Lucky’s Higher Power – Book Review
The Higher Power of Lucky is the 2007 Newbery Medal winner by award-winning author, Susan Patron.
Lucky Trimble is ten years old and lives in the desert town of Hard Pan. CA (pop 43) with his dog, HMS Beagle and his French sitter, Brigitte. Lucky spends her free time listening to twelve-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Smokers Anonymous where she discovers a higher power that helps people when they hit rock bottom. Lucky yearns to find her own higher power that will help her stop Brigitte from returning to France and placing her in an orphanage. At least that’s the conclusion Lucky jumped to as well. Lucky is stubborn and vulnerable and tends to jump to conclusions. But first, she must find her higher power because she knows her lowest level will soon be here.
Lucky suspects that Brigitte is tired of taking care of her and wants to leave Hard Pan and return to France. Lucky begins to accumulate evidence that Brigitte will be leaving any day now. This gives Lucky a sense of urgency to hurry and get away before Brigitte has a chance to leave. Even warnings of an impending dust storm won’t deter Lucky from her fate with her superior power.
It’s a complex story with a lot of backstory but Patron makes his characters charming. The young characters appear to be older but they all face unusual conditions forcing them to come to terms with the harshness of life earlier than most. Lucky’s best friend Lincoln Clinton Carter Kennedy has a knot fetish and five-year-old Miles, who lives on the streets, is an orphan addicted to cookies and Lucky has yet to come to terms with his mother’s death or the abandoned by his father. This unlikely trio forms a bond that will amaze the reader and prove the value of friendship.