Lucky loves her grandparents, and they are all the family she really has. True, her grandma forgets things…like turning off the stove, or Lucky’s name. But her grandpa takes such good care of them that Lucky doesn’t realize how bad things are. That is until he’s gone. When her grandma accidentally sets the kitchen on fire, Lucky can’t hide what’s happening any longer, and she is sent into foster care. She quickly learns that some foster families are okay. Some aren’t. And some really, really aren’t.
From its opening pages, this affecting novel of family lost and found doesn't pull punches. Regarding her absentee mother, 15-year-old Cree-Canadian Lucky Robinson says, "I'm not even sure I could pick her out of a police lineup at this point. To be honest, I secretly believe that I'll be asked to do that someday." After her grandfather dies suddenly and her grandmother's dementia ramps up, Lucky is thrust from the relative protection of their home into the tumult of the foster care system. In a series of placements, she encounters hyper-religious homeschoolers, a sexual predator, ethnic discrimination, and foster siblings who are alternately welcoming and hostile. The writing is short on physical imagery and Lucky's interior life, creating missed opportunities for character development, and readers may wish for deeper insights into Lucky's true responses to her circumstances. The dialogue-heavy story moves along briskly, and Florence (He Who Dreams) portrays Lucky's reality with candor and realism. A welcome addition to a growing body of work about life in foster care. Ages 12 up.