Friday, June 10, 2016

Can Lucy Find the Perfect Shots?

Lucy moves around a lot because her father is a famous photographer and he’s always looking for the next assignment. It's the start of summer, and her family has ended up on a lake in New Hampshire. Right before her dad leaves for his latest shoot, Lucy finds out about a photography contest for kids, but her dad is the judge. She knows she shouldn’t enter, but she wants to prove that she can take pictures too. Lucy knows it's hard to make friends, but things look promising when she meets Nate on the dock while she's taking pictures. It turns out Nate is only visiting the lake, like he does every year. When school starts he'll be going back to New Jersey. Still, Lucy and Nate become fast friends. He decides to help her find the perfect picture for each category of the photo contest. They're also recording their observations of the loons on the lake during what they call "loon patrol. Nate's grandmother, Grandma Lilah, loves finding out what's happening with them. At first Lucy was frightened by the call of the loons, but the more she learns about them the more fascinated she becomes. This is a very rough time for Nate, as his grandmother has the beginnings of dementia, so this will probably be her last season on the lake. One day Lucy snaps the perfect picture of Grandma Lilah, which Nate tells her she can't use in the contest. Should she submit it anyway? What will happen when her father finds out? What will the loon teach her? Pick up this book so you don’t miss the fun at the lake!
I read Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord because I've read other books by her and really enjoyed them. I met Ms. Lord this past November at the UCONN Children's Book Fair and I couldn't wait to read her latest book. I was not disappointed. I've spent time in New Hampshire and I think she captured the setting perfectly. I liked Lucy. I could relate to her concern about Grandma Lilah and her uncertainty with the developing friendship with Nate. I've always found photography interesting, so I loved learning more about that too. I knew a little about loons before reading this book, but now I know much more and think I'd have fun going on "loon patrol." The title ties into the theme of the story because having half a chance is better than having no chance at all. I recommend this book to kids in fourth grade and up who like realistic fiction and stories about friendship. Kids who have known someone with dementia will understand how Nate feels and the struggles his family deals with. This is a great book any time of year, but it's perfect for summer!

Has anyone else read Half a Chance? Or have you read another book by Cynthia Lord? We'd love to hear your thoughts! 

We were lucky enough to interview Ms. Lord a while back if you want to check out what she had to say about writing. 

Happy Reading!

~L

42 comments:

  1. It does sound great - with some deceptively confronting issues tackled. Thank you for the heads up.

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    1. EC- The issues were presented in such a realistic way that the book would be a great conversation starter for families going through the same thing. :) ~L

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  2. I love the premise on that one...and the way she set up the conflict. Sounds like another great one!

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    1. Stephanie- I really enjoyed it! :) ~L

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  3. This sounds good and so relevant as so many young kids in that age group could have a grandparent starting with dementia or impacted by it. Definitely sounds like a good read!

    betty

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    1. Betty- I think this is a book a lot of kids could relate to and it could help them with what they are going through (or what a friend might be going through). :) ~L

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  4. Half a Chance sounds like a good summer read.

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    1. Sherry- It is perfect for summer! :) ~L

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  5. I haven't seen this one but have read a couple other books by Cynthia Lord. I will check it out. Thanks for the post.

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    1. Rosi- So far I have enjoyed every Cynthia Lord book I have read. I hope you liked this one too! :) ~L

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  6. I've not read, "Half a Chance". Although, given half a chance, based on what I just read, it seems to be a great book to read.

    Gary

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    1. Klahanie- It is definitely a book worth reading! :) ~L

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  7. I love books about competitions. There's so much inherent conflict and tension in those. And of course you really root for the hero/heroine to win!

    Now I'm all curious as to what loons sound like... Wishing Cynthia much success!

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    1. Lexa- The competition added a nice element to the story and I kept thinking of the pictures I would take for each category. :)

      I hope you can find loons on the internet (or in person) to listen to because they are fascinating. :) ~L

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  8. Keeping fingers crossed for Lucy!

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    1. Dezmond- I was rooting for her too! :) ~L

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  9. Great reading this! Congratulations to Cynthia!

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    1. Romance Reader- It is a great read! :) ~L

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  10. This sounds like a really interesting read.

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    1. Kelly- Glad to introduce you to it! :) ~L

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  12. I enjoyed your review. Half a chance sounds like a really good story.

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  13. Sounds like fun: a great summer read for a lakeside vacation.

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    1. The Armchair Squid- It is truly perfect for lake or beach reading. :) ~L

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  14. This sounds like an interesting read... I am sure my daughter would love it xox

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    1. Launna- I bet she would too! :) ~L

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  15. Sounds like something I'd like to share with the kids in my family.

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  16. Thanks for sharing your review, sounds interesting!

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    1. Nas- You are welcome! It is a great book! :) ~L

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  17. Gorgeous review sweetie :D So glad you liked this book. First time I hear of it, but ohh, I'm pretty curious :) It seems sweet. Thank you for sharing about it. <3

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    1. Carina- It is a very sweet book. I am glad you liked the review! :) ~L

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  18. I haven't read this book, but enjoy taking pictures. My camera's almost always hanging on my neck. The story sounds like one I'd like.

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    1. Beverly- If you like taking pictures then I think you will love this story. Each chapter is a category of the photography contest. :) ~L

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  19. I would've liked Lucy. And poor Nate, knowing that this could be the last season on the lake for Grandma is tough. I envy those who can take beautiful photos. Mine, I don't know why, but they often turn out blurry!

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    1. Claudine- I think you take great pictures! I also know you will love Lucy and Nate (and Nate's grandma). :) ~L

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  20. I really enjoyed Rules by Cynthia Lord and so I'd probably like Half a Chance too. I also appreciate any books that applaud creativity. Thanks for the review!

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    1. Allison- I loved Rules too. Cynthia Lord does a really great job creating realistic characters. I hope you enjoy Half a Chance. :) ~L

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  21. Seems like an interesting book, but not one that I have heard of before. It must be a hard life when you have to move around a lot because of your fathers work sometimes!

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    1. Olivia-Savannah- I would think it would be hard to have to move around a lot too! Always needing to make friends can't be easy. :) ~L

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