Just My Luck by Cammie McGovern
Fourth grade is not going at all how Benny Barrows hoped. He hasn’t found a new best friend. He’s still not a great bike rider—even though his brother George, who’s autistic, can do tricks. And worst of all, he worries his dad’s recent accident might be all his fault. Benny tries to take his mom’s advice and focus on helping others, and to take things one step at a time. But when his dad ends up in the hospital again, Benny doesn’t know how he and his family will overcome all the bad luck that life has thrown their way.
Just My Luck is a deeply moving and rewarding novel about a down-on-his-luck boy whose caring heart ultimately helps him find the strength to cope with tragedy and realize how much he truly has to offer his friends and family.
I loved this book! I was a little hesitant to read it because middle grade doesn’t always work for me, but I couldn’t pass up a Cammie McGovern book. I love her writing so much, and this book did not disappoint.
Benny is in 4th grade, and his best friend moved away at the end of last year. He is struggling to find new friends. He is also struggling at home. He feels responsible for his father’s accident over the summer that has left his brain more than a bit muddled. His family is dealing fairly well. After all they have some experience given Benny’s older brother, George, who is autistic.
Then Benny’s school starts a program to catch kids doing good deeds. Benny is determined to be recognized, but he is continually ignored. His teacher tries to explain that he’s so good already; he shouldn’t need the extrinsic motivation. But Benny does.
This book is all about friendship and kindness. It has wonderful characters and terrific messages, but it never feels preachy. There were some many fun details as well: Benny’s obsession with making Lego stop motion movies, his friend Olga and her hand drawn comic books, George’s antics, and Benny’s teacher.
This book would make a great read aloud for children ages 8-10, and it is of course a great read for middle grade and up. I highly recommend it!
My Rating: 5 stars
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