A funny and heartfelt realistic middle-grade novel about friendship, family, and the meaning of luck, from author Janice Erlbaum.
Eighth-grader Emma Macintyre could use some good luck. The popular kids at her school ignore her, the boy she likes is out of her league, and her best friend has been ditching her for the mean girls. Worst of all, her beloved Aunt Jenny died recently, leaving Emma and her single mom reeling with grief.
Then Emma receives a mysterious letter with no return address. The letter promises that ten lucky little things will happen to her over the next thirty days—she just has to make a list of what she wants. When the things on her list start coming true, she races to understand what’s happening. How does this lucky letter work? Who sent it? And what’s going to happen when the thirty days are done?
Eighth grader Emma Macintyre has been ditched by her best friend for the popular crowd, which includes Emma's longtime crush. Things look up, though, when an envelope containing an anonymous letter and $20 is slipped under her door. The note promises Emma a month of lucky things: "Some, like this money, will be obvious right away. Others will take time to reveal themselves." Emma is skeptical, but she makes a list of 10 lucky things that she hopes will happen. When her first wishes start coming true ("#1. Mom gets me a new phone"), Emma wonders whether her big wishes ("#10. Bring Aunt Jenny back") can possibly happen. Her month brings new friends and opportunities, but is her luck the result of the letter or a change in perspective? Some awkward dialogue and overly self-aware internal musings from Emma prove distracting: "I started looking at my phone, like the typical Gen Z postmillennial I am, tuning out most of their conversation." And the appealing conceit proves to be thin; readers will quickly guess the mysterious sender's identity, and the message, that Emma must make her own luck, is transparent. Despite the promising premise, memoirist and novelist Erlbaum's middle grade debut doesn't provide quite enough emotional substance to fulfill it. Ages 10 14.
Best book this year
This is probably the best book that I’ve read this year. Highly recommended to anyone and everyone. So good that I can’t even explain how much I love it.