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Author: Pyron, Bobbie
Nathaniel Harlow lives with his grandfather in a trailer park in Franklin County, Florida, and he has always been unlucky--but when he is struck by lightning on his eleventh birthday and survives, it seems like his luck starts to change.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 173514
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 65904
Common Core Standards
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Kirkus Reviews (+) (12/01/14)
School Library Journal (+) (12/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (04/15)
The Hornbook (00/03/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2014 Gr 4–6—Wherever Nate Harlow goes, bad luck seems to follow. He has never even won a coin toss, so it comes as no surprise to many residents of Paradise Beach that it is Nate who gets struck by lightning out of the literal blue on his 11th birthday while playing mini-golf with his friend Genesis Beam. What does come as a big surprise is that Nate's luck seems to change drastically after the strike. All of a sudden, he is winning. Everything. Nate has to decide how he is going to handle this change—he is now surrounded by friends and opportunities whereas before it was only him and Genesis sticking together. Will she stay by Nate's side while he finds his feet, and, more importantly, will he support her when she needs it most? This well-told story of growth, friendship, and small-town life hits all the right notes. The quirkiness of the characters and the town never goes too far, and there is an overall cozy feeling to the book. Genesis's dad is the preacher at The Church of the One True Redeemer and Everlasting Light, but she is a scientist through and through, which adds complexity to the text, including musings on destiny, fate, probability, and weather. Fans of Susan Patron's Higher Power of Lucky (S. & S., 2006), Sheila Turnage's Three Times Lucky (Dial, 2012), and Ingrid Law's Savvy (2008; both, Dial) will find something new for their to-read shelves.—Stacy Dillon, LREI, New York City - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/01/2015 Nate Harlow figures he is the least lucky kid on the planet. He has lost his parents. He has lost his dog. He has called a coin toss and got it wrong 53 times in a row. His best friend, Genesis, eldest daughter of Reverend Beam of the Church of the One True Redeemer and Everlasting Light, doesn’t believe in luck, putting her money on the science of probability. But neither can explain it when Nate is struck by a freak flash of lightning on his eleventh birthday—and his luck, and fortunes, change. All of a sudden, everything Nate comes in contact with is charmed, and soon the entire population of Paradise Sands, Florida, is vying for his Midas touch. But this newfound popularity threatens his relationship with Gen. Will he show up when she—and the loggerhead turtles nesting on the beaches—really needs him? Pyron displays a fine sense of the shifting allegiances of tweendom, and while many of the homespun secondary characters read as stock, the tender relationships will nourish readers in search of belonging. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2015 Nate’s routine is as follows: pocket his well-worn rabbit’s foot; touch the photo of his deceased parents; grab his camera-and head out to the kitchen for his usual breakfast of burnt toast. Despite those hopeful morning rituals, Nate seems to be the unluckiest kid in Paradise Beach, Florida. When he wakes up on his eleventh birthday (on the eleventh of April), he dares to hope that his luck might change. And it does-when he’s struck by lightning while losing a game of mini-golf, transforming him into luck’s darling. He pulls winning raffle tickets, makes perfect toast, and hits home runs; his grandfather’s floundering fishing business begins to boom. Nate’s good luck brings newfound popularity-and newfound resentment-straining his friendship with his best (female) friend Gen and taking a toll on his own mental state, until he wants only to be his old, unlucky self. A celebration of community and place peppered with folksy charm, Pyron’s novel recalls DiCamillo’s Because of Winn Dixie (BCCB 6/00) and Schindler’s The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky (BCCB 2/13). The story embraces diversity (Gen is African-American; the town has a synagogue), skillfully employs wry humor, and elicits sympathy for its likable characters, all in a frank and approachable narrative voice. It will be an excellent fit for the kid who feels chronically unlucky, or for the ultra-literally minded who would still like to believe in magic. AA - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.