|Luck of the Buttons|
Author: Ylvisaker, Anne
In Iowa, Tugs vows to change her family's luck with a Brownie camera and a small-town mystery that only she can solve.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 4.0 Quiz: 143565
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 53777
Common Core Standards
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Kirkus Reviews (03/15/11)
School Library Journal (04/01/11)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (04/11)
The Hornbook (03/11)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2011 Lady Luck had never been on the side of the Button family, and it’s no different for twelve-year-old Tugs Button: even her name, Tugs, is the unfortunate result of her mother’s faulty eyesight and a poorly engraved tombstone. On a hot Fourth of July in 1929, however, Providence finally smiles upon our young heroine as Tugs wins not one but two blue ribbons at her town’s annual picnic, along with a brand new Kodak camera complete with enough film for six photos. Despite her family’s grumblings (“No one’s ever won a dang thing in this family. Who does she think she is, one of the Floyd girls?”), Tugs’ confidence begins to grow, enough so that she decides to take her new camera and act upon her suspicions of Harvey Moore, a traveling entrepreneur who seems to be making an awful lot of money on his still-unfulfilled promise of a new town newspaper. As in Kate Klise’s recent Grounded (BCCB 1/11), rural small town life is bursting with local color and eccentric characters, providing a rich backdrop that is just this side of over the top. A heroine in the vein of Scout Finch, Tugs can be cheerfully tactless without being mean, while her insecurities regarding her genetic disposition toward misfortune temper a stubborn precociousness. Readers will rightly identify Harvey as the snake-oil salesman he is the moment he comes on the scene, but they will still get a kick out of cheering on Tugs as she tries to convince the town to see past her karmically challenged heritage and do the right thing. Tugs is nothing but good luck for young readers, and they’ll appreciate her role in this perceptive exploration of identity. KQG - Copyright 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2011 Gr 4–6—Twelve-year-old Tugs Button, so named when her mother misread an inspiring gravestone, is having a run of Independence Day luck: she has won the three-legged race with a new friend, a blue ribbon for her entry in the patriotic essay contest, and the raffle for a Kodak Brownie camera. But Tugs is uneasy about the arrival of Harvey Moore in her small Iowa town. He's a smooth-talking stranger who's promising to reestablish a local newspaper, the Goodhue Progress, as soon as he can raise enough money for a printing press. He has beguiled the gullible Goodhue citizens, but Tugs suspects that he is about to swindle them out of their savings. When her budding friendship with elderly twin sisters leads her to the town library archives, she discovers a photo of Harvey Moore, aka Dapper Jack, on the front page of a Chicago newspaper. Now she has to convince the powers that be to stop him before he absconds with the loot. Set in 1929, with a plot, setting, and characters reminiscent of Meredith Wilson's The Music Man, this novel overcomes stock characterization, a predictable plot, and some overused motifs by means of subtle humor, a clever narrative style, and an endearing heroine. Details of photography of the time period add interest, and readers who enjoy a good story with only the mildest of sinister overtones will find this one appealing.—Marie Orlando, formerly at Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 04/15/2011 The Button family is not comprised of winners, and luck has forgotten where they live. Set in small-town America in 1929, this compact book introduces Tugs Button, who accepts this common wisdom. But when she is lucky enough to be the same height as rich-girl Aggie, they win the three-legged race at the Independence Day picnic. Tugs’ hard work at the camera store impresses the owner; he gives her a raffle ticket for the Brownie camera drawing, and she wins it, too. The camera opens up a whole new world for Tugs, who is able to see things more clearly through its lens. Ylvisaker’s lively writing style and appealing characters will charm readers. Slightly less successful is a subplot in which Tugs spots a con man (reminiscent of The Music Man’s Professor Henry Hill), who gets the townsfolk to invest in his newspaper. Without much tension, it’s just kids being smarter than adults. But those who like Jennifer L. Holm’s Turtle in Paradise and Clare Vanderpool’s Moon over Manifest (both 2010) will appreciate this. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.