Author: Cynthia Lord
Pub Date - August 2010, Scholastic Press
Genre: Fiction; middle grade
Hardcover; 186 pages
Book Source: borrowed from local library
The state of Maine plans to shut down her island’s schoolhouse, which would force Tess’s family to move to the mainland--and Tess to leave the only home she has ever known. Fortunately, the islanders have a plan too: increase the numbers of students by having several families take in foster children. So now Tess and her family are taking a chance on Aaron, a thirteen-year-old trumpet player who has been bounced from home to home. And Tess needs a plan of her own--and all the luck she can muster. Will Tess’s wish come true or will her luck run out?
This is a great middle grade book and perfect for readers ages 9 and up. The story follows 11 year old Tess and her family as they welcome Aaron onto the island and into their own family. Aaron is 13 years old and has gone from foster home to foster home. Tess does not understand why he seems so distant from their welcome. She just wants him to be happy. Tess is a very strong character and the book is written from her point-of-view. She believes in good luck charms and wishes. I enjoyed the good luck chapter titles and how they are tied into each new chapter. It was fun looking for them in the chapters and how they fit Tess in that moment. I truly loved reading this book and found myself picking it up whenever I could. The characters were genuine and the setting gives you the sense of being in New England and wanting to be part of the small community life. It would make for a great read aloud as it envokes warmth, humor and a sense of belonging in a family. The book also has lots of positive messages as well that many young readers will sure to find. I think this is a "just right book" for age 9+.