285. The Luck of the Buttons by Anne Ylvisaker

The Luck of the Buttons by Anne Ylvisaker. (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 224
Ages: 7+
Finished: Dec. 27, 2011
First Published: Apr. 12, 2011
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: children, historical fiction, realistic fiction, mystery
Rating:  3/5

First sentence:

Tugs Button darted past Zip's Hardware, stumbled over the lunch specials sign at Al and Irene's Luncheonette, and pushed through the door of Ward's Ben Franklin as if the devil himself were chasing her.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Candlewick Press.

Reason for Reading:  The time period attracted me.

Set in 1929, small town Iowa, tomboy Tugs Button belongs to the Buttons clan, a family who just naturally expects bad luck and misfortune to come their way, if any luck is to be handed out it won't be handed to any of them because it's rigged, don't ya know.  Besides the Buttons enjoy their yearly family reunions where they get together to grumble, complain and go over the good ole' stories of family misfortunes.  But Tugs has had enough and has decided she's not going to be unlucky, in fact she openly invites luck to come her way and her family looks at her as if she'd just "declared herself Swedish".  As Tugs sets off around town with this new attitude about life she makes a new unlikely friend and when the stranger comes to town Tugs is the one who wonders what he's really up to.

A fun, easy read.  This little book is most suitable for the 8 to 10 age range and gives a good look at everyday life for a poor family just before the depression.  The story examines both friendship and bullies, how randomly friendship can happen and how a bully can be deflated in the end.  The added mystery makes this more than just a slice of life story and while I, an adult, figured out what was up very early on, the story and Tugs' attempts at private investigation should keep young readers entertained.  Altogether a quiet, wholesome read.


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