Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Lucky Luna

Lopez, Diana. Lucky Luna
August 28th 2018 by Scholastic
Copy provided by the publisher

Fifth grader Luna loves her family, but she has too many female cousins who are always hanging around. Her primas get her in trouble, or at least that's what Luna claims. As her friend Mabel points out, Luna does pretty well at getting into trouble on her own. When one of her least favorites cousins, Claudia, switches from a private school to Luna's public one, she's not happy. Prone to impulsive decisions that aren't always good, Luna tries to be nice to her cousin, and heeds her abuela's advice on how to deal with her... well, what she thinks is the advice. Since her abuela communicates mainly in Spanish and Luna does not speak it well, she thinks her grandmother has told her to drink water when she is angry. After locking Claudia in the bathroom during her sister's QuinceaƱera celebration, Claudia is grounded from wearing hats to school, which she does to hide her white streak of hair. Luna is concerned about her cousin, because she thinks other classmates are making fun of her "giant" nose, and tries to protect her even as she is flinging dead flies at her cousin, because she misunderstands more of her grandmother's advice.
Strengths: Growing up with 38 cousins on my mother's side (and 4 on my father's), I can't say I ever saw this facet of my life represented in books. My cousins were mainly older and lived a half hour away, but Luna's close knit family is really the star of this book. Luna faces realistic challenges, and is the sort of frank, misguided character that students enjoy more than I do. The cover is bright and attractive, and my 6th graders will adore this.
Weaknesses: Claudia is a much more sympathetic character than Luna; I wouldn't mind a book about her! Also, it is hard to believe that a school would allow a child to wear a hat every day.
What I really think: This is a solid, realistic fiction about a girl facing small challenges and being supported by her family, even if she doesn't always appreciate them. Great for elementary or early middle school. The knitting pattern for this hat needs to be included!

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