Thursday, January 30, 2014

Another Tender Tale From An Author Who Always Knows Just How to Touch My Heart

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Lucy Emery should be excited about her new home on the shore of a beautiful New Hampshire lake.  She's never lived by the water before.  It's a lovely spot, but the 12-year-old's nervous about starting over in a new place.  She's not looking forward to a long, friendless summer, let alone beginning school without knowing a soul.  It doesn't help that her mom's busy working and her dad, a famous nature photographer who promised her lots of father/daughter adventures in New Hampshire, is already off on another out-of-state assignment.

When she discovers that her dad's judging a children's photography contest, Lucy thinks she may have found the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone—not only will the photo scavenger hunt fill up her empty summer days, but maybe, she can use her pictures to convince her dad to pay more attention to his daughter. With the help of her new friend, Nate, Lucy goes in search of photo-worthy vistas.  As she shoots the lakeside with its sparkling waters, towering mountains, and endangered loons, she finds not just beauty, but also a terrible truth.  Revealing it could destroy the only friendship she's got.  Does Lucy dare tell Nate what she knows?  How will the knowledge affect his family?  And what about the photography contest?  If Lucy doesn't win, how will she keep her own relationships intact?  As Lucy battles with herself over what to do, she'll discover even more startling truths—about friendship, family and, ultimately, about herself.

Cynthia Lord has a knack for creating tender, uplifting stories about kids grappling with everyday challenges.  Her newest, Half a Chance, is no exception.  As in her other books, Lord populates this one with likable characters who earn both our sympathy and our admiration.  She moves them around in a rich, atmospheric setting while putting them through their paces.  It's difficult not to care about the outcome of a tale with such a richness of people and place.  I definitely cared.  Half a Chance isn't my favorite Lord book (that would be Rules), but it's still a lovely, poignant story by a writer whose books never fail to touch my heart.  

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't really think of any.  Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:  


To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Half a Chance from the generous folks at Scholastic.  Thank you!

3 comments:

  1. Yea for a good uplifting read. :)

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  2. Oh yeah I loved Rules. I need to check this one out

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  3. Oooh, this looks cute, I may just have to put this on my TBR! (:
    XO, Kristi

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