Lucky Me

Lucky Me

4.8 13
by Cindy Callaghan

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After breaking a chain letter, can superstitious Megan find a way to turn her luck around?

Meghan McGlinchey is the most superstitious girl in her family—and probably in the entire state of Delaware. When she receives a chain letter from a stranger in Ireland, Meghan immediately passes it on, taking only a tiny shortcut in the directions.

But after a

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After breaking a chain letter, can superstitious Megan find a way to turn her luck around?

Meghan McGlinchey is the most superstitious girl in her family—and probably in the entire state of Delaware. When she receives a chain letter from a stranger in Ireland, Meghan immediately passes it on, taking only a tiny shortcut in the directions.

But after a disastrous day, made complete by losing the election for class president and embarrassing herself in front of the entire school, Meghan realizes that tiny shortcut was a big mistake. Thankfully, her family was already headed to Ireland on spring break, and Meghan makes it her mission to find the original sender and break her extremely unlucky streak.

With the help of an eccentric cast of characters—and one very cute Irish boy—can Meghan figure out a way to stop her bad luck? Or is she cursed forever?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—Middle-schooler Meghan McGlinchey, third daughter in a large, Irish-American family is extremely superstitious. Upon receiving a chain letter in the mail from an Irish relative, she plans to respond quickly so as not to break the chain. In the interest of getting the letter's promised good luck to begin for her even faster, Meghan emails it to the next recipients rather than the mandated way. After a day filled with one calamity after another, she realizes the error of her ways and, with the help of her friend Carissa, she discovers a way to neutralize her bad luck. A family trip to Ireland ensues, complete with a stay at a genuine, if decaying, castle, plenty of unlucky mishaps, and a host of adventures populated with quirky characters. By novel's end, Meghan is able to see that events first thought of as unlucky may have had a silver lining after all. This humorous novel has elements of mystery, sibling drama, Irish history and geography, and a bit of light tween romance. Readers will want to stick around to see if Meghan's luck takes a turn for the better.—Sara-Jo Lupo Sites, George F. Johnson Memorial Library, Endicott, NY

Product Details

Publication date:
Mix Series
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
590L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 13 Years

Read an Excerpt

Lucky Me

  • If I had to pick one thing that I believe in more than anything else, it would be this: LUCK. I’m Meghan McGlinchey, the most superstitious thirteen-year-old girl in Delaware, and possibly the world.

    For example, I never got out of bed when my digital clock read an odd number. Odd number = bad luck.

    7:02. Perfect.

    I dressed in a snap because every day it was the same school uniform—boring plaid skirt, plain white shirt, itchy button-up navy-blue sweater, matching headband, horrendous blue leather shoes, and kneesocks. The outfit was—how should I say this?—ugly!

    I dashed down the stairs, especially careful to skip the thirteenth step today because it was a very important day, one I’d been looking forward to for weeks. I was running for eighth-grade class president. And today was the election. I had done a stellar job campaigning FOREVER. If I didn’t totally mess up my speech, I was pretty sure I was gonna win. With all the practicing I’d been doing, it would take a major freak of nature for me to mess it up.

    I passed my four sisters and parents scrambling around in the kitchen. I opened a can of food for my cat, Lucky. He ran over when he heard it pop. I scratched his ears as he lapped up the food.

    I loved Lucky, but he and I had a problem. He was a black cat. And people like me, we didn’t mix well with black cats. But we had an understanding: He didn’t cross my path, and I took good care of him. It worked for us.

    The kitchen was louder than usual this morning. My younger sister Piper (the fifth grader) yelled at one of my older sisters, Eryn (the eleventh grader), “Why did you touch my playlist? Why? WHY?”

    Dad yelled across the kitchen to my mom, “Can you put a bagel in the toaster for me?”

    The baby, Hope, cried while my oldest sister sang her an Irish lullaby to calm her. It wasn’t working, so she tried some applesauce, which the baby threw across the room. It nearly hit my white shirt, but I ducked out of the way just in time. SPLAT! The applesauce hit the wall behind me.

    Phew, that was lucky!

    I stood at the front door, under the horseshoe mounted on the wall and next to my snow globe collection, watching the insanity.

    The living room was a mess with suitcases and duffel bags. We were leaving the next morning for Ireland, where we would spend spring break. The purpose of the trip was for my father to meet his newly discovered sister. You see, he’d been born in Ireland. Sadly, something happened to his parents when he was just a kid, and he’d been raised at a home for boys.

    Until a few months ago he hadn’t thought he had any family. But thanks to some online research, he’d found a long-lost sister. I imagined that when he met her, he’d introduce me as his middle daughter and president of Wilmington Prep’s eighth-grade class. It was gonna be totally impressive.

    I crunched the granola bar I’d packed in my backpack the night before—instant breakfast. With a little planning, my morning was the way I liked it: mayhem-free.

    In fact, I liked most things organized. I might have been the most organized eighth grader at Wilmington Prep, an all-girls private school that went from kindergarten through twelfth grade. This meant that Piper and Eryn were in my school. If you knew either Piper or Eryn, you’d know this wasn’t a good thing. (Piper was known as the bigmouth, while Eryn was quiet and filled with a bad attitude. I’d heard a lot of nicknames for her, most made up by my bestie, Carissa. None of them were nice.)

    While I waited for someone to realize it was time to leave, I flipped through a Forever 21 catalog.

    “Meghan,” Mom called through the chaos. “You have a letter on the table.”

    “A letter?” I asked.

    “Yes,” she said. “You know, the regular old-fashioned paper kind that’s delivered by a mailman.”

    I stepped around the chaos. Sure enough, on the hall table was a letter addressed to moi.

    Who writes letters anymore when you can just text or e-mail? The postmark on the envelope said Limerick, Ireland. Hmmm.

    Dear Friend,

    I am starting this chain letter and mailing it to three people to whom I would like to send good luck. In turn they must send it to three people. If you are receiving this, someone has sent the luck to you—as long as you, in turn, send it to three more people within six days.

    Chain letters have existed for centuries, and many have traveled around the world. A United States police officer received $25,000 within one day of sending his letters. However, another woman ignored it and lost her life’s fortune because she broke the chain. A Norwegian fisherman thought for sure he would never find true love, but just two days after sending his letters, he met the woman of his dreams.

    To get your luck and avoid the unlucky consequences, you must:

    • Copy this letter

    • Add your name below and remove the name above yours

    • Mail it to three people within six days


    4. Clare Gallagher, Ireland

    5. ___________________

    Clare Gallagher?

    I didn’t know anyone by that name. How does she know me? That wasn’t important now. What was important was that I send this letter to three people ASAP. No, double-ASAP. Maybe I could get the good luck as soon as today—for the election—and avoid those “unlucky consequences.”

    I went into my mom and dad’s home office and rummaged around.

    “What are you doing in there?” Mom called over the havoc.

    “Looking for envelopes!”

    “I don’t have any,” Mom said. “Sorry. I’ll bring a few home from work tonight.”

    That would be too late. Maybe I could get a couple from the school office. I only needed three. “How about stamps?”

    “Sorry. The baby used them as stickers. I can buy more after vacation.”

    After vacation wasn’t today, and I needed the luck today.

    Eryn bumped me out of her way, causing me to drop the letter. “Move it, buttmunch,” she said. She stepped on the letter as she left the house. (This is what I meant about her attitude—bad.)

    Piper did pretty much the same thing on her way out, not because she had attitude issues but because she wasn’t paying attention.

    Shannon picked the letter up for me. She was twenty-two years old and definitely the nicest of my sisters. She commuted to the University of Delaware, and itched to finish school so she could move out of our house and “find herself,” whatever that meant.

    I took the letter, followed Shannon to the car, and climbed into the back with Piper. Eryn sat shotgun. Always. I didn’t even try to beat her to the front seat anymore. Shannon always dropped us off at Wilmington Prep, then headed to UD. She picked us up later, on her way home. After school, we did homework or whatever until Mom or Dad got home from the law firm where they worked together. They were always home for a late full-family dinner, when we talked about our day, whether we wanted to or not.

    On our drive Piper chattered about our spring break trip, while I just stared out the window.

    “What do you guys know about chain letters?” I asked.

    Shannon said, “You need to send ’em right away, don’t you?”

    I could feel Eryn rolling her eyes.

    Piper asked a hundred questions: “What’s a chain letter? . . . Who sent it? . . . Why? Can you send it back? . . . Why not? How come I didn’t get one? . . . Huh?”

    I didn’t answer her; I responded to Shannon. “I don’t have any stamps or envelopes, and I want the good luck today.”

    “Why don’t you e-mail it?” Shannon asked. “You could do that right now on your phone.”

    Piper said, “Problem solved. Shannon is supersmart. . . .” She continued to ramble on while I typed the letter quickly with my thumbs. I reread it to make sure I hadn’t made any mistakes. I put my name on the bottom and didn’t put Clare’s. When I finished, Piper was still talking. “She gets As in college. That’s a lot of hard work.”

    I hit the send button on my phone, and e-mail chain letters went out to three friends from summer camp. “Okay. It’s done. Let the good luck begin!”

    Eryn snickered.

    “What?” I asked.

    “Oh, nothing,” she said with a smirk. “Let me know how that works for you. On second thought, don’t. That would mean you’d be talking to me.” She made a grossed-out face that I caught in the side mirror. “But any moron knows that you can’t e-mail a snail-mail chain letter. It’s cheating. And chain letters have a way of messing with cheaters.”

    Piper said, “Uh-oh.”


    I couldn’t have any uh-oh.

    Not today.

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    Lucky Me 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
    Presto6 More than 1 year ago
    Lucky Me is a heartwarming tale of a girl who is going on a great adventure. Lucky Me will certainly catch the eye of any young reader. Cindy Callaghan's writing style is very unique and will most definitely want the reader to finish the book once they've started. I think that Lucky Me should be seen to more people because I know many people will love it!
    LilyF2 More than 1 year ago
    I read Lucky Me in two days!  I was waiting for months for the book to come out, and when it did, I read it right away!   I loved reading about the adventures of Finn and Meghan as they went to Ireland and looked for the links of the chain letter.     I am 10 years old and I am a huge fan of Cindy Callaghan!  I have read all of Cindy Callaghan's books, and each book has been better than the previous one.   "Lucky Me" will appeal to anyone who likes adventure stories, international settings, or just stories about kids my age.   I can't wait for the next Cindy Callaghan book to come out  - I am excited to learn about the new adventures of the characters that Cindy brings to life.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Lucky Me, the latest novel by Cindy Callaghan, is a must read for tweens. My daughter could not put this book down, and she really enjoyed following the adventures of Meghan McGlinchey, her friends, and her large Irish family. It all started with a chain letter, and then all of the fun adventures begin! My daughter also loved the fact that she recognized some of details of true Irish experience that are described in the novel, as we have been over to visit family in Ireland as well. You know that it is a great, well-written novel when your daughter finishes and immediately hands it over to you so that you can enjoy it as well! We both highly recommend this fun and upbeat story. It is a perfect summer read!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I loved reading another book by Cindy Callaghan! I have already read Just Add Magic and Lost in London. In Lucky Me, my favorite part was when Meghan's life changed for the better.  Why? Well you have to read it to find out!   Emily H.
    AnnieOB More than 1 year ago
    Lucky Me by Cindy Callaghan is the story of Meghan McGlinchey,the most superstitious girl in all of Delaware.When she receives a chain letter from a far-off relative in Ireland,she takes a small shortcut on the rules and e-mails it to get instant luck.But everyone knows you can’t take a shortcut with a chain letter or you’ll be cursed.Next thing Meghan knows,she loses the school election,ruins a magic show,and is in Ireland with frizzy hair,lost luggage,and a sister with a broken leg.Lucky Her!There was only one way to turn her luck around,tracking down the people who sent the chain letter.With the help of a cute irish boy,Meghan goes to track down the people who sent her the chain letter.Along the way,Meghan will learn that maybe the letter wasn’t as unlucky as she thought.I thought the book was full of excitement on every page.I enjoyed reading the book.I would recommend  Lucky Me for  a book full of excitement and mystery.  
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Another gem by Cindy Callaghan! This book is just perfect for girl tweens who will love following Meghan through the lush green of Ireland on a quest to undo the bad luck she's been cursed with by breaking a chain letter. Well, she didn't really break it, but email just isn't the same thing which Meghan learns the hard way as her luck goes from bad go worse. Along the fun adventure, Meghan learns a lot about herself and her family's history all while being escorted across the Irish countryside by a cute boy with a nice accent. Great read and everything you'd expect from this talented author including great characters, a fun adventure and just a touch of magic!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    C. Callaghan books are always light and fun and meant to be read for the joy of it. This time the main character, Meghan, is on an Irish adventure trying to get rid of a curse. She meets a lot of interesting characters along the way, including a cute boy named Finn, and her voice is very relatable. Readers will root for Meghan and turn the pages quickly. Then they'll want to share her with their friends!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I had to review  - because my daughter couldn't put this book down! And who doesn't want their child to enjoy a good book!!! She even looked up info on Ireland......I LOVE IT!  Makes me a happy mom! now I have to go get Lost in London  
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book is the third my girls have read from Cindy Callaghan and each is better than the last. I am Irish, so that may have played some bias in this review, but I think it is my personal favorite. Well written tween book that I would recommend it for school book clubs! I understand we have a trip to Paris in the next book!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Wonderfully written tween novel!  My twin daughters enjoyed it just as much as they loved Lost in London!!  They couldn't wait to purchase it at our local bookstore and couldn't put it down once they started it!!  Now they even want to take a trip to Ireland!!!  Thanks Ms. Callaghan!!
    Chrissy_W 8 months ago
    4.5 stars Did I enjoy this book: I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun read that took about a day. I didn’t want to put it down. Yes, it’s a middle grade/youth book, but it was really cute. I loved it. Lucky Me has adventure, superstitions, family, a crush. Meghan is a character that you will relate to no matter how old you are! I felt bad for her string of bad luck, but there was some good luck mixed in as well. Would I recommend it: Absolutely! I can’t wait for my daughter to be old enough to read it.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    “Lucky Me” by Cindy Callaghan, the author of “Just Add Magic” and “Lost In London”, is the perfect summer read for tween girls! The book follows the adventures of Meghan, who is probably the most superstitious girl in Delaware. Meghan receives a mysterious chain letter from an Irish relative and breaks the chain by forwarding it via e-mail rather than regular post. When bad luck finds her at every turn, Meghan decides to find the original sender to break the chain letter “curse” while on a family Spring Break trip to Ireland. Between Ms. Callaghan’s humorous and tween-friendly dialogue, the exotic locales, and the mix of light romance and mystery, the book will really appeal to girls ages 8-12. (Review by Clara Holleman, Age 11).