Fortune Falls

Fortune Falls
Age Range
Release Date
January 05, 2016
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Welcome to Fortune Falls, a magical town where superstitions are real. Four-leaf clovers really do bring good fortune, and owning a rabbit's foot is the secret to success. However, there aren't enough charms in the universe to help Sadie Bleeker. She can't pass a ladder without walking under it, and black cats won't leave her alone. That's because Sadie is an Unlucky. And things will only get worse as she gets older, which is why Unluckies are sent away at age twelve to protect those around them. Sadie can't stand the thought of leaving home, so she and her friend, Cooper, devise a plan to reverse her bad luck. But when their scheme accidentally results in a broken mirror, the situation turns dire. Because for Sadie, seven years bad luck isn't an inconvenience-it's practically a death sentence. Can a girl who's never so much as found a single lucky penny change her fortune? Or will she be forced to celebrate her twelfth birthday by saying farewell to everyone she loves?

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Fortune Falls is a great place to live if you're a Lucky, but Sadie Bleeker is probably not. She hasn't turned 12 yet, so she is still Undetermined, but since she has so many bad things happening to her, she doesn't hold out a lot of hope for the Luck Test. Her best friend, Cooper, will probably be Lucky, and they would then go to different schools. Sadie wants to marshal all of her resources and wishes to use to pass the test, but when her dog, Wink, runs into a graveyard and can't be found, she doesn't want her brother Petey to miss him. Sadie's family has had a run of bad luck ever since her father died in an accident a year ago, so Sadie is very protective of Petey. It doesn't help when Cooper gives her a telescope for her birthday, and she manages to break the mirror inside of it. In Fortune Falls, that means seven years of bad luck... if you survive that long! Sadie and Cooper venture into the magical store, Lucky Charm Z, in order to perhaps find some way to turn Sadie's luck around. Can they do that before it's too late?
Good Points
Fortune Falls is an interesting place, and there are lots of good descriptions about the way of life that depends of magic being real. Many of the mothers are wearing halo collars because their hapless children have stepped on cracks and broken their backs, the street outside the grave yard is littered with cars because people don't hold their breath going past it and get into accidents, and there are few black cats or rabbits around because the latter are exterminated as being bad luck and the former are killed for their feet! This is a fun way to take superstitions and bring them to life.

It's nice to see that Sadie and Cooper get along so well even though their lives are likely to take different paths. It's also clever how they work together to try to get their entire class to pass the Spring Luck test despite the meddling and meanness of the evil Felicia.

Reader who enjoy the healthy dose of magical realism found in Pyron's Lucky Strike, Wendy Mass' Willow Falls books or Myracle's Willow Hills series, or even the everyday magic of Ruth Chew's books, will find Fortune Falls to be a somewhat scary but interesting place to be!
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