Critically acclaimed author Cammie McGovern's middle grade debut is a powerful and heartwarming story that will appeal to readers who loved R. J. Palacio's Wonder, Ann M. Martin's Rain Reign, and Holly Sloan's Counting by 7s.
Fourth grade is not going at all how Benny Barrows hoped. He hasn't found a new best friend. He's still not a great bike rider—even though his brother George, who's autistic, can do tricks. And worst of all, he worries his dad's recent accident might be all his fault. Benny tries to take his mom's advice and focus on helping others, and to take things one step at a time. But when his dad ends up in the hospital again, Benny doesn't know how he and his family will overcome all the bad luck that life seems to have thrown their way.
Just My Luck is a deeply moving and rewarding novel about a down-on-his-luck boy whose caring heart ultimately helps him find the strength to cope with tragedy and realize how much he truly has to offer his friends and family.
“I loved this portrait of a young boy struggling to find his role in a family determined not to be defined by their differences. Benny’s brave story, told with wry humor, is inspirational.”
“In narrator Benny, readers find a resilient and very observant 9-year-old who accepts those around him with their strengths and shortcomings alike. His story is insightful and inspirational.”
“McGovern’s thoughtful depiction of a family facing difficult situations without fracturing, coupled with a gentle message about not being too hard on oneself, will surely speak to middle schoolers with their own slate of worries.”
“A heart-filled story of a likable boy who doesn’t realize that his natural gifts are recognizable and valued by a supportive family. There are many moments that will ring true to middle grade readers: feeling anxious about friendships, wanting to be noticed, and trying to do the right thing.”
“McGovern’s observations about ordinary-seeming life and about the people around us, about small acts of kindness and healing and forgiveness, are perceptive and thought-provoking.”
“Benny’s first-person narrative radiates with exactly the kind of compassion his mother recommends. Like many nine-year-olds, Benny can be guileless in one moment and wise beyond his years in another. Highly recommended for fans of realistic fiction by writers such as Ann M. Martin or Lisa Graff.”
“McGovern writes convincingly about characters trying to figure out how best to live with the complications of a disability, both the person whom it most affects and also those around him or her. Benny’s voice deserves to be read aloud in a classroom.”
“McGovern’s books make readers think carefully about the themes presented. Her beautifully written novels feature people who are different in some way; developmentally delayed or suffering from cerebral palsy, obsessive compulsive disorder, or autism. Her stories make people who are “different” more accessible to all of us.”
Praise for SAY WHAT YOU WILL: “This is a book to read, savor, and pass on and on until it has gone around the world twice.”
“Exhilarating and heartrending.This novel is stunning.”
“Readers will be surprised, moved, amused, worried, hopeful, and grateful.”
“McGovern’s triumph is how well she normalizes and highlights the variety of disability experiences among teens and their often circuitous journeys toward claiming their voices and right to self-determination. Ultimately, a deeply engaging and rewarding story.”
“What this book does best is move beyond the typical concerns and stigmas people with disabilities inevitably encounter to present an honest portrayal of the difficulties of growing up faced by these particular characters.”
“Cammie McGovern channels her knowledge and passion for specialneeds kids. Like the deservedly best-selling Wonder by R.J. Palacio—required reading for every family—this doesn’t just get you talking, it gets you thinking, feeling and rejoicing.”