|These unlucky stars|
Author: McDunn, Gillian
According to eleven-year-old Annie, luck is never on her side causing her to be somewhat of a loner, but after some prodding by her social studies teacher Annie reluctantly tries her fortune at making friends.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.00
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 510600
Kirkus Reviews (01/01/21)
School Library Journal (01/01/21)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/03/21)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2021 Gr 4–7—Annie feels like she has no control over her life because she was born under an unlucky star, or so her mother said before she left. So it makes sense that when she dares to play ding dong ditch on an elderly lady's door, Annie causes the woman to fall and break her arm. It figures that she'll have to help take care of her throughout the summer, when all she really wants is to help design the float for the family store in the town festival. And, of course, her dad and brother don't want her help. What starts out as an unlucky break turns into a summer of healing, as Annie and Gloria gain new insights into what makes good life. McDunn includes illustrations drawn by Annie to transition throughout the book, which provide a glimpse into Annie's thoughts. Annie eventually realizes that luck cannot dictate her life, but it grows tiresome watching her blame her poor decisions on bad luck, though the chapters are short enough for reluctant readers. Annie does show spunk, and readers will appreciate her insights: "Ugh. This is so typical. When girls do something nice, it's an expectation. When boys do something nice, it's a celebration." Annie and her family are white, her friend Faith is described as having brown skin, and there is an LGBTQ+ couple. VERDICT A fair realistic fiction read, but there are others that do the job better. A secondary purchase.—Kerri Williams, Center Moriches Free P.L., NY - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/01/2021 A sixth grader whose mother left years ago, Annie is a loner who sees her life as plagued by one instance of bad luck after another, rather than by the logical consequence of procrastination and carelessness. Goaded into a prank that leads to an elderly woman named Gloria breaking her arm, Annie begins to help the often-cranky senior by doing household chores and dog walking, mainly to ease her own feelings of guilt. But after getting to know Gloria, she begins to admire her and even to consider her advice. Though she is under pressure at school and at home to change her ways, Annie’s attitude begins to shift only when dealing with Gloria alters her perspective. Set in Oak Branch, North Carolina, with the Blue Ridge Mountains visible from Annie’s bedroom window, this involving, slower-paced chapter book gives readers time to get to know the major and minor characters within the small town and how they support one another. Other characters are struggling with their own challenges, but this satisfying novel focuses on Annie’s gradual, hard-won transformation. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.