The Higher Power of Lucky

The Higher Power of Lucky

Illustrated by: Matt Phelan
For Ages: 9 - 11
  • 9
  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 160 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416975571 | 
  • December 2008 | 
  • Grades 4 - 6 | 
  • Lexile 1010L


Meet Susan Patron

Susan Patron talks about "The Higher Power of Lucky," winner of the 2007 Newbery Medal, and her own childhood.

Reading Group Guide

Susan Patron's Hard Pan Trilogy:

A Teacher's Guide to

The Higher Power of Lucky
Lucky Breaks
Lucky for Good


Lucky Trimble is ten years old in The Higher Power of Lucky, and the only thing wrong with her life in Hard Pan, California (population 43), is that she doesn’t have an actual mother. When she becomes convinced that Brigitte, her guardian, is planning to return to France, she packs a survival kit and runs away. Her plans go awry, and two friends, the entire town, and one almost actual mother help her discover what she has been searching for all along—her personal higher power. In Lucky Breaks, Lucky discovers that at age eleven she needs a friend who’s a girl. She meets Paloma Wellborne, who comes to Hard Pan with her uncle to do geological research. The girls hit it off, but it is up to Brigitte to convince Mrs. Wellborne that Hard Pan is a safe environment for her daughter. Old and new friendships are tested and celebrated as the girls embark on an adventure that turns dangerous and causes them to think about the meaning of trust and responsibility. Lucky is a little older and wiser in Lucky for Good, the final book in the trilogy. She now has a mother to answer some of her questions, but there are just so many questions. Does her father really hate her? Is she really going to hell for being interested in Charles Darwin? Will the health department ruin everything for Brigitte’s Hard see more

More Books from this Author

Lucky for Good
Lucky Breaks
Maybe Yes, Maybe No, Maybe Maybe

About the Author

Susan Patron
Photo Credit:

Susan Patron

Susan Patron specialized in Children's Services for 35 years at the Los Angeles Public Library before retiring in 2007, the same year her novel The Higher Power of Lucky was awarded the John Newbery Medal. As the library's Juvenile Materials Collection Development Manager, she trained and mentored children's librarians in 72 branches. Patron has served on many book award committees, including the Caldecott and Laura Ingalls Wilder Committees of the American Library Association. She is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Patron's previous books for children include the Billy Que trilogy of picture books; Dark Cloud Strong Breeze; and a chapter book, Maybe Yes, Maybe No, Maybe Maybe. All earned starred reviews, and the latter was named an ALA Notable book. The Higher Power of Luck will be translated into twelve foreign languages and has been optioned for a motion picture. Married to a rare book restorer from the Champagne region of France, Susan is working on the final book in the "Lucky" trilogy.