Lucky Strike
Nate Harlow would love to be lucky, just once! He'd like to win a prize, get picked first, call a coin toss right, even! But his best friend, Genesis Beam (aka Gen), believes in science and logic, and she doesn't think for one second that there's such a thing as luck, good or bad. She doesn't care what names the other kids call them. She cares about being right, about saving the turtles of Paradise Beach, and she cares about Nate. Then, on his birthday, at the Goofy Golf mini-golf course, Nate is struck by lightning -- and survives! Suddenly baseballs are drawn to his bat-popular kids want HIM on their side. It seems the whole town of Paradise Beach thinks Nate has the magic touch. But is there room for Gen in Nate's lucky new world?Lucky Strike tells the unforgettable story of two vulnerable outsiders and what luck is really all about.

Lucky Strike Details

TitleLucky Strike
Author
FormatHardcover
ReleaseFeb 24th, 2015
PublisherArthur A. Levine Books
ISBN0545592178
ISBN-139780545592178
Number of pages272 pages
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction, Juvenile, Magical Realism

Lucky Strike Review

  • Liviania
    April 21, 2015
    Nate Harlow is the unluckiest boy in town. His toast is always burnt, and he can never call a coin correctly. He takes pictures of lost shoes, hoping that one day he can reunite a pair, that maybe that will be good luck. Then he's struck by lightning on his birthday and everything turns around.I liked that LUCKY STRIKE was ambiguous about whether there was anything magical happening. Nate's luck (good and bad) strains credulity, as do other events in the novel, but there is no concrete statement Nate Harlow is the unluckiest boy in town. His toast is always burnt, and he can never call a coin correctly. He takes pictures of lost shoes, hoping that one day he can reunite a pair, that maybe that will be good luck. Then he's struck by lightning on his birthday and everything turns around.I liked that LUCKY STRIKE was ambiguous about whether there was anything magical happening. Nate's luck (good and bad) strains credulity, as do other events in the novel, but there is no concrete statement that it is all real or all imaginary. After all, as Gen's mother points out, much of the changes in Nate's life could come from his increased self-confidence. There's a nice balance of possibility.Pre-strike, Nate is best friends with Genesis "Gen" Beam and firm in his solidarity with her as the two biggest losers around. Post-strike, he is excited by his new opportunities to make friends and lashes out when Gen's lack of social skill makes it harder for him to fit it. It's hard to see a nice kid succumb to popularity like that, but it is believable that Nate wouldn't know how to handle all of the changes in his life gracefully. I did find it slightly awkward that LUCKY STRIKE starts switching to Gen's point of view at this point when the beginning is firmly in Nate's point of view. However, I did like that both friends get their say.The messages of LUCKY STRIKE are pretty simple: good friends stick with you through thick and thin, and fancy new things aren't always better than what you had. There's also a good exploration of the kind of jealousy that unwarranted good fortune can engender. It's not groundbreaking stuff, but it is presented charmingly. I particularly liked the environmental element of LUCKY STRIKE. Gen is passionate about protecting the loggerhead turtles that nest on the beach.Young readers will enjoy Nate's reversal of fortune and discovery that some things are more important than luck. LUCKY STRIKE is a cute, almost magical realist, read that does hit some deep notes.
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  • NebraskaIcebergs
    April 24, 2015
    Lucky Strike is a light-hearted tale about a boy whose fortune changes when he miraculously survives being struck by lightning. Through the use of magical realism, Bobbie Pryon also explores complex themes such as friendship, bullying, and what luck really is. While Lucky Strike might a departure from Pyron’s more serious works, it remains thought-provoking and well written.Magical realism might seem like a contradiction. After all, the one is about impossible events and the other depicts events Lucky Strike is a light-hearted tale about a boy whose fortune changes when he miraculously survives being struck by lightning. Through the use of magical realism, Bobbie Pryon also explores complex themes such as friendship, bullying, and what luck really is. While Lucky Strike might a departure from Pyron’s more serious works, it remains thought-provoking and well written.Magical realism might seem like a contradiction. After all, the one is about impossible events and the other depicts events that could be true. Pyron manages to pull it off, by creating one character who wholeheartedly believes in luck and another character who accepts only the laws of probability and logic. Nate carries around a rabbit’s foot, wishes on birthday candles, and forever hopes for his misfortune to change. In contrast, Gen persists in calculating chance, persisting in the belief that if one tosses a coin one hundred times, the odds are one will get heads about half the time.Pyron also successfully walks the tightrope between magic and realism, by entrenching readers in the realistic world of the sea, fishing, and turtleheads, while at the same time dipping into the improbable world of being struck by lightning, living to tell the tale, AND being blessed with a Midas Touch. On the one end, Nate and Gen spend each spring visiting the beach and protecting turtle eggs. On the other end, Nate finds himself surrounded by more friends and enemies than he knows how to handle, due to his mysterious ability to pick winning numbers and tickets.Finally, Pyron manages to pull off a magical realism tale with a style that relies on exaggeration. Open to any page and you’re bound to find a few examples. To illustrate, page one tells us that Nate’s hound dog had been snatched up by a tornado “doghouse and all” never to be seen again. Moreover, Nate had never “in the history of his eleven years on God’s green earth” won a prize. Around the midpoint, we’re told about Nate’s visit to a carnival. He plays a game where one has to knock down four miniature clowns with a ball. After Nate successfully strikes the first three clowns, he could have sworn the fourth “tried to hide behind the other clowns”All of the above makes for a highly entertaining and fun tale, but Pyron is also a master at creating fiction of depth. There’s a message about friendship. When Nate gains popularity for the first time, he forsakes his previous friends. As a twist on this common mistake, Pyron has Gen push herself out of her comfort zone to find others who need friends. There’s a message about bullies. Not long Nate forsakes his previous friends, he ends up having to choose between them and a gang of boys whose skills lie in taunting others. Finally, there’s a message about luck. Like a person who has won the lottery, Nate is catapulted into the center of attention after being strike by lightning. Sometimes though, fame isn’t everything one expects, wants, or needs.With each new novel, Pryon shows herself adept at writing for different age groups and in diverse genres. I first encountered her writings in 2011 when I reviewed A Dog’s Life and The Ring as part of a virtual tour. It’s been an equal delight to read Lucky Strike, so much so that I’m already looking forward to her next book.
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  • Mindy
    May 13, 2015
    Loved this book. Great story about friendship, the power of hope, and two kids whose lives are changed when one of them gets struck by lightning. Nate is the most unlucky person ever until he survived being struck by lightning. After that his luck changes to good…always. That is good, right? Sometimes good luck is worse than bad luck… and Nate’s good luck may not be so great for his friend, Gen.I loved the characters in this book. They were so real and likeable. I grew up in a small town where e Loved this book. Great story about friendship, the power of hope, and two kids whose lives are changed when one of them gets struck by lightning. Nate is the most unlucky person ever until he survived being struck by lightning. After that his luck changes to good…always. That is good, right? Sometimes good luck is worse than bad luck… and Nate’s good luck may not be so great for his friend, Gen.I loved the characters in this book. They were so real and likeable. I grew up in a small town where everyone knew my dad who had been raised here. It was rough growing up because I couldn’t get away with anything, but it was also nice to be part of a community. My dad was in construction and times were tough growing up financially. So I could relate to the struggles of the people in this community and also how they came together.I give this book 4.5 out of 5 clouds.
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  • Jaina
    May 31, 2015
    This review is also available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.I'm beginning to feel old. Yes, old. And don't laugh at me, okay? Sixteen-year-olds are allowed to feel the effects of growing up just as much as adults - in fact, we go through more changes in a shorter amount of time than you do! So when I read a Middle Grade book, one that is targeted to an age group that I was a part of only four years ago, I get a bit nostalgic. I get nostalgic for the days when I was easily wowed, when plots never fe This review is also available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.I'm beginning to feel old. Yes, old. And don't laugh at me, okay? Sixteen-year-olds are allowed to feel the effects of growing up just as much as adults - in fact, we go through more changes in a shorter amount of time than you do! So when I read a Middle Grade book, one that is targeted to an age group that I was a part of only four years ago, I get a bit nostalgic. I get nostalgic for the days when I was easily wowed, when plots never felt reused or simplistic or - perish the thought! - boring. Now that I'm older, and have read so many books, I am much more particular about the books that I read. My eyes aren't the fresh eyes of a book-loving seventh grader; they're the critical eyes of a well-read soon-to-be Senior in high school. Yes, I realize I'm exagerrating. But I'm in a reading slump right now, so this is how it feels. In a few weeks I'll be bright-eyes again, but right now the world is a well-trodden place where there is nothing new to bring to the table.I'm sad Lucky Strike didn't bring me out of my slump, but I just didn't like the characters enough to enjoy it very much. Nate didn't really win me, and I especially didn't care much for the way he treated Gen. He's such a fair-weather friend that as soon as he gets struck by lightning, he hoofs it over to the popular kids' side. Haha, he's a "fair-weather friend" who leaves after he gets "struck by lightning!" I don't know why, but I think that's hilarious. Puns aside, though, Nate was rather an anomaly. Descriptions of Nate and Gen's past together depicted him as this great friend who stuck by Gen through thick and thin. Then we're supposed to believe that he ditches her in a really cruel way (by standing her up, barely apologizing, and then calling her a weirdo in front of all of their classmates). Then at the end - well, I won't spoil it for you, but I bet you can guess. Nate's supposed to be this nice kid who went a little popularity crazy when his luck changed, but I just don't buy it. I wish I did, though.As for Gen, I didn't really love her either. I mean, I liked her more than Nate and I felt bad for her when he was mistreating her. But I'm so sick of the "socially disconnected" depiction of smart people that I didn't really like her as much as I could have. How come the smart person always has to be the weirdo? As a smart-ish person myself, I know this isn't always the case - when you're born, God doesn't decide between giving you scholastic or social aptitude. Being able to process large numbers in your head (definitely not a gift God has given me) does not require you to spit them out like a calculator in the middle of conversations. Caring about turtle eggs on the beach does not mean you sit on the beach 24/7 and forgo having fun with people your own age (and species).The plot idea is a fun one, and has a lot of potential. Byron focuses on the reactions to Nate's new luck: I already discussed Nate's less-than-ideal reaction, but the far more interesting aspect of the story is everyone else's reaction. Any time one person seems to have an advantage in this world, we seem to break into two groups: the beggers and the haters. The beggars are the people who swarm Nate, asking him to do things for them or play on their team or come ride in their fishing boat. They want some of Nate's luck to rub off on them, so they scurry to stay on his good side. Everone else despises Nate for being so successful. When he and his grandfather have a run of fabulous luck, the other men of the village become bitter that Nate's grandfather is getting everything. They become bitter, behaving meanly to both Nate and his grandfather, because they are swept away in the feeling that an injustice is being done them.Honestly, the more I think about it the less I liked Lucky Strike. There's nothing so wrong with it that I would consciously refuse to recommend it, but there's also nothing so positive about it that I would go out of my way to suggest it to others. I may hand it off to my middle grade-aged brother if he seems interested, but I won't push it onto him. And who knows, he may like it much more than I did.
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  • Laura Thomas
    January 23, 2015
    Ask anybody in Paradise Beach who is the unluckiest of them all, they’d unanimously offer the name, Nathaniel Harlow.Nate is so unlucky when he tries to toast some bread, it doesn’t come out burnt, the toaster shorts out instead. Every box of cracker jacks is consumed with no prize in the bottom.So who would be the unlucky person to get struck by lightning on his eleventh birthday but Nate. Yep. while playing goofy golf, a bolt came down and blew him clear oot of his favorite red sneakers.Now th Ask anybody in Paradise Beach who is the unluckiest of them all, they’d unanimously offer the name, Nathaniel Harlow.Nate is so unlucky when he tries to toast some bread, it doesn’t come out burnt, the toaster shorts out instead. Every box of cracker jacks is consumed with no prize in the bottom.So who would be the unlucky person to get struck by lightning on his eleventh birthday but Nate. Yep. while playing goofy golf, a bolt came down and blew him clear oot of his favorite red sneakers.Now that’s not the way it was supposed to work. For the first time ever, when Nate made a fervent wish and blew the candles out on his birthday cake, they all went out. Not one flame stayed lit. Shouldn’t that mean his wish had come true? His luck had changed? I wouldn’t call lightning zapping him lucky.Perhaps his luck did change though. He did survive to see more birthdays. And then more lucky things began to happen to Nate and soon he was the most popular person in Paradise Beach.But is he truly lucky? His best friend, Genesis Beam, doesn’t think so. She’s been friends with Nate for a long time and being a science geek, she doesn’t believe in luck. She just tells him the odds are in his favor for good things to happen. We shall see.Nate is a delightful boy. He remained positive even though he was unlucky. He never gave up hoping for better. And his friend Genesis. She’s such a cute thing. Both are the outsiders. The ones the others bully and make fun of.I was worried about their friendship when Nate became popular. I didn’t want him to lose such a loyal friend or abandon their plight to save the sea turtles. Childhood friends are precious and can last a lifetime.Lucky Strike is a gem. Friendships are tested and new ones are forged. It’s a story of learning to see what’s in front of you and hold tight to it. Sometimes wanting something more shows you’ve had it all along.My son read this after I did. He’s a bit older than the recommended reading age for this story but he loved it too. We talked about luck and friends, family and how things change over time. Our reminiscing was another gem I discovered from sharing this book with him and we both feel “Lucky” to have read it.I received this book for my honest review.
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  • Julie
    December 14, 2014
    Nate is unlucky, and he has been unlucky for as long as he can remember. His grandfather doesn't have much in the southern fishing town where they live, but when he takes Nate to mini-golf for his birthday, the unthinkable happens -- Nate is indirectly struck by lightening and his luck changes dramatically. Lucky Strike is your basic "outcast becomes popular, abandons his real friends for the new cool kids, and eventually learns that friendship and family are everything" story. Though I enjoyed Nate is unlucky, and he has been unlucky for as long as he can remember. His grandfather doesn't have much in the southern fishing town where they live, but when he takes Nate to mini-golf for his birthday, the unthinkable happens -- Nate is indirectly struck by lightening and his luck changes dramatically. Lucky Strike is your basic "outcast becomes popular, abandons his real friends for the new cool kids, and eventually learns that friendship and family are everything" story. Though I enjoyed Nate's BFF Gen, gifted in all things practical and a lover of science and math, as an interesting foil to his "luck is everything" perspective, I couldn't find much to love about this book. The pacing is painfully slow, with not much going on in terms of plot or character development for the middle 60% of the book. Both the Nate is so super lucky and the Nate abandons his friends sections could have done without about 75 pages combined. And the turtles, which are meant to drive the plot to its climax, seem to come from no where after a one line mention earlier in the book. Writing-wise, I found the Southern quirkiness and sayings trite rather than reverent. Might appeal to 4-6th grade audience, but lacks the sophistication many upper-elementary books have in terms of avoiding an obvious ending.
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  • Kristen
    December 26, 2016
    Lucky Strike (not to be confused with Lucky Strikes, which I read a few days ago) is basically a story about friendship--what happens when the cool kids start to like you (even if it's for the wrong reasons)? Nate and Gen are quirky and dorky but fit together...but when Nate finds a weird kind of fame after being struck by lightning, their friendship becomes strained, and Nate discovers that luck and fame aren't really all they're cut out to be. Nothing particularly hard-hitting or deep in this Lucky Strike (not to be confused with Lucky Strikes, which I read a few days ago) is basically a story about friendship--what happens when the cool kids start to like you (even if it's for the wrong reasons)? Nate and Gen are quirky and dorky but fit together...but when Nate finds a weird kind of fame after being struck by lightning, their friendship becomes strained, and Nate discovers that luck and fame aren't really all they're cut out to be. Nothing particularly hard-hitting or deep in this one; it's cute and short and will be great for reluctant readers.
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  • Liza Nahas
    August 22, 2015
    3.5 Good story about a kid who thinks he's unlucky until he survives a lightning strike. His luck changes, but he comes to see it may not really be all that "lucky". When his best friend,who he has blown off since he's been asked to hang with the cool kids, gets struck by lightning too, he realizes what true luck is. I liked the Florida setting & side story of the conservancy of the loggerhead turtles.
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  • AMY PRIDGEN
    March 18, 2017
    263 pages. An 11 year old named Nate wants to be lucky after his parents are killed by a drunk driver. His dog gets hit by lightning and everything changes. It was not that great after reading a couple of chapters. Not recommended.
  • Nicole
    April 26, 2015
    I love great recommendations and, sometimes, when I am recommended a book I get an advanced copy and I get to participate in a book tour—I LOVE blog tours, because it allows me to get introduced to some great new (to me) blogs. Today, we’re touring Bobby Pyron’s novel Lucky Strike.Nate Harlow has had a pretty unlucky like, but all that changes on April 11th, the day of his 11th birthday. He is finally able to blow out all the candles from his cake. Nate is convinced the unlucky streak that has p I love great recommendations and, sometimes, when I am recommended a book I get an advanced copy and I get to participate in a book tour—I LOVE blog tours, because it allows me to get introduced to some great new (to me) blogs. Today, we’re touring Bobby Pyron’s novel Lucky Strike.Nate Harlow has had a pretty unlucky like, but all that changes on April 11th, the day of his 11th birthday. He is finally able to blow out all the candles from his cake. Nate is convinced the unlucky streak that has plagued him all of his life is finally over…until he gets struck by lightning at the mechanical dinosaur at goofy golf. It’s a miracle he survives, and it isn’t until much later that he realizes exactly how lucky he is.From that moment, Nate’s luck begins to change (for his Grandfather, as well) for the better. And his best friend, Genesis (Gen, for short) is along for the ride. While Nate believes the strike gave him the good luck, Gen cites the statistical probability. But, is it more than that? Does Nate’s experience of being lifted up just after the strike, hold any water?Bobby Pyron writes a fun, youth-oriented novel about beliefs and one young man’s journey towarding figuring out his place in this world.Nate is a great character, so authentic and easily an ‘everyboy’ (with a strong helping of underdog). Most people can identify with this character, especially those at the ‘tween’ stage of life. He photographs single shoes and his parents died in an accident when he was four. As a result, he has lived with his Grandfather ever since. While the two have been close, neither are prepared for the tough decisions Nate will have to make, thanks to his newfound celebrity…especially when it comes to friends.I sympathized with Gen. I was a bit of an oddball during this time of my life and I was struck by her strength—her commitment to being true to herself and working to save the turtles who nest at the local beach. She is heartbroken in Lucky Strike but she keeps going and stays true to herself.This was a great read—perfect for the young reader in your life, or the older reader in search of a meaningful book, Check out the excerpt below—and pick up the book from your favorite retailer today!
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  • Barbara
    June 18, 2015
    Good luck seems to avoid Nathaniel (Nate) Harlow completely until his eleventh birthday. It's not that his life isn't good despite his seemingly-lifelong streak of bad luck and clumsiness, but others seem to avoid him. In fact, Nate spends most of his time with Genesis Beam, the super-smart daughter of a local preacher. To the rest of their classmates, the two friends are just too odd, Gen for her interest in math and science concepts, and both of them for their concern about the sea turtles tha Good luck seems to avoid Nathaniel (Nate) Harlow completely until his eleventh birthday. It's not that his life isn't good despite his seemingly-lifelong streak of bad luck and clumsiness, but others seem to avoid him. In fact, Nate spends most of his time with Genesis Beam, the super-smart daughter of a local preacher. To the rest of their classmates, the two friends are just too odd, Gen for her interest in math and science concepts, and both of them for their concern about the sea turtles that nest near their Paradise Beach, Florida homes. But Nate's luck changes when he is struck by lightning while playing off a golf course. Suddenly, everything he touches turns to gold, and the unluckiest boy in the world becomes the luckiest boy in Florida. Nate becomes popular beyond his wildest dreams, and Gen, his loyal friend, gets left behind. It will take the threat of a hurricane and another lightning strike to set things right. Along the way, Nate finds some new friends in unexpected places as well as reconciling with the one he hurt. As he and his grandfather come to realize, being lucky just may have more to do with attitude than anything else, and not everyone loves someone who is lucky or a winner all the time. Although there are many humorous passages, readers will ache for Nate and for Gen as she watches in dismay as her friend seems to be slipping away and even saying hurtful things to her in his bid to fit in with the other youngsters. The story is told with a distinctly Southern voice, related by a talented storyteller who has created several interesting characters to populate her book. In some ways, this one reminds me of Three Times Lucky, but I liked it even more than that one. While the probability of lightning striking the same boy twice as well as his friend must be highly unlikely, one never knows. After all, stranger things have happened. Ideal for reading aloud, this book prompts questioning about probability, luck, and friendship, and is likely to make them think hard about their own values and behavior while providing entertainment as well.
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  • LAWonder10
    March 23, 2015
    ucky Strike is a tale of how sea seemingly endless friendship can be broken or challenged when circumstances in life changes. It is a story of self-discovery, peer pressure, forgiveness and more.What happens when disasters or tragedy occurs in a community? Can obtaining one's dreams truly bring contentment and happiness? These questions will be answered through individual experiences in one small community in the Florida panhandle.I particularly enjoyed this novel because its settings were in so ucky Strike is a tale of how sea seemingly endless friendship can be broken or challenged when circumstances in life changes. It is a story of self-discovery, peer pressure, forgiveness and more.What happens when disasters or tragedy occurs in a community? Can obtaining one's dreams truly bring contentment and happiness? These questions will be answered through individual experiences in one small community in the Florida panhandle.I particularly enjoyed this novel because its settings were in some of the little known areas my husband was raised in and has family living there still. It was so easy for me to visualize it since I have experienced being in some of those areas and can relate to the views, senses which are stirred by the environment and feel the charitable attitudes of the small communities.The author did a great job of holding the reader's interest. The storyline was familiar yet contained a couple of unexpected twists. The Book Cover and Title were cleverly created which depicted the story without giving anything away. They were eye-catching and attractive. The characters were believable/I enjoyed the book but couldn't really feel connected to it. Although emotions were described, they still could not be felt. There were not the words which enveloped the readers heart and mind.This is recommended for children 8 to 12 years of age. It has a variety of great discussion points for Book Clubs. It, also, points out good values, of which could have been more strongly portrayed.This book review offer a Four Stars rating for this Book.*This book was sent to
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  • Kathy Mullen
    September 24, 2015
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is refreshing to find something that is original and not part of a series. Small town friendship, saving the turtles, kids on the outside of what's seen as "normal" - all combine to make a great story.School Library Journal★ 12/01/2014Gr 4–6—Wherever Nate Harlow goes, bad luck seems to follow. He has never even won a coin toss, so it comes as no surprise to many residents of Paradise Beach that it is Nate who gets struck by lightning out of the literal blue on I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is refreshing to find something that is original and not part of a series. Small town friendship, saving the turtles, kids on the outside of what's seen as "normal" - all combine to make a great story.School Library Journal★ 12/01/2014Gr 4–6—Wherever Nate Harlow goes, bad luck seems to follow. He has never even won a coin toss, so it comes as no surprise to many residents of Paradise Beach that it is Nate who gets struck by lightning out of the literal blue on his 11th birthday while playing mini-golf with his friend Genesis Beam. What does come as a big surprise is that Nate's luck seems to change drastically after the strike. All of a sudden, he is winning. Everything. Nate has to decide how he is going to handle this change—he is now surrounded by friends and opportunities whereas before it was only him and Genesis sticking together. Will she stay by Nate's side while he finds his feet, and, more importantly, will he support her when she needs it most? This well-told story of growth, friendship, and small-town life hits all the right notes. The quirkiness of the characters and the town never goes too far, and there is an overall cozy feeling to the book. Genesis's dad is the preacher at The Church of the One True Redeemer and Everlasting Light, but she is a scientist through and through, which adds complexity to the text, including musings on destiny, fate, probability, and weather. Fans of Susan Patron's Higher Power of Lucky (S. & S., 2006), Sheila Turnage's Three Times Lucky (Dial, 2012), and Ingrid Law's Savvy (2008; both, Dial) will find something new for their to-read shelves.—Stacy Dillon, LREI, New York City
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  • Carrie Ardoin
    May 10, 2015
    Nate is so unlucky, that he gets hit by lightning on his 11th birthday! He does survive it though, and it seems that somehow, it has had an effect on him--everything he does now turns out right. It even appears he can affect the luck of others!But Nate soon learns that just because a wish comes true, doesn't mean it solves every problem in your life--in a lot of instances, it can create more.Nate and his best friend Gen are kind of the outcast kids of their small town, but they have each other a Nate is so unlucky, that he gets hit by lightning on his 11th birthday! He does survive it though, and it seems that somehow, it has had an effect on him--everything he does now turns out right. It even appears he can affect the luck of others!But Nate soon learns that just because a wish comes true, doesn't mean it solves every problem in your life--in a lot of instances, it can create more.Nate and his best friend Gen are kind of the outcast kids of their small town, but they have each other and their families, at least. When Nate gets struck by lightning, his luck changes, and he finds himself a very popular person all of a sudden. It doesn't take him long to learn that popularity comes with a price, and his "blessing" of good luck is more like a curse, at least when it comes to the relationships he has with the people closest to him.I think this is a pretty good middle grade offering that 5th-7th graders would like. Gen and Nate have a pretty good friendship, and I think a lot of kids would relate to the way they are outsiders. Lucky Strike had plenty of humorous parts, which I think young readers will enjoy as well. There are also moments of sadness and suspense that will keep readers quite engaged.I liked the writing, though everything seemed to move very fast, even for a 250-plus page book! As I said, this is more geared toward middle grade readers, and they will love learning Nate's story.
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  • Hikari
    April 22, 2015
    Plötzlich Glückspilz erzählt liebevoll und ernst, mit einigen humorvollen Szene, von Glück und Pech, Freundschaft und Zusammenhalt.Die Protagonisten sind die beiden Außenseiter und Freunde Nate und Gen, wobei die Geschichte aus Nates Sicht erzählt wird.Nate ist ein unglaublicher Pechvogel, wobei ihm Gen immer wieder bescheinigt, dass es sowas wie Pech und Glück nicht gibt. Doch dann geschieht etwas unfassbares und Nate lernt auch die andere Seite kennen. Und merkt dabei doch schnell, dass Glück Plötzlich Glückspilz erzählt liebevoll und ernst, mit einigen humorvollen Szene, von Glück und Pech, Freundschaft und Zusammenhalt.Die Protagonisten sind die beiden Außenseiter und Freunde Nate und Gen, wobei die Geschichte aus Nates Sicht erzählt wird.Nate ist ein unglaublicher Pechvogel, wobei ihm Gen immer wieder bescheinigt, dass es sowas wie Pech und Glück nicht gibt. Doch dann geschieht etwas unfassbares und Nate lernt auch die andere Seite kennen. Und merkt dabei doch schnell, dass Glück nicht alles ist. Und dass Glück auch negative Sachen hervorruft, denen man sich stellen muss.Vor allem hat mir die Ernsthaftigkeit des Buches gefallen, mit denen die Themen behandelt werden. Die Charaktere sind gut ausgearbeitet und man schließt sie gut ins Herz. Auch wird es fabelhaft dargestellt, wie jeder gute und schlechte Seiten hat und dass Freundschaft und Zusammenhalt einfach wichtiger sind.Auch die Protagonisten gefallen mir gut und ich mag die leichte Überzeichnung der Charaktere und Situationen, die das ganze auflockern und einen humorvollen Ton verleihen. Dadurch liest sich das Buch mit einer Leichtigkeit, die wirklich Spaß macht, aber ohne die ernstere Handlung zu stören.Insgesamt ein wirklich rundes Kinder- und Jugendbuch, dessen Geschichte mir viel Spaß bereitet hat.
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  • Ms. Yingling
    November 2, 2014
    Nate is scrawny, living with his grandfather because BOTH of his parents were killed by drunk drivers when he was four, and plagued by bad luck. When he is hit by lightning while playing Goofy Golf, his friend Gen manages to save him, and he suffers few ill effects. He does find that his luck seems to have changed. He wins carnival games, his toast comes out okay, and his grandfather's business improves. However, the more good luck he gets, the more people around him give him a hard time; his gr Nate is scrawny, living with his grandfather because BOTH of his parents were killed by drunk drivers when he was four, and plagued by bad luck. When he is hit by lightning while playing Goofy Golf, his friend Gen manages to save him, and he suffers few ill effects. He does find that his luck seems to have changed. He wins carnival games, his toast comes out okay, and his grandfather's business improves. However, the more good luck he gets, the more people around him give him a hard time; his grandpa wins a new truck and people actually sabotage it! Gen sticks by his side, although she is very concerned for the turtles on the local beach. When there is a hurrican, the beach side community battens down, but Gen is struck by lightning, saved by Nate, and in a coma. The townspeople help out the turtles on her behalf, and she eventually recovers.Strengths: I loved The Dogs of Winter (even though it was a bit sad) and A Dog's Way Home. This had the possibility of being really good and happier than many things once Nate's luck changed...Weaknesses: but then it got all depressing again. Even the supporting characters, like Chum, have too many problems. The grandfather says things like "I'll be dipped and fried". The turtle aspect would have been a hit with science classes studying biomes and habitats, but this is just too sad a book.
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  • Lisa
    October 23, 2015
    Nate has been unlucky all his life, especially the last few years since his parents died; he can never win at a coin toss, hit a baseball, anything. Then, at his birthday party at a miniature golf course, out of a clear blue sky, Nate is struck by lightning. Miraculously he survives with only a bad scar on his hand and wrist, but his luck has changed. Now, he’s the luckiest kid in town; winning every contest he enters, hitting every ball he swings at, drawing a high card every time. Everything s Nate has been unlucky all his life, especially the last few years since his parents died; he can never win at a coin toss, hit a baseball, anything. Then, at his birthday party at a miniature golf course, out of a clear blue sky, Nate is struck by lightning. Miraculously he survives with only a bad scar on his hand and wrist, but his luck has changed. Now, he’s the luckiest kid in town; winning every contest he enters, hitting every ball he swings at, drawing a high card every time. Everything should be great, but it isn’t. Nate’s lucky streak has caused a riff between him and his best friend Gen, and the people in town are tired of Nate and his grandpa getting “all the luck”. I thought this book was going to be funny. It sure started out that way, but, it’s sad. Despite Nate’s problems (poor, living in a trailer park, both parents killed etc.) his best friends are picked on, and seem to think that’s OK because they are “weirdos and losers.” (a phase the author keeps repeating) I liked the environmental plug for loggerhead turtles, and the “Reversal of Fortune” theme but overall, I was disappointed.
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  • Becky Willis
    June 23, 2015
    Disclosure: I received a printed copy of Lucky Strike in order to facilitate my review. All opinions are mine. If you looked in the dictionary under the definition of 'unlucky' you would find Nate Harlow. Nate Harlow is the main character in this book, 'Lucky Strike'. For a boy just turning eleven his luck starts to change when he is struck by lightning on his birthday. From there you will get to enjoy being a part of all of his new found luck that he has never been able to enjoy. How long will Disclosure: I received a printed copy of Lucky Strike in order to facilitate my review. All opinions are mine. If you looked in the dictionary under the definition of 'unlucky' you would find Nate Harlow. Nate Harlow is the main character in this book, 'Lucky Strike'. For a boy just turning eleven his luck starts to change when he is struck by lightning on his birthday. From there you will get to enjoy being a part of all of his new found luck that he has never been able to enjoy. How long will the luck last? You will have to read the book to find out.Although this was a book more geared toward the middle school aged children I found it enjoyable. Author Bobbie Pyron does an excellent job bringing humor and lightheartedness into this story. It is a fast read and would make a great book for summer reading.I would recommend this book to any parent, grandparent, etc that may enjoy reading to their child. Not only will your child(ren) enjoy listening but you will enjoy it too!
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  • Frugal Girl
    June 26, 2015
    I love how the author discusses luck throughout the book and how the character Genesis Beam attempts to understand it.After Nate tells Gen how his luck has changed she discusses the concept with her mother. She says, “I keep telling him there’s no such thing as luck, good or bad. Although it is an interesting theory, and it does seem things have been going his way. But that could just be self-fulfilling prophecy, couldn’t it, Mama? I mean because he thinks he’s lucky, he has succeeded more, righ I love how the author discusses luck throughout the book and how the character Genesis Beam attempts to understand it.After Nate tells Gen how his luck has changed she discusses the concept with her mother. She says, “I keep telling him there’s no such thing as luck, good or bad. Although it is an interesting theory, and it does seem things have been going his way. But that could just be self-fulfilling prophecy, couldn’t it, Mama? I mean because he thinks he’s lucky, he has succeeded more, right?”Her mom responds, “Well that could be, honey. Maybe he’s gotten more self-confidence because he believes his luck has changed, and you and I both know Nate’s never had an abundance of self-confidence. But on the other hand, how do you prove the difference between the the power of belief and the magic of luck?” I love that question. I have often wondered if I am lucky or if I just feel that way.I connected deeply to this book and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. If you’ve ever thought about luck and what makes a person lucky I highly recommended it.
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  • Paula
    September 17, 2015
    A folksy narrative tells the tale of Nate Harlow, deemed “the unluckiest boy” in Paradise Beach, Florida. He is struck by lightning on his 11th birthday while playing miniature golf with his best friend Gen. Due to her quick wits and smarts, he survives, and remarkably his bad luck turns to good. His good luck rubs off on family: his guardian grandfather wins a new truck in a raffle. All the kids who teased and shunned him before, now want to be his friend, hoping his good luck will somehow tran A folksy narrative tells the tale of Nate Harlow, deemed “the unluckiest boy” in Paradise Beach, Florida. He is struck by lightning on his 11th birthday while playing miniature golf with his best friend Gen. Due to her quick wits and smarts, he survives, and remarkably his bad luck turns to good. His good luck rubs off on family: his guardian grandfather wins a new truck in a raffle. All the kids who teased and shunned him before, now want to be his friend, hoping his good luck will somehow transfer itself to them. In his glow of popularity, he loses sight of his former good friends; it takes an unexpected hurricane and another bolt from the blue to make him realize what true friends are and what really matters. Subplots revolving around turtle rescue and bullying tie the story neatly together and bring it to a satisfying conclusion. Adding elements of magic, science and the supernatural keeps this story about small town life lively and extraordinary. It would be a worthwhile addition to any middle school or public library.
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  • Helen
    May 30, 2016
    Really enjoyed this quick read WAW possibility about Nate and Gen who live in Paradise Beach, Fl. Nate is very unlucky and gets struck by lightning playing miniature golf. Then he becomes very lucky and popular. Everyone is bugging him to touch them and give them luck. So he tries to get struck by lightning again during a storm to return to the way life used to be. Gen, his best friend is very smart and they are inseparable until Nate becomes popular and becomes friends with the popular boys. Wh Really enjoyed this quick read WAW possibility about Nate and Gen who live in Paradise Beach, Fl. Nate is very unlucky and gets struck by lightning playing miniature golf. Then he becomes very lucky and popular. Everyone is bugging him to touch them and give them luck. So he tries to get struck by lightning again during a storm to return to the way life used to be. Gen, his best friend is very smart and they are inseparable until Nate becomes popular and becomes friends with the popular boys. When she is out trying to save turtle eggs during a storm, Nate goes out to find her and is helping her when they both get struck by lightning. Nate has a picture of his parents with a metal frame inside his shirt, which helps him not get hurt too badly, but Gen is in a coma for several days. When she comes out of it, she is more easygoing and they both become friends with all the kids at school. This is a definite yes for me.
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  • Gina Hott
    April 2, 2015
    Hott Review:What I liked: Lucky Strike is a great adventure for all ages! Not only did my middle-grade daughter and I love it but my older reluctant reader sat down with it when we were done & my younger nephews want me to read it to them!What made this book so much fun were the characters. I really liked each of them and the reality of their circumstances. To me there were periods of “this reminds me of…” but even then I enjoyed this more and liked the ending MUCH BETTER!This is an absolute Hott Review:What I liked: Lucky Strike is a great adventure for all ages! Not only did my middle-grade daughter and I love it but my older reluctant reader sat down with it when we were done & my younger nephews want me to read it to them!What made this book so much fun were the characters. I really liked each of them and the reality of their circumstances. To me there were periods of “this reminds me of…” but even then I enjoyed this more and liked the ending MUCH BETTER!This is an absolute do not miss for middle-graders!What I didn’t like: The only thing about this book that bugs me is that Gen is the daughter of a pastor and I while I was reading I felt that God played too small a part in Nate’s “luck”.More…Author: Bobbie PyronSource: This book was mailed to me from Premier Virtual Author Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.Grade: A+Ages: 5+Steam: NadaSetting: Paradise Beach, Florida Gulf
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  • Kate Hastings
    August 20, 2015
    Grades 3-5. Nate is the unluckiest boy in the world. Nothing ever works out for him, culminating in the fact that he is unlucky enough to be struck by lightning in plain daylight on his 11th birthday.The strike leaves behind a scar... and something else. Suddenly Nate begins to do things he's never done before. He can play baseball well enough to get picked for teams. The toaster doesn't burn his toast. His grandfather is successful fishing and wins a new truck.Nate's friend Gen is skeptical. Th Grades 3-5. Nate is the unluckiest boy in the world. Nothing ever works out for him, culminating in the fact that he is unlucky enough to be struck by lightning in plain daylight on his 11th birthday.The strike leaves behind a scar... and something else. Suddenly Nate begins to do things he's never done before. He can play baseball well enough to get picked for teams. The toaster doesn't burn his toast. His grandfather is successful fishing and wins a new truck.Nate's friend Gen is skeptical. There is really no such thing as luck-- everything is simply probability. Right?! And yet Nate is changed-- and not for the better. He doesn't spend time at the beach searching for turtle nests. He has new friends.A touch of magical realism keeps readers wondering. When disaster looms-- the power of friendship beats the odds.
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  • Dawn
    April 29, 2015
    I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.Lucky Strike is a fun fantasy for children ages 8-12, but it also addresses some important issues.At the beginning of the story, you can't help but feel sorry for Nate Harlowe. Not only is he the most unlucky person in Paradise Beach, but he is bullied at school every day. His best (and only) friend is Genesis Beam, who is very smart and also bullied but she doesn't let it bother her.Nate's luck changes when he's struck by lightning and li I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.Lucky Strike is a fun fantasy for children ages 8-12, but it also addresses some important issues.At the beginning of the story, you can't help but feel sorry for Nate Harlowe. Not only is he the most unlucky person in Paradise Beach, but he is bullied at school every day. His best (and only) friend is Genesis Beam, who is very smart and also bullied but she doesn't let it bother her.Nate's luck changes when he's struck by lightning and lives. His life changes as well. Suddenly, he's not only the luckiest person in Paradise Beach but he's popular. What a wonderful life he has now! Or is it?Lucky Strike is full of action and adventure and I think children will really enjoy it. It also teaches the importance of family and friendship and what luck truly means.
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  • Jtimko
    October 25, 2015
    Nate Harlow is just about the unluckiest kid of all. If he had any luck, he’d have no luck at all. Until one day on his birthday while play miniature golf he is struck by lightning and survives. Suddenly his luck changes and he see a whole new side of himself never before shown. But is luck all he needs? His friend Genesis believes in logic and together they discover a whole new meaning of the word “luck”. This is an intriguing book about friendship, relationships, and luck. It is well written. Nate Harlow is just about the unluckiest kid of all. If he had any luck, he’d have no luck at all. Until one day on his birthday while play miniature golf he is struck by lightning and survives. Suddenly his luck changes and he see a whole new side of himself never before shown. But is luck all he needs? His friend Genesis believes in logic and together they discover a whole new meaning of the word “luck”. This is an intriguing book about friendship, relationships, and luck. It is well written. The characters are well developed throughout the story and the conclusion gives the reader hope. This just might be one of the best stories to be published in a long time. Recommended for grade 5 and up.
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  • Kym
    October 31, 2015
    The fourth grade students I read this book aloud to would probably give this book a higher rating. Yet, the reason I even gave it three stars has more to do with the secondary character of Genesis. When faced with a broken friendship, she becomes a unique role model for us all. Rather than wallowing in her grief, she intentionally looks to make a new friend. One with someone she knew was friendless. One with whom she'd never truly given much attention to in the past. One who ends up playing a un The fourth grade students I read this book aloud to would probably give this book a higher rating. Yet, the reason I even gave it three stars has more to do with the secondary character of Genesis. When faced with a broken friendship, she becomes a unique role model for us all. Rather than wallowing in her grief, she intentionally looks to make a new friend. One with someone she knew was friendless. One with whom she'd never truly given much attention to in the past. One who ends up playing a unique and important role in her story as that broken relationship begins to heal as well. This character is the reason Lucky Strike is worth the read.
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  • B
    August 21, 2015
    I wanted to love this book because of its good reviews and Newbery chatter. However, although I enjoyed much of it..the southern Florida charm of the town, the information about turtles, the sweet grandfather, Gen and her family, etc. overall there were a few things that didn't strike me as right, in particular Nate's behavior toward Gen as well as the adults flipflopping from being complete jerks to wonderful citizens. Some of it seemed a bit too weird for weirndess sake such as Nate's photogra I wanted to love this book because of its good reviews and Newbery chatter. However, although I enjoyed much of it..the southern Florida charm of the town, the information about turtles, the sweet grandfather, Gen and her family, etc. overall there were a few things that didn't strike me as right, in particular Nate's behavior toward Gen as well as the adults flipflopping from being complete jerks to wonderful citizens. Some of it seemed a bit too weird for weirndess sake such as Nate's photography of single shoes. On the other hand, there is a lot to discuss so it's in the running for next year's book club list.
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  • Courtenay
    January 29, 2016
    A touching story about friendship, respecting nature and its forces and tenderness (from hurricanes to loggerhead turtles to possible miracles), and believing in one another through thick and thin. I really enjoyed Pyron's main characters, Genesis (Gen) and Nate, and felt like I was smack dab in the middle of a place I've only visited once or twice as a child. I read this story following completion of Dogs of Winter, a fabulous story of a 5-year-old living with a pack of dogs, and was delighted A touching story about friendship, respecting nature and its forces and tenderness (from hurricanes to loggerhead turtles to possible miracles), and believing in one another through thick and thin. I really enjoyed Pyron's main characters, Genesis (Gen) and Nate, and felt like I was smack dab in the middle of a place I've only visited once or twice as a child. I read this story following completion of Dogs of Winter, a fabulous story of a 5-year-old living with a pack of dogs, and was delighted to see a dog as token "mayor" in this story. Can't wait to read Pyron's others and see how she handles the presence of dogs in the next one. (big dog fan)
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  • Yapha
    June 1, 2015
    If Nate can count on one thing, it is his bad luck. His toast is always burnt, he calls the coin toss wrong every time, and no one wants him on their team. But all that changes when he is struck by lightening on his 11th birthday. His bad luck streak has reversed itself, and good luck follows everything he does. This brings a new found popularity -- instead of Gen, his one true friend, he finds the coolest kids in his class want him on their team. As Nate explores the limits of this luck, he enj If Nate can count on one thing, it is his bad luck. His toast is always burnt, he calls the coin toss wrong every time, and no one wants him on their team. But all that changes when he is struck by lightening on his 11th birthday. His bad luck streak has reversed itself, and good luck follows everything he does. This brings a new found popularity -- instead of Gen, his one true friend, he finds the coolest kids in his class want him on their team. As Nate explores the limits of this luck, he enjoys it more and more. But will his friendship with Gen survive this lucky streak? A fun book about friendship, good luck, and what is truly important in life. Highly recommended to grades 3-7.
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  • Judy Desetti
    July 13, 2016
    Do you believe in magic or luck? This book might be for you. Nate is a very unlucky boy until one day on his 11th birthday he is struck by lightening, then his luck changes. In fact the town starts referring to him as the boy with the Midas touch. Of course then Nate isn't sure if people like him or just want him around for his luck to rub off. Read to find out about Nate and his best friend Genesis.A light-hearted story about luck. I liked that Nate found single shoes and took photos of them. W Do you believe in magic or luck? This book might be for you. Nate is a very unlucky boy until one day on his 11th birthday he is struck by lightening, then his luck changes. In fact the town starts referring to him as the boy with the Midas touch. Of course then Nate isn't sure if people like him or just want him around for his luck to rub off. Read to find out about Nate and his best friend Genesis.A light-hearted story about luck. I liked that Nate found single shoes and took photos of them. What a great collection of images.
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