Lucky Me

Orca. Oct. 2023. 32p. Tr $21.95. ISBN 9781459837386.
Gr 1-4–This spectacular story is about a boy’s appreciation of his older brother who is visually impaired. The story revolves around Bruno and his friend Sanjay describing the fun ways they play together and the rules they don’t have to follow at Sanjay’s house. Things are different at Bruno’s house because of Mateo, his visually impaired brother. Everything always has to be put back in exactly the same place. The author intentionally doesn’t let readers know why things are different until more than halfway through the book. Bruno describes all Mateo’s positive qualities and how lucky he is to have him as a brother and friend. Young readers will want to go over the beginning again once they know about Mateo’s needs. The illustrations use a warm palette with contemporary sketches setting a calm and reflective mood. End materials include a brief history of Braille and the Braille alphabet. The Spanish edition was an IBBY Outstanding Book for Young People with Disabilities.
VERDICT This book stands out with its sensitive and positive portrayal of a visually impaired character and the normalized support of others. An essential purchase for all libraries.

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