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. 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 has 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.
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by Cammie McGovern
by Eric Dinerstein
by Dean Hughes
"Kirby Heyborne's soft tones quickly define artistic, empathetic fourth-grader Benny Barrows. Benny's mother credits her youngest son with being the most compassionate member of the family, especially when it comes to handling his older brother, George, who is autistic. Heyborne evokes the gentleness of this tenderhearted boy and shows how Benny's vulnerable feelings intensify after his father's accident, the aneurysms that follow it, and Benny's belief that he's to blame. Benny's feelings seem particularly heartrending in light of a superficial schoolwide program undertaken to increase kindness. The book's sometimes heavy-handed messages are tempered by Heyborne's sympathetic depiction of a self-questioning boy who is honestly trying to understand his life's inner and outer complexities. S.W. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"
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