Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Lucky Strikes by Louis Bayard

How I Heard About It:  The other day I was scrolling through my GoodReads account to look for a title that I wanted to read.  When I came across this one, I went to my CloudLibrary app to see if my local library had it.  They did, I downloaded it, and began reading.   

What It Is About:  Settle in for a journey to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia during the Great Depression.  Amelia (Melia) has a lot on her plate.  She has just buried her mother out in a local field with her younger brother and sister.  She passed away after a difficult battle with cancer.  Melia and her mother ran the local service station.  Now that her mother is gone, Melia knows she must protect herself and her two siblings from being separated by the "state".  She puts into action a plan that will hopefully keep the siblings together.  When a "hobo" is "dropped" off a truck passing through town at the service station, Melia further develops her plan.  She brings in Hiram, the hobo, into her home.  They agree to have him portray their long-lost father that has now returned after her mother's death.  Together the two of them try to fool many of the residents, including the law, convincing them they are a "true" family.  While pretending to be a family; Melia, Hiram, and the siblings all work hard to not only protect their family, but also the service station that is in danger of shutting down.  

What I Thought Of It:  Such an enjoyable reading experience.  It had been awhile since reading a historical fiction young-adult novel so I was looking forward to it.  The character development in the book was top-notch.  Each one was brought to life, jumped off the page, and added greatly to the overall plot.  The reading was enriched by several mysteries, surprises, and twists/turns.  I found the exchange between the "good" characters and "bad" characters to be lively, engaging, and heart-felt.  Melia was such an interesting protagonist and I had such hope for her to succeed in her goals and struggles to remain as a family.  

Who Should Read It:  This is most definitely a story for older readers in middle-school along with high-school readers.  There is quite a bit of "mature" language used throughout the book.  Some of the content is also for young-adult readers.  Female readers may be drawn to the story a bit more than males because so much of the story revolves around Melia and her pursuit of doing the right thing.  Happy Reading...

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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