Half a chance by Cynthia Lord

Hi there, this third week we will be hopping back over the Atlantic to experience a summer in New Hampshire instead. I know that technically summer in the northern hemisphere falls during the middle of the year, but the American summer stories are full of so many awesome adventures and the characters in these books I’ve read give an extra element to the meaning of summer. This next story is not however a typical summer camp story but of a summer of changes for one young girl. So sit back and enjoy this award-winner of a tale!

Half a chance boy and girl under kayak near lake walking
A delightful read

Title: Half a chance

Author: Cynthia Lord

Genre: Fiction – contemporary

Publication details: Scholastic Press; NY; 2014

ISBN: 9780545035330

What this book is about: Lucy’s family has just moved to an old home on a New Hampshire lake and her dad, a famous photographer, is already leaving on another business trip. Maybe it’s because she misses him. Maybe it’s because she wants to show him that she’s talented, too. So when Lucy discovers her dad is judging a photography contest, she decides to enter. Is her eye for photography really something special? Now, at last, she might find out. As she seeks out the perfect subjects for her photos, Lucy gets to know Nate, the boy living in the cottage next door. He’s been coming to the lake to stay with his grandmother every summer since he was a baby. With Nate, Lucy takes pictures of the mountains, the lake, and the loons. But slowly her camera reveals what her new friend doesn’t want to see: his family is changing in ways that threaten what he treasures most. Cynthia Lord, Newbery Honor winning author of Rules, tells a deeply moving story about the joys of summer, the challenges of friendship, and the power of art to change lives.

My review: What a lovely story this was!! My heart really went out to Lucy who’s moving to another house yet again. There’s that first initial shy getting to know the-boy-next-door phase well told and scripted. Her description of the mountains and the lake are quite vivid. It made me want to go over there and take part in the loon patron come next summer. Lord draws the reader expertly into her story and hooks you into the lives of her characters. She manages to do this from the first chapter. A truly well written book! I loved all of the characters, even the snobby Megan!! The themes of friendship, both good and bad, along with a thread of conservation also runs through this book. I found it quite enlightening actually and learned much about the wildlife around that area of New Hampshire.

My rating: 5 ⭐

Additional notes: This title by Cynthia Lord has won the ALA Notable Children’s Book Award, the Parents’ Choice Book award, named the Bank Street CBC Best Children’s Book of the Year, the Maine Library Association Lupine Award, and nominated for the New Hampshire Great Stone Face Award and many others.

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