The Higher Power of Lucky

The Higher Power of Lucky
by Susan Patron
MG fiction. 134 pp.
Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 2006.

I must confess that I initially had no interest in reading this book, even when it won the Newbery Medal earlier this year. The storyline just didn't seem to call out to me.

But then the controversy erupted.

This book, as Nemesis points out, is porn. And it's there on the first page. Last word of the second paragraph. This book has the word--are you ready for it?--scrotum. Call out the censors and book burners now. I, and countless advocate groups, am appalled that some hoity toity committee somewhere would bestow such an honor on such smut. Because scrotum is a dirty word, you know.

Anyway, I think it's absurd that we now have an outcry because of such a clinical and blah word as scrotum, though I live in Utah and shouldn't honestly be surprised that people get their knickers in a twist over something so inconsequential.

Really, if people are going to create an uproar, it should at least be over something more substantial. We should all be indignant that this is the second year in a row that the Newbery committee has selected a boring book with no plot as the medal winner. Come on, people! Plot is a good thing--that's why writing conferences teach it and editors insist upon it (or at least should, because obviously we have two editors out there who don't).

At least this book, as opposed to Criss Cross, has a main character that you can care about. Lucky is compelled to find her Higher Power, the power that helps everyone in the 12-step programs change their lives for the better. And she worries that her Guardian, not being a parent, could one day decide to up and leave.

And I guess I exaggerate a titch when I say there is no plot--the last 40 pages or so have a plot.

The writing in this novel, also unlike Criss Cross, is pretty good. It reads at a good clip.

So, in the end, it's better than last year's Newbery, but it's not the best published last year.


Nemesis said...

Tsk. I tell you it's porn and then you go reading it anyway. Shame, shame.

Th. said...


Now that I have two trusted witnesses calling it porn, I had better go get me a copy.

Absent-minded Secretary said...

I was listening to NPR on my lunch break, and it made me giggle when the talk show host started saying the word scrotum.

It must be porn, why else would I giggle about a dogs anatomy?

Tee Hee!