If you feel like the end of summer is approaching way too quickly for your liking, then check out Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord. It’s a great summertime read, and I think you’ll identify with the main character, who also dreads the end of the season.
You may be thinking, “Duh. Everyone hates the end of summer.” But for Lucy, it’s more than that: She and her family have just moved to a new town full of seasonal vacationers. That means her only friends are going home in the fall, leaving Lucy to face a new school all alone.
But Lucy does make the most of the summer and her limited time with her new friends, the family next door. They introduce her to their annual tradition of checking on the loons of the lake (birds that nest on an island across the water from their houses), and Lucy becomes fast friends with a boy her age named Nate.
While Nate is showing her around he area, he also helps Lucy with a photo contest that she desperately wants to win. Her father (a famous nature photographer) is the judge, and she believes that if she enters under a fake name, she’ll finally get the fair treatment and objective feedback she craves from her dad. But what will he say when he finds out that Lucy really took the pictures?
That’s not the only moral dilemma in this book. Unfortunately, there are some sad things going on in Nate’s family and Lucy gets caught up in that too — not always in a way that Nate would like!
So, as you can see, there are some serious aspects of this book, and maybe that means it’s not your typical beach read. But there are also funny and sweet parts. And as soon as I started reading, I was drawn in by Lucy and the other characters — not to mention the wonderful setting where I wish I could spend my summer!
I would recommend this book to fans of Cynthia Lord’s other novels (like Rules and Touch Blue). You might also like Half a Chance if you enjoyed Ten Good and Bad Things About My Life (So Far), The Truth about Twinkie Pie, Umbrella Summer, and books by Wendy Mass.
If you’ve already read Half a Chance, leave a comment with your thoughts. Or tell me: What’s your favorite vacation spot?
Karen doesn’t have a regular place where she goes every summer. This year, she’s traveling to San Juan Island off the coast of Washington for the first time. Maybe it will become her new go-to spot!
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