Looking for Luck in All the Write Places

Hope you’re feeling lucky this St. Patrick’s Day week. In case you’re looking for good fortune, check out some of these middle-grade books with the work “luck” in the title.

Hard Luck

Written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney
Book #8 in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series
Greg Heffley’s on a losing streak. His best friend, Rowley Jefferson, has ditched him, and finding new friends in middle school is proving to be a tough task. To change his fortunes, Greg decides to take a leap of faith and turn his decisions over to chance. Will a roll of the dice turn things around, or is Greg’s life destined to be just another hard-luck story?

Mary Anne’s Bad Luck Mystery

Written by Ann M. Martin
Book #17 in the The Baby-Sitters Club Series
Mary Anne should never have thrown away that chain letter she got in the mail. Ever since she did, bad things have been happening-to everybody in the Baby-sitters Club. With Halloween coming up, Mary Anne’s even more worried-what kind of spooky thing will happen next? Then Mary Anne finds a new note in her mailbox: Wear this bad-luck charm, it says. OR ELSE. Mary Anne’s got to do what the note says. But who sent the charm? And why did this person send it to Mary Anne? If the Baby-sitters don’t solve this mystery soon, their bad luck might never stop!

Lucky Strike

Written by Bobbie Pyron
A rich, southern voice tells the unforgettable story of two vulnerable outsiders, the lightning strike that turns their world upside down and the true meaning of lucky. Nate Harlow would love to be lucky, just once! He’d like to win a prize, get picked first, call a coin toss right, even! But his best friend, Genesis Beam (aka Gen), believes in science and logic, and she doesn’t think for one second that there’s such a thing as luck, good or bad. She doesn’t care what names the other kids call them. She cares about being right, about saving the turtles of Paradise Beach, and she cares about Nate. Then, on his birthday, at the Goofy Golf mini-golf course, Nate is struck by lightning – and survives! Suddenly baseballs are drawn to his bat – popular kids want HIM on their side. It seems the whole town of Paradise Beach thinks Nate has the magic touch.But is there room for Gen in Nate’s lucky new world? Lucky Strike tells the unforgettable story of two vulnerable outsiders and what luck is really all about.

The Thing about Luck

Written by Cynthia Kadohata & illustrated by Julia Kuo
The winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, from Newbery Medalist Cynthia Kadohata. There is bad luck, good luck, and making your own luck–which is exactly what Summer must do to save her family. Summer knows that kouun means “good luck” in Japanese, and this year her family has none of it. Just when she thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong, an emergency whisks her parents away to Japan–right before harvest season. Summer and her little brother, Jaz, are left in the care of their grandparents, who come out of retirement in order to harvest wheat and help pay the bills. Having thoroughly disappointed her grandmother, Summer figures the bad luck must be finished–but then it gets worse. And when that happens, Summer has to figure out how to change it herself — because it might be the only way to save her family. Cynthia Kadohata’s ode to the breadbasket of America has received six starred reviews and was selected as a National Book Award Finalist.

Lost in Ireland

Written by Cindy Callaghan
Book #2 in the Lost In Series
A superstitious girl must try to turn her horrible luck around during a family trip to Ireland. Meghan McGlinchey is the most superstitious girl in her family–and probably in the entire state of Delaware. When she receives a chain letter from a stranger in Ireland, Meghan immediately passes it on, taking only a tiny shortcut in the directions. But after a disastrous day, made complete by losing the election for class president and embarrassing herself in front of the entire school, Meghan realizes that tiny shortcut was a big mistake. Thankfully, her family was already headed to Ireland on spring break, and Meghan makes it her mission to find the original sender and break her extremely unlucky streak. With the help of an eccentric cast of characters–and one very cute Irish boy–can Meghan figure out a way to stop her bad luck? Or is she cursed forever?

Bookroo.com contributed to these summaries.

Faran Fagen

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