles with her care and the impending changes. When Lucy discovers that her father is judging a kids' photography contest, she decides to enter, spending the summer taking pictures and tracking the loon population with Nate. Lucy takes a picture of Lilah that captures the old woman's terrible panic. She knows Nate would not want her to submit the photo; her father, however, would value the truth it captures. As Lucy's dad has taught her, "Even in the midst of horrible things, there are little bits of wonder, and all of it's true." Both the loons and photography become metaphors for the mutability of life and the importance of savoring captured moments. Nate and Lucy's sweet budding romance will appeal to preteens. With winning results, Lord brings the same sensitivity to the subject of dementia that she brought to autism in her Newbery Honor book, Rules (2006). (Fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545620833
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/25/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 199,334
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author


Cynthia Lord is the award-winning author of RULES, a Newbery Honor and Schneider Family Book Award winner, as well as the critically acclaimed TOUCH BLUE. She made her picture book debut with HOT ROD HAMSTER, which won several awards including the Parents' Choice Award, and followed it with the beloved sequel HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HAMSTER. She lives in Maine with her family. Visit her at www.CynthiaLord.com.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 2, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Even the most good-hearted person can do the wrong thing for the

    Even the most good-hearted person can do the wrong thing for the right reasons. (Not to mention doing a few wrong things for the wrong reasons.) So it is with Lucy, the heroine in Lord’s third novel. Lucy can’t resist trying to win a contest to help a friend, even though she knows it’s a bad idea. Many reading activities are suggested by Lucy’s participation in tracking the loons, in her photographic pursuits, in her kayaking, and in her desire to help Grandma Lilah.

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