|Half a chance|
Author: Lord, Cynthia
Lucy, with her mother and her photographer father, has just moved to a small rural community in New Hampshire, and with her new friend Nate she plans to spend the summer taking photos for a contest, but pictures sometimes reveal more than people are willing to see.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 163432
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 62255
Kirkus Reviews (+) (12/15/13)
School Library Journal (02/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (02/14)
The Hornbook (00/03/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 02/01/2014 Twelve-year old Lucy Emery has just moved to a New Hampshire lakeside cottage, the latest target of her photojournalist father’s wanderlust. A work assignment soon takes him away for the summer, leaving Lucy and her mother to once again settle into a new home without him. Her own love of photography helps her channel her hurt over her father’s enthusiastic departure, and she decides to anonymously enter a photography competition he’s slated to judge, determined to win his approval through images that offer thought-provoking interpretations of the contest’s mandatory prompts. Luckily, she has help from her new friend, Nate, whose family summers at the neighboring house owned by his naturalist grandmother. When Lucy joins him on daily “Loon Patrol” kayak trips to track the hatching and growth of loon chicks, she discovers unexpected fodder for photographs and friendship and keenly feels how much she needs both. Lord offers a tender treatment of early adolescent needs and struggles in this thoughtful coming-of-age novel. The book sensitively depicts the complicated feelings and competing desires that afflict even ostensibly happy, middle-class families, understanding that things can be painfully amiss even when nothing big is wrong. With subtle but effective imagery (including the touching, recurring use of a loon call) and a relatable protagonist, the title speaks to both human loneliness generally and the plight of a young girl in need of friendship. Put this poignant and restrained novel in the hands of a preteen girl who has it all, or just seems to. AA - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2014 Gr 4–6—Twelve-year old Lucy and her parents have moved from an apartment in Boston to a lakeside cottage in New Hampshire, and her father, a prominent nature photographer, is immediately off to Arizona for a photo shoot. Her apprehension over fitting in at a new school is temporarily allayed when she is welcomed by Nate, whose family is spending the summer with his grandmother in the house next door. Kayaking, hiking, and loon-monitoring with Nate, Lucy chronicles their experiences using her own budding talent for photography. When she learns that his Grandma Lilah's failing health is keeping her from observing her beloved loon family up close, she and Nate devise a plan to rent a motorized raft to take her out on the lake. Their plan, however, involves a deception-Lucy will use Nate's name to enter a photo contest to be judged by her father. Newbery Honor winner Lord (Rules, Scholastic, 2006) has combined vivid, cinematic description with deft characterization and handles several important issues with sensitivity, nuance, and great skill. Lucy grapples with ambivalent feelings toward her self-centered father, rivalry in the face of new friendships, and an ethical dilemma in her decision to enter the contest and to use, against Nate's will, a photo which captures his grandmother's dementia. Readers will be absorbed in the well-paced plot, sympathize with the concerns of a likable protagonist, learn a bit about photography, and consider the impetus of using one's creative talent for good or ill. A deeply enjoyable read.—Marie Orlando, formerly at Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/15/2014 Lucy and her parents have no sooner moved to their new home, idyllically located on a New England lake, than her professional-photographer father is off on a work trip for the summer. As he leaves, Lucy learns from him about a photo contest for kids and decides to spend the summer working on winning it. As the days and weeks pass, Lucy makes friends with the boy next door, learns to kayak, joins in the community’s watch of nesting loons, and stays focused on taking photos that fulfill her father’s advice to make sure the picture implies a story. Lucy seems like a blandly average preteen character, but she comes into focus when she makes a concerted effort to help her elderly neighbor, whose awareness of the world around her is beginning to slip away with the onset of some kind of dementia, to see and enjoy what she loved in the past. Like in the author’s award-winning Rules (2006), the theme of self-discovery is offered here through a quietly disclosed character. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.