So I’ve finally read The Higher Power of Lucky, and it’s a charming book. In many ways it feels very similar to other books I’ve read–seems there are a lot of middle grade books about quirky kids who’ve lost their parents and are trying to make their quirky way through the world–yet it has perhaps a lighter touch than many of those books, and one more in line with my own sense of humor, too. This isn’t a “genre” I read much, but if I were going to choose one book out of it, this one would be a fine choice.
Plus, the protagonist’s (and author’s?) love of the California desert comes through, and adds to the book as well.
As for the handful of librarians and teachers who are worried about how to explain the meaning of the word “scrotum” to their classes? They could take a lesson from Lucky’s guardian, who gets asked that same question toward the end of the book. “It is a little sack of the man or the animal which has in it the sperm to make a baby,” Brigette answers matter-of-factly, and the book moves on, not missing a beat and not finding the matter very difficult at all. Most children who ask honest questions only want honest answers, after all.
If a stray educator here or there can’t manage even that–though, really, aren’t honest, informative answers what they’re trained for?–they can always fall back on the old, “Well, you’ll just have to keep reading to find out, won’t you?” Which may not be the best answer, but would still be a far better answer than pulling this book from shelves just to spare a few adults a few awkward moments.