Lizzy and the Good Luck Girl

224p. Perseus/Running Pr. Nov. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780762465026.
Gr 3–5—Twelve-year-old Lizzy and her best friend Joss meet a runaway in an abandoned house. A firm believer in signs since a car accident two years ago, Lizzy invites Charlotte into her room when she spots a tiny four leaf clover on her hand. Lubner offers a tale with both humor and heartache: a project to knit cat sweaters benefiting a local shelter unexpectedly produces a runaway rebel and Lizzy's thematic sandwich creations amuse. Although somewhat simplistically resolved, especially given the age of the characters, the poignant issues of Charlotte's separating parents and Lizzy's mother's depression at the loss of their baby in the accident bring depth. Short sentences and delightful details create a similar air to recent quirky classics such as Sheila Turnage's Three Times Lucky. The cast of all-white characters might be typical of a small Maine town outside of Portland but feels a bit too conventional.
VERDICT A lightweight piece of contemporary realism with atmospheric writing.

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