cover image The Luminous Life of Lucy Landry

The Luminous Life of Lucy Landry

Anna Rose Johnson. Holiday House, $18.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-8234-5363-4

When French and Ojibwe 11-year-old Selena Lucy Landry’s guardian dies, she’s placed in the care of the Martins, a large Ojibwe family, in this uplifting tale by Johnson (The Star That Always Stays), a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Already apprehensive about the move, Lucy feels further anxious and isolated when she learns that the family inhabits a lighthouse on a small island in the middle of Lake Superior. Even as she copes with grief, Lucy tries hard to fit in with the six Martin children, regaling them with fanciful, sometimes true, stories. After she recounts the tale of a nearby capsized boat that carried a ruby necklace, her pseudo-siblings gently rib her about the epic’s validity, prompting Lucy to set out in search of the necklace, certain that obtaining it for the Martins is her only way to gain acceptance. In this tender, wholesome book about family, Johnson acknowledges the importance of kindness and patience, especially in matters of grief and settling into new places and situations. Third-person passages deftly detail Lucy’s tumultuous emotions and winningly balance the mystery of the shipwreck; Anishinaabe text throughout emphasizes how culture and environmental preservation shape the Martin family’s values. Ages 8–12. Agent: Jessica Schmeidler, Golden Wheat Literary. (Mar.)