JUST LUCKY by Melanie Florence


Age Range: 13 - 18
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Following her grandfather’s sudden death and the worsening of her grandmother’s dementia, 15-year-old Lucky Robinson is placed in foster care, where she encounters several very different families.

Abandoned by her irresponsible mother years ago, Lucky lives with her grandparents in an unnamed Canadian town. After her widowed grandmother accidentally sets the house on fire, Lucky is removed by Children’s Aid and brought to her first foster home. There, she must contend with a superreligious, conservative household and a predatory foster father. Lucky is brave, resourceful, and fierce in fending him off. Subsequent homes are not dangerous, which gives Lucky the stability to grapple with her grandmother’s worsening Alzheimer’s. An appealing thread woven through the book is Lucky’s love of comic books, which offer her a way to bond with friends and foster siblings. Lucky is Cree, and she is bullied with racial slurs by a mean girl in one of her schools; her response, while understandable, has significant repercussions. This fast-paced novel is a sensitive portrayal of the challenges of coping with dementia, and the exploration of the feelings related to having a loved one suffering this condition feels authentic. Lucky’s best friend is Ryan, a blond boy who is in love with another boy and wants to ask him to the prom; he has homophobic Christian parents.

An uplifting and hopeful #ownvoices novel revealing the complexities of foster care and the heartbreak of dementia. (Fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-77260-104-6
Page count: 168pp
Publisher: Second Story Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2019