That Girl Lucy Moon

Amy Timberlake, Author Hyperion Books for Children $15.99 (294p) ISBN 978-0-7868-5298-7
Timberlake's (The Dirty Cowboy) quite enchanting first novel stars a girl struggling to find her place in junior high. In elementary school, ""Lucy had felt full of fire and fury""; fighting social injustice was a large part of her identity. All the students knew why Lucy wears a green-and-yellow hemp hat (to make people aware of how the U.S. takes advantage of Mexican workers). Now in sixth grade, things seem different; Lucy has lost her spark. ""If the other sixth graders were like pocket change,... then Lucy had always been more like a button."" Suddenly, being unique wasn't cool. When the wealthy Miss Wiggins, who lives atop ""the only good sledding hill"" in town, decides to fence it off, Lucy and two friends launch a ""Free Wiggins Hill!"" postcard campaign hoping to change Miss Wiggins's mind. Lucy gets her 15 minutes of fame before things go terribly wrong. Her uncommon perspective on the social nuances of junior high is refreshing, but the book becomes muddled when it begins to jump between Lucy's campaign and her bewilderment over the sudden abandonment of her mother. Readers may also question the sudden capitulation of Miss Wiggins, who is portrayed throughout the book as rather mean, calculating and controlling. Still, Lucy is a likeable girl with plenty of spunk, and those who feel out-of-place in junior high will likely enjoy this rather refreshing look at getting involved. Ages 9-12.
Reviewed on: 09/04/2006
Release date: 09/01/2006
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 294 pages - 978-0-7868-5299-4
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-60686-033-5
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