Lucky for Good (Lucky Trimble Series #3)

Lucky for Good (Lucky Trimble Series #3)

4.8 6
by Susan Patron, Cassandra Campbell

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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,


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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Patron satisfyingly concludes the trilogy that began with the 2006 Newbery-winning The Higher Power of Lucky. Lucky Trimble, now 11, has carved a comfortable life for herself in tiny Hard Pan, Calif., helping her adoptive mother, Brigitte, run her cafe and spending time with her favorite quirky neighbors and friends, who will be familiar to readers of the previous books. But in the summer before junior high, Lucky is rattled by a threat to Brigitte's business, news about her long-absent father, and her sweet, confusing feelings about her best pal Lincoln. She also worries about her friend Miles, who is forging a relationship with his mother, born-again and recently returned from prison. Lucky navigates these stresses and others with realistically kidlike aplomb, consulting her Higher Power when things seem particularly tough. Patron's memorable setting and cast, as well as some crisp, thought-provoking dialogue, will keep readers hooked as she resolves the plot lines she's set in motion. But the biggest treat is ever-hopeful Lucky, who ends her adventures on a high note. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Shirley Nelson
The third novel in Patron's "Lucky Trimble" trilogy finds Lucky worrying about beginning junior high and other things any 11-year girl fears. But she is faced with a bigger worry when the county threatens to shut down Brigitte's Hard Pan Cafe because the kitchen is their home kitchen. Additionally, the county inspector's arrogant nephew refers to Brigitte as an illegal who tries to poison her customers and should return to France. After the ensuing scuffle, both Ollie and Lucky are punished; they have to research their family trees—easy for Ollie, Lucky thinks, since he knows both of his parents. Both are enlightened by their findings. Miles' mother is home from prison and her rigid religious views cause confusion and stress. Lucky again seeks her Higher Power as she struggles with the idea of losing her only home at the same time she has conflicting feelings about her absent father. While she is still the same Lucky who hunts for bugs, she has grown into a confident adolescent. McGuire's drawings add to this heartwarming story of the importance of family, friends, and community as all of Hard Pan comes together to save the cafe. Reviewer: Shirley Nelson
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—As the third book in Patron's series opens, the tiny desert town of Hard Pan (population 43) is bustling. Lucky's adoptive mother, Brigitte, who has opened a small café, gets an unwelcome visit from the county health inspector, who threatens to shut things down. Miles's mother, Justine, is sprung from jail and is full of newfound religious platitudes. This causes her supremely scientific son no small amount of grief. Lucky gets into a fight with a middle schooler (who just happens to be the health inspector's nephew), works on tracking down her father's only living relative, and gets her first kiss. There are also tidbits of poetry, art, genealogy, and health ordinances. Yes, Patron packs a lot into this book, but nothing feels rushed or shortchanged. That is a tribute to the strength of her writing and the depth of her characterizations. As in the previous books, the plot rambles slightly (this is a good thing) and the kids are super thoughtful and articulate. Miles's mother's religion, while not unexpected, feels like it comes down heavily in the final third of the book, but it allows Lucky to contemplate her Higher Power, and although she questions Justine's choices, she is never judgmental. This is a terrific read and a lovely completion to the trilogy.—Geri Diorio, The Ridgefield Library, CT
Kirkus Reviews

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)

Product Details

Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
Lucky Trimble Series, #3
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

1. enemies

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

Meet the Author

Susan Patron is the author of Maybe Yes, Maybe No, Maybe Maybe (an ALA Notable Book, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and a New York Public Library Children's Book List selection) and four picture books. She is currently the Juvenile Materials Collection Development Manager and the Los Angeles Public Library. She lives with her husband, Rene, in Los Angeles and in a small cabin in the high desert of the Eastern Sierras.

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Lucky for Good 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Kiss your hand three times and post on three other books then look under your pillow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has some twists just because you don’t know what’s going to happen next. I thought that it could have been a bit better, but not quite good. This book is held in Hard Pan and it is about how Lucky and Bridgette have to move because they live in their restaurant. Also, that when they do move they just move across the street and then someone almost dies, but doesn’t.  I thought that the goal of the book was achieved, but it also could have been longer to tell more detail.  This book is an amazing because it tells different things and how Lucky and her dad don’t talk and how she gets in touch with her aunt. Also, that I thought that it was good enough to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mary Thomas More than 1 year ago
I have red l of them in a bock club. I am ahead in it, which is odd because i am the slowest reader. But i just really loved all of the books. My friend is the fastest reader of all! It cot me off gored when she was so behined! One time she said that she hated the book and no one else should read it. I wanted to yell and say, "you make me read all the books you like,why cant you just dinish this one book?" But no, if you have read tje first two you are going to love this!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very good book but definatly not as good as the others in the series.