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Just My Luck

Review

Just My Luck

Fourth grade is a disaster for Benny Barrows. His life is spiraling out of control. Not only can he not ride a bike yet, but his autistic brother, George, happens to be a stellar bike rider. His dad is determined to help him learn how to ride a bike so he takes Benny to the local running track to practice. Finally Benny is beginning to get the hang of it, but fear strikes when he sees a runner with a dog on a leash. Benny panics and hits the brakes too fast, flying over the handlebars. His dad’s head hits his helmet, leaving him a little dazed afterwards, but he doesn’t think anything of it. Later that night, however, Benny's dad is rushed to the hospital. Benny is racked with guilt.

JUST MY LUCK is a great book because while life may not always work out the way we want it to, the story shows that there is always a silver lining.

Benny's school soon starts a new initiative to get children to help one another. Anytime a teacher spots a kid helping another student or teacher, that child gets a footprint. It seems like everyone else is getting footprints easy-peasy and Benny wonders why none of the teachers see all the super nice things he does. He should have footprints up and down the hall by now! But Benny's problems don't end with footprints --- his life is practically stampeded by new problems each day.
 
More than anything this story is about perseverance. JUST MY LUCK is a great book because while life may not always work out the way we want it to, the story shows that there is always a silver lining. That lining could be the support of family, friends and neighbors or simply adjusting to a new normal. When Benny's mom gives him the advice to help others rather than focusing on his own problems, Benny unlocks an inner strength that carries him through his hardships.
 
Cammie McGovern has written SAY WHAT YOU WILL and A STEP TOWARD FALLING. Additionally, she co-founded Whole Children, which is a resource center for children with special needs.

Reviewed by Kathleen M. Purcell on March 1, 2016

Just My Luck
by Cammie McGovern