Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

The Thing About Luck

The Thing About Luck

Fall 2013 Fiction
Ages: 10 - 14 yrs.
Author: Cynthia Kadohata
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 978- 1416918820
Hardcover Price: $16.99

Summer is a Japanese American girl who lives in Kansas with her parents, younger brother, and grandparents. As she states right off, this year they've been cursed with bad luck. Summer has just recovered from a freak bout of near-fatal malaria, the family is struggling to keep their home, and then her parents are called to Japan for two months leaving Summer and her lonely brother alone with her irascible old-world grandmother and grandfather.

Summer's family makes a bulk of their living working as "wheaties". During wheat harvest, they outsource their labor—her grandfather drives a combine while Summer and her grandmother make the meals for all of the crew. It's labor-intensive, stressful, and very humbling. In the course of a few weeks, Summer and her family's luck gets even worse. But Summer stands up strong when the rest of her family can't, and emerges as an unlikely, but truly inspiring young heroine.

The cultural details feel spot-on in this peek into a way of life that should open up a new world to most young readers.

Teresa DiFalco   ©2013 Parents' Choice
Teresa DiFalco is an award-winning ghostwriter, writer, and mother in Vancouver, Washington. She's been a contributing editor for Parents' Choice for over ten years. She's a strong speller, a menace at badminton, and makes a decent soufflé.

Look for this product at:
Simon & Schuster

Share This