I found myself reluctant to read the third volume of the Hard Pan trilogy that began with the Newbery-award-winning The Higher Power of Lucky because I've come to adore Lucky and the quirky inhabitants of Hard Pan, a tiny desert town in California, and this is the final installment. I knew I'd be so sad to say goodbye!
In this last book, Lucky finds herself wishing that her stepmom Brigitte's restaurant weren't quite so popular. Restaurants are a lot of work - and it's the kind of work that is always being undone and having to be done all over again, like cleaning tables, washing dishes, and sweeping floors. Plus because the cafe is only open on the weekends, that cuts into any fun time Lucky and Brigitte can have together. But when a health inspector shows up and it looks like the cafe is going to be closed down, Lucky realizes that despite the hard work, the cafe is an important part of their lives - and the lives of Hard Pan's residents, too.
This book is about much more than the cafe, though. Questions raised throughout the trilogy are addressed, such as Lucky's relationship with her absentee father, and while Lucky, as usual, makes some rash decisions and a few mistakes as the story progresses, readers will be rooting for her all the way. Funny, fresh and honest, this book contains all the things I loved about the first two, and culminates in a moving, satisfying conclusion. I will miss Lucky and the memorable residents of Hard Pan, but I'm looking forward to whatever Susan Patron decides to write next. It is nice to know the Hard Pan trilogy will be there, though, waiting for a reread, whenever I decide to go back for a visit And I'm sure I will
1. The Higher Power of Lucky
2. Lucky Breaks
3. Lucky for Good
Lucky for Good by Susan Patron (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011)