cover image The Good-Luck Pencil

The Good-Luck Pencil

Diane Stanley. Four Winds, $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-02-786800-5

Mary Ann can't do anything wrongespecially after finding a good-luck pencil. She works all the math problems right and draws pictures that everyone admires. When her teacher assigns a homework composition, Mary Ann must find something interesting to write about her ordinary family, so she lets the good-luck pencil go to work. It writes that her mother is a world-famous ballerina, her father is an astronaut and Mary Ann a world champion piano player planning to climb Mt. Olympus in the summer. But then the composition becomes real. After practicing Mozart and Bach over and over, then doing hours of exhausting exercises, Mary Ann longs for a regular life again. She pulls out a different pencil and writes a less exciting but accurate composition, dispelling the unwanted illusion. The illustrations are lighthearted and will draw young readers into repeated readings. (57)