Lucky Luna

Lucky Luna
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
August 28, 2018
ISBN
978-1338232738
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Luna Ramos has too many primas to count, but there's one cousin that's always getting her into trouble, Claudia. After locking her in the bathroom at their other cousin's quinceañera, Luna is grounded for a month. Her punishment? Not being allowed to wear her signature hats, which she uses to hide her birthmark, a streak of white in her otherwise dark hair. The only thing that gives Luna the tiniest bit of satisfaction is knowing that Claudia is also being teased because she has a big nose.

Eventually, Luna discovers that Claudia was not being teased after all. Every joke Luna heard was actually directed at her! Luckily, Claudia comes to her rescue, standing up for Luna by telling the other kids to leave her alone. That's when Luna realizes the true meaning of her grandmother's wise advice -- "blood is thicker than water." She and Claudia may not like each other, but they are still primas. And it's the job of primas to stand up for each other.

Editor review

1 review
You can't choose your family
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Fifth grader Luna loves her family, but she has too many female cousins who are always hanging around. Her primas get her in trouble, or at least that's what Luna claims. As her friend Mabel points out, Luna does pretty well at getting into trouble on her own. When one of her least favorites cousins, Claudia, switches from a private school to Luna's public one, she's not happy. Prone to impulsive decisions that aren't always good, Luna tries to be nice to her cousin, and heeds her abuela's advice on how to deal with her... well, what she thinks is the advice. Since her abuela communicates mainly in Spanish and Luna does not speak it well, she thinks her grandmother has told her to drink water when she is angry. After locking Claudia in the bathroom during her sister's Quinceañera celebration, Claudia is grounded from wearing hats to school, which she does to hide her white streak of hair. Luna is concerned about her cousin, because she thinks other classmates are making fun of her "giant" nose, and tries to protect her even as she is flinging dead flies at her cousin, because she misunderstands more of her grandmother's advice.
Good Points
Growing up with 38 cousins on my mother's side (and 4 on my father's), I can't say I ever saw this facet of my life represented in books. My cousins were mainly older and lived a half hour away, but Luna's close knit family is really the star of this book. Luna faces realistic challenges, and is the sort of frank, misguided character that students enjoy more than I do. The cover is bright and attractive, and my 6th graders will adore this.

Claudia is a much more sympathetic character than Luna, who was a bit too impulsive for my taste; I wouldn't mind a book about her! Readers who were fans of Junie B. Jones in early elementary will appreciate Luna's sassy impertinence, and those wanting an updated version of Naylor's Alice that isn't so blandly WASPy will enjoy spending time with Luna's primas.

This is a solid, realistic fiction about a girl facing small challenges and being supported by her family, even if she doesn't always appreciate them. We are seeing so many great books involving families from other cultures, and the details about celebrations, food, and every day interactions are a good way to demonstrate that while people may go about their daily life differently, people are basically the same. Great for elementary or early middle school. The knitting pattern for this hat needs to be included!
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