Just My Luck

Just My Luck

Book - 2016
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This year is not going at all how Benny Barrows expected. He hasn't gotten any better at riding a bike -- even though his brother George, who's autistic, can actually do tricks. His best friend moved away and he's having trouble finding a new one. His teacher is suddenly acting very strange. And worst of all, Benny worries he's to blame for the accident that sent his dad to the hospital. When his principal announces a contest that will recognize students for their good deeds around the school, Benny starts to think his mom might be right -- when bad things happen, you should focus on helping others. But no matter how helpful Benny tries to be, no one seems to notice. Making videos with his toy figurines is the only time Benny feels like he's in control -- and the only time he can imagine a happy ending. Now Benny just needs to figure out how to do the same for him and his family.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2016]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062330659
0062330659
Branch Call Number: j MCGOVERN 2016
Characteristics: 228 pages ; 22 cm

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samcmar Jun 30, 2016

Cammie McGovern seems to have become an auto-read author for me as of late. There's something about her novels where I find myself really connecting to her characters and their personal situations. Being that this was her first middle grade novel, I was a bit worried about how this was going to shake up. Turns out, it was fantastic ride that made me shed a few tears!

Benny is a delightful main character, and his voice is so delightful and genuine. He's one of those kids who has a hard time making friends, mostly because he's scared of being made fun of or hurt. He also has a brother with a disability, whom he shows great compassion towards, even if others do not. He confides in his Lego collection by making little movies as a means to share his love and passions.

Benny reminded me of myself when I was his age, although change Lego to Littlest Pet Shops. Like Benny, I'd spend hours of my day making elaborate stories with my Littlest Pet Shops, weaving new tales and seeing what kinds of antics the characters could get themselves into. Benny is also a kid who desires to be recognised, and when his school implements a Footprints Program (essentially, a good deed gets you a footprint with your name on it), Benny tries to put himself out there in ways, and I could totally sympathize with a lot of his feelings within the story.

I also loved Benny's relationship with his family. His family is so supportive and strong, and yet they know they are also kind of a mess too. Benny's family goes through so much in this tiny little book, and it's amazing how much stronger they become in terms of dealing with their family problems. I thought the relationships between everyone were spectacularly writing, and easy to root for.

This book is just so genuine in every way. It leaves you thinking about how you were when you were a child, especially if you weren't the most extroverted kid. This is my favourite book of Cammie McGovern's to date, and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next!

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