Author: Susan Patron
Reading level: ages 9-12
Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Turtleback Books (January 6, 2009)
Description from Amazon (School Library Journal) Ten-year-old Lucky is sure that if she finds her Higher Power she will gain special insight into her life, just like the people she eavesdrops on at the Anonymous meetings. Lucky knows about the uncertainty of life because she lost her mother in a sudden accident two years ago and her guardian, Brigitte, is homesick for France. Hard Pan, California, population 43, is a unique and sometimes harsh place, but Lucky loves life at the edge of the desert with people that she knows and loves. The youngster wants to be a scientist and has so many questions in the crevices of her brain. Her motto is to stay alert and to carry a survival kit at all times because things happen when you least expect them. When she thinks that Brigitte plans to leave, Lucky knows she has hit rock bottom and must run away, although things don't turn out the way she plans.
Lucky, the 10-year-old narrator is a spry character, older than her years, and full of bravado. She loves to gather insects, and scare away snakes, but she is fearful that her guardian will leave her to go back to France. She hopes to conjure out a "higher power" that will help her with her difficulties and fears, so she starts eavesdropping on the different 12-step meetings in Hard Pan. It was ironic that with a population of 43, the town had so many 12-step meetings. She's a child with flaws, but she is heroic in her desire to do better and be better.