The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky

( 5 )

Overview


“Beasts of the Southern Wild” meets Because of Winn Dixie in this inspiring story of hope.

August “Auggie” Jones lives with her Grandpa Gus, a trash hauler, in a poor part of town. So when her wealthy classmate’s father starts the House Beautification Committee, it’s homes like Auggie’s that are deemed “in violation.” Auggie is determined to prove that she is not as run-down as the outside of her house might suggest. Using the kind of items Gus usually hauls to the scrap heap, ...

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The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky

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Overview


“Beasts of the Southern Wild” meets Because of Winn Dixie in this inspiring story of hope.

August “Auggie” Jones lives with her Grandpa Gus, a trash hauler, in a poor part of town. So when her wealthy classmate’s father starts the House Beautification Committee, it’s homes like Auggie’s that are deemed “in violation.” Auggie is determined to prove that she is not as run-down as the outside of her house might suggest. Using the kind of items Gus usually hauls to the scrap heap, a broken toaster becomes a flower; church windows turn into a rainbow walkway; and an old car gets new life as spinning whirligigs. What starts out as a home renovation project becomes much more as Auggie and her grandpa discover a talent they never knew they had—and redefine a whole town’s perception of beauty, one recycled sculpture at a time. Auggie’s talent for creating found art will remind readers that one girl’s trash really is another girl’s treasure.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/25/2013
Axioms like “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” come gracefully to life in Schindler’s (Playing Hurt) tale about the value of hard work and the power of community. Auggie Jones lives with her grandfather Gus, a trash hauler, in the poor section of town, something that hasn’t been an issue until she starts fifth grade. Now, a wealthy girl named Victoria is trying to steal Auggie’s best friend, and the town’s beautification committee has Auggie’s ramshackle neighborhood in its sights. Auggie and Gus begin using old car parts and discarded machinery to make sculptures to beautify their house, leading to in a battle between the have and have-nots. While the community showdown is none too subtle, it will introduce some readers to outsider and folk art, as well as the subjectivity of beauty and art. A subplot involving Auggie’s missing mother stretches credibility, but Auggie’s enthusiasm and unbridled creativity are infectious, and likeminded readers will envy her creative partnership with Gus. Ages 8–12. Agent: Deborah Warren, East-West Literary Agency. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
03/01/2014
Gr 4–6—When readers first meet Auggie Jones, she is crammed into Old Glory, her Grandpa Gus's pick-up truck, with her best friend, Lexie, and her neighbor Irma Jean on the way to the local junkyard. Some kids might not enjoy this experience, but Auggie sees the beauty in the way Grandpa Gus turns other people's trash into something new. In addition to the excitement of watching Grandpa Gus at work, the girls are looking forward to starting fifth grade at their new school. Montgomery Elementary, where the girls used to go, is being torn down, so they'll start at Dickerson, a school located in a wealthier neighborhood. The classist attitudes of some of the students begin to make Auggie question, for the first time, the way her family lives. The tension between the kids is brought to a head when the city's House Beautification Committee begins to send notices of code violations and rapidly accruing fines to many homeowners in Auggie's neighborhood. Grandpa Gus and Auggie combat the perception that their house is run-down by using found and discarded materials to make it more beautiful. Some people think the Jones's house is just getting uglier, but others, including some folk-art experts, see beauty in their work. Auggie's rich engagement with her community and willingness to stand up for her beliefs are inspiring, while her struggle to stay true to herself, even when her best friend gets absorbed in the cool crowd at their new school, will resonate with many readers. Some of the secondary characters (including the very bad villain, Victoria) are underdeveloped, but Auggie's own voice is strongly realized and effectively pulls readers into her world.—Gesse Stark-Smith, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Kirkus Reviews
2013-11-27
There are no surprises here, but it's a heartwarming and uplifting story nonetheless. Auggie (short for August, after her grandfather, Gus, who is raising her) thinks her neighbors and neighborhood are perfect. As she rides around with Gus in Old Glory, his trash-hauling truck, she excitedly anticipates her first day of fifth grade at a new school in a different part of town. But when she gets there, she realizes that her beloved neighborhood is actually the poor part of town, and worse, she feels ashamed. As she wrestles with her feelings, which are exacerbated by the defection of her best friend to the rich side, Gus and several neighbors receive notices from the town's House Beautification Committee stating that their properties are in violation. Auggie determines to fight back and with Gus' unstinting help, turns their house and yard into a folk-art extravaganza. Further clashes with the committee follow. Auggie's present-tense, first-person narration, rife with similes, often comes off sounding more contrived than quirky, and the story's numerous characters function more as formulaic devices rather than individual personalities. Additionally, the storyline concerning Auggie's absent mother seems more tangential than imperative, and its revelatory windup comes as no surprise. The story shines in its conclusion, however, with vibrant themes of community, self-empowerment and artistic vision delivered with a satisfying verve that forgives any predictability. (Fiction. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803737259
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 2/6/2014
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 420,741
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 930L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Holly Schindler taught music lessons after she graduated from college, and decided to become a writer to connect with the kids and teens whose music once filled her home. She lives in Springfield, Missouri.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2015

    I love it

    Very creative story.
    I have read it 3 times and I still love it!
    I think it is worth the money :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2014

    A Book that Shines... I knew I was going to love this one, just

    A Book that Shines...

    I knew I was going to love this one, just based off the blurb, and it didn't disappoint. I loved how Auggie faced so many of the upheavals that go with her stage of life, and some that don't. She was a brave and determined girl in circumstances that might have crushed others. I adored her grandfather and how he embraced her dreams and helped to make them reality. My favorite side character had to be Weird Harold and his funky baseball caps. He was always making a statement. I also adored the emphasis on hard work, the struggle of growing in and out of friendships, and how coming to grips with reality empowers us to go forward.

    This is definitely a book I would recommend to young readers and adults who love reading MG books. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 21, 2014

    As impossible as it is to know the future, I have a strong f

    As impossible as it is to know the future, I have a strong feeling that this book will make my Top 10 Middle Grade Reads for 2014. It's well written, with three dimensional characters that I can't help but love. Auggie and Gus wiggled their way into my heart and refused to leave. Auggie is the kind of girl I would love to know. She is brave, smart, and sweet. She refuses to be bullied and she never gives up hope. I especially love her sense of humor.

    "She chews on chalky stomach pills, so that when she announces, "Please stand for the first Pledge of the year," she looks like she's licked an entire blackboard clean."


    Holly Schindler has a beautiful way of writing. Her style is alive with personality and humor. She has a unique way of looking at the world and making it seem better than it is—and she bestows those views on her characters

    "See, nothing in this world likes to idea of coming to its end. Not a flower, not a man, and not a season. That's all this is. Summer not wanting to die. And fall trying to push summer on out."


    The moment that spark of artistic brilliance hits Auggie is perfectly described. I almost teared up (yes, I'm a weirdo, please don't judge me) when I read it because the author articulated that moment so well.

    "I sit down on our front step and start to draw the wild pictures that are exploding in my mind like popcorn kernels."


    I really can't think of a better way to describe what happens when you get a million ideas all at once and you can't get them on paper fast enough.

    This is a must read for middle grade kids. It's full of hope and friendship, and might even change the way you see the world.

    Content: clean

    The Cover: Don't you just love the cover? Because I am a weirdo (see above) and because I really love the cover design, I looked up the designer. Her name is Lindsey Andrews and if you want some eye candy, visit her website. Her book designs are breathtaking!

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  • Posted February 19, 2014

    I've been caught in the fantasy genre for such a long time, I t

    I've been caught in the fantasy genre for such a long time, I think I forgot what it was like to read a story with such real and familiar elements. The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky is a wonderful story--the middle grade voice of Holly Schindler, equally as powerful and beautifully written as her YA novels. I loved it so much that when I finished, I gave it to my daughter to read. She loved it too, which is a big deal since she primarily reads animal and dragon stories right now and needed to be convinced to give this book a chance. Once I told her about Auggie and her grandpa, though, she was all in. Truthfully, I can't remember the last time she read a book that had people as the main characters!

    I loved Auggie. She is spunky and brilliant and creative and full of all things delightful. The relationships between Auggie and her grandpa and the neighbors and the "Beautification Committee" are powerful and full of subtle lessons about what's truly important in life and what "true beauty" is all about. I highly recommend this book for fans of all genres and readers of all ages, because Auggie should be met and loved by everyone!


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  • Posted January 28, 2014

    Great story about family, friendship, and finding out what makes

    Great story about family, friendship, and finding out what makes you shine.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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