Lucky for Good (Lucky Trimble Series #3)by Susan Patron, Cassandra Campbell
For eleven-year old Lucky, the universe is full of questions. Is that mysterious woman at the cafe Miles’s mom? Does her father not talk to her because he hates her? Will the Health Department ruin everything? Is she really going to go to hell? The answers are, in no particular order, nearly, no, yes, and a big fat “who knows.” But,… See more details below
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For eleven-year old Lucky, the universe is full of questions. Is that mysterious woman at the cafe Miles’s mom? Does her father not talk to her because he hates her? Will the Health Department ruin everything? Is she really going to go to hell? The answers are, in no particular order, nearly, no, yes, and a big fat “who knows.” But, answers—like every little thing in the whole universe—are constantly evolving and sometimes, the biggest questions have no answer at all. The best Lucky can do is never give up on maybe, maybe understanding things a little better before she turns twelve. It will take a punch in the face (not her face), a near cafe disaster, a trip to the principal’s office—and both male and female sofas but in the end, she’ll see that there are loopholes in life and, thankfully, in county health codes!
The Hard Pan trilogy that began with the Newbery-winning The Higher Power of Lucky concludes with Lucky and all of Hard Pan a little wiser and a lot closer to all out hearts. As always, Lucky is brave and foolish, impulsive and tender, vulnerable and determined. Ultimately, Lucky forges her own path: Lucky for Good.
Lucky and the other 42 residents of Hard Pan return in this second sequel to the Newbery Award–winningThe Higher Power of Lucky.
Change is the only constant in Lucky's life. No sooner has she become used to life with her adoptive mother, Brigitte, and working in Brigitte's home-based Hard Pan Café than the Inyo County Health Department sends apologetic inspector Stu Burping to shut it down. According to regulation #1849,commercial cookingcan't be done in a residence. In true Hard Pan fashion, all the eccentric residentscooperate to devisea unique solution. At school, Stu's nephew Ollie causes problems for Lucky. At home, Miles, Lucky's 6-year-old genius friend, is surprised when his mother, Justine, returns from prison, and Lucky's scared the now deeply religious Justine will leave, taking Miles. Can Lucky trust her Higher Power to see her through all this, plus a change in her relationship with best friend Lincoln and the discovery of why her biological father wants nothing to do with her?Bringing a nice sense of closure to the Hard Pan Trilogy, Patron's third Lucky tale is a bit episodic. However, it'sas sweet and sure andthoughtful as previous outings.
Lucky's fans will be overjoyed to see her safely on the way to junior high, though some might miss Matt Phelan's art.(Fiction. 9-12)
Read an Excerpt
The enemies invaded the trailers. Many crept in alone; others arrived in organized platoons. They concealed themselves and built secret tiny nests and lairs. Some of them bit, stung, and pinched; others clogged, soiled, smudged, and polluted.
Lucky’s mom, Brigitte, faced these foes like a general in World War III. She mopped, swept, vacuumed, scoured, scrubbed, washed, polished, and sterilized. She was okay with the work. It was just part of living in the little desert town of Hard Pan, Pop. 43, which Brigitte had adopted as her home when she adopted Lucky as her daughter.
Lucky herself had a live-and-let-live attitude toward Brigitte’s enemies, those mice, ants, flying ants, tarantula hawk wasps, scorpions, beetles, crickets, spiders, flies, and moths, plus sand, dust, dirt, grit, and dog hair. The creatures were all just doing their jobs, trying to eat and not get eaten, make a home, have children, live their urgent tiny lives. Lucky tried to help Brigitte see things from their point of view, but it was no use. Brigitte did not care one bit about the point of view of a bug.
So Lucky was pretty conscientious about keeping the screen door closed and not tracking in dirt. She wiped down the tables on weekends, when Brigitte’s Hard Pan Café was open for lunch, and she bused and washed dirty dishes. But the problem with bugs is that they don’t care if a certain area “belongs” to you, like a shelf in your bedroom or a corner under the sink; all they know is, it seems like a good place to settle down. So Lucky had to be vigilant and keep up her guard, hunting and capturing the larger insects and releasing them outside.
She did her best. But sometimes all that cleaning and enemy-fighting wore Lucky out. It made her wish she were back at her old job at the Found Object Wind Chime Museum and Visitor Center, which she’d given up because of having too much else to do. For that job, she just kept the patio clean and raked; she didn’t have to worry about dust or insects.
And then a certain realization bonked Lucky over the head: Nothing stays clean. Sooner or later the thing will have to be cleaned again. The floor, the stove, tables, pots, forks, napkins, feet, paws—the never-endingness of cleaning made a quick little what-if thought spring into her mind. The what-if was like an online pop-up, which you’re forced to look at even if you don’t want to. It wasn’t a wish that she hoped would come true, but still, there it was, blinking at her from the corner of the screen in her mind.
It was this: What if, for some reason, Brigitte’s Hard Pan Café just—poof—disappeared? Well, life would be way different. There would be so much less work! Brigitte could get a regular job. And they would have weekends just for themselves, to do fun things instead of working.
But then Lucky reminded herself of the good parts. Like that Brigitte wasn’t homesick for France, because here in California she had a strict boss—but it was herself. And every day when Lucky got back from school, she was greeted twice: first with a dog-kiss from HMS Beagle, who was waiting at the bus drop-off, and then with a hug and a mom-kiss from Brigitte. Plus, Lucky was proud that Brigitte’s cooking was famous for miles around, and all on their own, they were making the Café a success. Tourists who found them told their friends, and local people from Sierra City and other towns started coming every single weekend. It was a kind of miracle, and Brigitte said it could never have happened without Lucky. So Lucky felt ashamed about what-iffing the Café’s disappearance, even for a second. She put on her yellow rubber gloves and got to work.
But then a new enemy appeared, and started a different kind of battle.
© 2011 Susan Patron
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