It’s hard to believe that a series where the first book won the Newbery could get better and better, but in my opinion, that’s what’s happened with Susan Patron’s Hard Pan Trilogy. With each of the books, you love Lucky and Hard Pan and the quirky folk who call the town their home, even more than you did before.
I love that Lucky is just as curious about the world as she was when we first met her in The Higher Power of Lucky. She’s still searching. She wants to know things. Will Brigitte’s Cafe stay open in spite of some tricky health codes? Will she ever make peace with her father? What will happen now that Miles’ mom is back in Hard Pan, and what will happen if Lincoln leaves her?
I love that Lucky is reading Charles and Emma (sure proof that she is one cool kid) and that her faithful hound, H.M.S. Beagle, is as perfect a sidekick as he ever was. I love that Susan Patron has created a story that invites readers to think about how a family doesn’t have to be what you expect in order to be right and loving and more than good enough. She also presents different pictures of what faith and belief can be and I think that her exploration of Lucky trying to navigate her way through spiritual uncertainty makes Lucky one of the more interesting and compelling young characters I’ve come across in a long while.
I love these books. They are good – so good – and complicated and meandering and happy and sad and hopeful and heart-warming. All things that you expect to find in life, you’ll find here. So go read them.
Lucky for Good is published by Atheneum.