Lizzy is a big believer in signs. She’s convinced they portend the future—good or bad—if she can just interpret them correctly.
Ever since her mother lost an unborn baby after a car accident two years earlier, Lizzy, 12, has been searching for signs that good luck will come, especially now that her mother’s next pregnancy is almost over. After she and her best friend discover a runaway 11-year-old, Charlotte, hiding in an abandoned house, the pair team up to help the child. Charlotte has left home to try to force her separated parents to rethink divorce plans. But since the runaway might just represent good luck (because she has a four-leaf clover drawn on her hand), Lizzy does little to encourage the girl to go home, instead hiding her in her own closet. Only after she finally reveals to Charlotte the good-luck-charm role she’s inadvertently playing does the younger girl decide to return home. Gentle Lizzy’s need for a happy outcome for her mother makes her reliance on magical thinking plausible, although occasionally, her first-person narration leans toward a more authorial voice than appropriate. While Lizzy is fully realized, other characters are mostly distinguished by being exceptionally nice, limiting conflict in the tale. The book assumes the white default.
Genial and pleasant but not exceptionally compelling despite dramatic scenarios. (Fiction. 9-12)