Sunday, July 15, 2018

Lucky Little Things

35791923Erlbaum, Janice. Lucky Little Things.
July 24th 2018 by Farrar Straus Giroux
ARC provided by publisher at ALA Midwinter

Emma and her mother have struggled since the death of the mother's best friend, Jenny, from cancer. Middle school is tough, friendships are changing, and the social dynamics are hard to navigate. When Emma finds a letter on the ground that tells her that her luck is changing and instructs her to make a list of things she WISHES would happen, she does. They include things like hoping her mother finds a boyfriend (her father hasn't been in the picture for years), she gets a role in the play, she doesn't have to visit her grandmother for the summer, and her friend Savvy stops being weird. She does get a role in the school play, Umbilical, her friendships shake out in the messy, haphazard way of middle school, and she and her mother are able to make a little peace with the fact that Jenny is no longer with them.
Strengths: This is more constructive and positive than many books that concentrate on grief, so the depiction of moving on was a good one. Emma's friendship dramas are also realistic.
Weaknesses: There was a little disconnect between the age of the characters and some of the reactions and language. Yes, middle school students might get involved with inappropriate texting, and I can't quite explain it. Ah. The author has written primarily for adults in the past. That would explain it. Not a bad start, but half a bubble off.
What I really think: Will probably pass on purchase. Although I love the cover, it looks a little younger and happier than the contents of the book.
Ms. Yingling


  1. It's rare to find a book about grief that isn't filled with characters endlessly being unable to move on. Thanks for the review!

  2. I was curious about this book because I felt like the cover looked so happy and bright and it didn't really match the heavy topics that were in the description. Thanks for reviewing it!