The Chambered Nautilus (Summer of L.U.C.K. Trilogy)

The Chambered Nautilus (Summer of L.U.C.K. Trilogy)
Publisher Name
Young Dragons
Age Range
Release Date
April 30, 2024
Can the Power of Friendship Save the Day?
Get ready for a whirlwind adventure with The Chambered Nautilus, the thrilling conclusion to Laura Segal Stegman's enchanting Summer of L.U.C.K. trilogy.

Best friends Darby, Justin, and Naz are facing their biggest challenge yet. Since last summer's adventure, they find themselves growing apart, making new friends, and being pulled in different directions. But when a ride at ghostly Mr. Usher's carnival experiences a mysterious malfunction, the trio reunites to answer his desperate call for help.

With expulsion from camp and the carnival's very existence on the line, Darby, Justin, and Naz will have to rely on their wits-and one another-to unravel the mysteries surrounding Mr. Usher's plea. The camp's newest attraction, the Chambered Nautilus, may hold the key, but it will take everything they have to unlock its secret.

Join them in a heart-pounding journey filled with friendship, courage, and the power of never giving up. Will they save the carnival and their cherished memories before it's too late? Find out in this magical tale of adventure, discovery, and the true meaning of loyalty.

Editor review

1 review
Perseverance to help a friend
(Updated: June 18, 2024)
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
Darby, Naz, and Justin have grown very close in the first two books but things have changed this time. They helped the ghost of Mr. Usher resolve some problems within his family but then lost the ability to telepathically communicate with each other. Darby arrives this year with her new friend Mei-Ling but she’s afraid speaking about Mr. Usher will end their closeness. Naz needed counseling after leaving last year and he’s afraid to tell Darby and Justin that his family may be moving back to Morocco for good. Justin is a counselor in training so the three friends are now so preoccupied that they find their relationships suffer. The opening chapters find Darby, Naz, and Justin struggling to reunite but a scratchy message on a walkie-talkie forces them back together.
An enjoyable aspect of the book is how it demonstrates growth in the characters throughout the series. Each book found them helping Mr. Usher but the kids learned something about themselves along the way. For example, Darby had anxiety about making friends, which included stuttering, but she learned to take risks and do her best. The kids don’t know how to help Mr. Usher this time and he’s beginning to lose hope. However, Darby, Justin, and Naz aren’t willing to give up and Darby reminds him of his favorite saying, “All things are possible”. Seeing Mr. Usher’s lessons come full circle is fulfilling as the kids apply their learning from past experiences to set things right.
The plot develops into a mystery as the characters discover strange things happening. Losing their mental telepathy happened in the previous book but it’s the first sign that Mr. Usher’s magic is broken. However, the kids have no idea why it’s happening and Mr. Usher’s unsmiling photograph tells them he’s in trouble. A car disappears from the carnival’s Ferris wheel which makes investigating it and the Chambered Nautilus potentially dangerous. Darby, Naz, and Justin will be expelled from camp if they visit the carnival again so they’re forced to piece together clues in hopes of rescuing Mr. Usher and letting him finally rest in peace.
What didn’t work as well:
The plot doesn’t build to a suspenseful climax although the author creates tension through the characters. Darby, Naz, and Justin are so invested in helping Mr. Usher that readers are naturally drawn into their emotions too.
The final verdict:
This sweet, sensitive story doesn’t include any profanity, violence, or negative relationships which is a nice change from many middle-grade books. The wholesome tale is reminiscent of simpler times and is satisfying and enjoyable for young readers. Overall, I recommend you give this book a shot but start by reading the previous two books first.
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