Critically acclaimed author Cammie McGovern's powerful and heartwarming middle grade novel will appeal to readers who loved R. J. Palacio's Wonder, Holly Sloan's Counting by 7s, and Lynda Mullaly Hunt's Fish in a Tree. "This brave story, told with wry humor, is inspirational," raved Ann M. Martin, New York Times bestselling author of Rain Reign.
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 seems to have 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.
Benny is a worrier. He worries about his father, who has had a brain aneurysm. He worries about his fourth-grade teacher, who seems increasingly distracted. And he worries about whether he has a best friend and about the mounting evidence that he isn't good at anything not bike riding, math, or the acts of kindness his school is encouraging. He doesn't worry about his autistic older brother, George, though. George is George. Sometimes he can do more than his family expects, sometimes he talks to himself and makes strangers uncomfortable, but he always laughs at Benny's jokes. In her first middle-grade novel, McGovern (A Step Toward Falling) brings readers fully into Benny's troubled thoughts, making a clear distinction between the things that he can't control (his father's health, his brother's autism) and the things that he can. McGovern's thoughtful depiction of a family facing difficult situations without fracturing, coupled with a gentle message about not being too hard on oneself, will surely speak to middle schoolers with their own slate of worries. Ages 8 12.