Friday, December 23, 2016

Half a chance by Cynthia Lord

Lucy has moved to an old house on a lake in New Hampshire - an area where people usually just visit for Summer holidays. Lucy has moved so many times but she still finds making new friends can be hard.  She is also missing her dad who is a photographer.  Lucy herself loves to take photos. She discovers her father is about to judge a photo competition and she knows he has very high standards but she would love him to acknowledge her talent. Her new friend Nate, who is visiting the lake for the summer with his family and grandmother, agrees to help.  The challenge is to take 26 different photos using a list with words such as :

  • Three feet
  • Holding on
  • Lines
  • Out of Place
  • Hope
  • Beyond Reach
  • Wonder
  • Unexpected
  • At the Crossroads

Lucy takes amazing photos - creative and moving. While she explores her new environment and neighbours she realizes, perhaps before the family will admit this themselves, that Nate's grandmother Lilah is loosing her memory. One photo especially captures Lilah's bewilderment but Nate becomes angry and Lucy is not sure what to do.

When an Australian child reads this book they should probably read about Loons and hear the amazing sounds they make.  I have been fascinated by these special birds ever since I heard about them when I lived in Canada. I did enjoy Half a Chance.  It is an easy book to read but with a strong sense of place and even though you may predict the ending, it is still completely heartwarming.  Here is a detailed review of Half a Chance.

You might also enjoy Millie and the Night Heron by Catherine Bateson or Return to Gone-away by Elizabeth Enright.

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