Tuesday, April 21, 2009

children's book review: the higher power of lucky by susan patron


I absolutely loved The Higher Power of Lucky and found it remarkably engaging. Patron did an incredible job of seeing the world through the eyes of a ten-year-old, being true to Lucky's view of the world as our narrator, but still allows readers to have a sense of Lucky's world of which she is not yet aware.

The Higher Power of Lucky has gotten a lot of controversy and press regarding its use of the word scrotum, and I read it for my children's literature class as one of the banned books. I'm sure it comes as no surprise to those who know me that I think banning this book is ludicrous. The scrotum is a basic part of human, and in this case, animal, anatomy. I strongly believe in teaching children proper terms for anatomy and ensuring a free flow of information. It is incredibly ironic that Lucky's confusion over the word caused an uproar. By the book's end, she asks Brigitte what the word actually means. To me, this detail provides a beautiful metaphor for how children view the world. Lucky overheard the word in a setting her caretaker couldn't imagine; children are exposed to words in a myriad of ways. Both literature and trusted adults are valuable ways to disseminate accurate information to children to counteract the inaccuracies or incompleteness of information they are often exposed to elsewhere.

There is a sequel, Lucky Breaks, that picks up the now eleven-years-old Lucky, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

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