cover image The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky

The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky

Holly Schindler. Dial, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3725-9

Axioms like “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” come gracefully to life in Schindler’s (Playing Hurt) tale about the value of hard work and the power of community. Auggie Jones lives with her grandfather Gus, a trash hauler, in the poor section of town, something that hasn’t been an issue until she starts fifth grade. Now, a wealthy girl named Victoria is trying to steal Auggie’s best friend, and the town’s beautification committee has Auggie’s ramshackle neighborhood in its sights. Auggie and Gus begin using old car parts and discarded machinery to make sculptures to beautify their house, leading to in a battle between the have and have-nots. While the community showdown is none too subtle, it will introduce some readers to outsider and folk art, as well as the subjectivity of beauty and art. A subplot involving Auggie’s missing mother stretches credibility, but Auggie’s enthusiasm and unbridled creativity are infectious, and likeminded readers will envy her creative partnership with Gus. Ages 8–12. Agent: Deborah Warren, East-West Literary Agency. (Feb.)