The Thing about Luck

Title: The Thing about Luck
Author: Cynthia Kadohata
Illustrator: Julia Kuo
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Paperback Edition June 2014
275 pages

I first knew Cynthia Kadohata when I read her previous works, Weedflower and Kira-Kira (both have been translated in Bahasa by Gramedia). Kadohata is a Japanese-American children's writer known best for winning the Newbery Medal in 2005 and the U.S. National Book Award in 2013.  

Kadohata always delivers a simple yet deep story for children. She has different themes and all is always enjoyable. This time she tells a story about a young girl, Summer, and luck. Yes, luck, there is a bad luck, a good luck, making your own luck--which is exactly what Summer must do to save her family.

Summer and her lack-of-social-skills brother, Jaz,  have to spend this holiday with their grandparents considering that their parents have to fly to Japan to take care of elderly relatives. Their grandparents have to work at a harvesting company in order to settle their mortgage. Summer and Jaz come along with their grandparents and other workers moving from one place to another to harvest in the wheat fields in Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma.

Usually Summer helps her grandmother who works as the cook. Out of the blue her grandfather becomes sick and it appears that it might be up to Summer to save the day. Will she succeed?

A very moving story with strong characterisation. Completed with abundant humour between Summer and her grandparents especially on their broken english and the culture gap. A thoughtful book on growing up.   

Find more on Cynthia Kadohata here.