Cover image for Lucky strikes
Title:
Lucky strikes
Author:
Bayard, Louis, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2016.

©2016
Physical Description:
313 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
"Set in Depression Era Virginia, this is the story of orphaned Amelia and her struggle to keep her siblings together"--

With her mama recently dead and her pa sight unseen since birth, Amelia is suddenly in charge of her younger brother and sister-- and the family gas station. To keep a competitor at bay and keep her family out of foster care, Melia must come up with a father-- fast. When a hobo rolls out of a passing truck, Melia grabs opportunity by its beard. Can she convince the town that Hiram is her long lost father, and keep the family together until she comes of age?
Language:
English
Reading Level:
Young Adult

690 Lexile

HL 690 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader 4.5

Reading Counts! 5.3

Accelerated Reader AR MG+ 4.5 11.0 182909.
ISBN:
9781627793902
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
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Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
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Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
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Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
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Summary

Summary

With her mama recently dead and her pa sight unseen since birth, Amelia is suddenly in charge of her younger brother and sister--and of the family gas station. Harley Blevins, local king and emperor of Standard Oil, is in hot pursuit to clinch his fuel monopoly. To keep him at bay and keep her family out of foster care, Melia must come up with a father--and fast. And so when a hobo rolls out of a passing truck, Melia grabs opportunity by its beard. Can she hold off the hounds till she comes of age?


Author Notes

Louis Bayard is a New York Times Notable Author and has been nominated for both the Edgar and Dagger Awards for his adult historical thrillers, which include The Pale Blue Eye and Mr. Timothy. He teaches creative writing at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. louisbayard.com


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* You have read the bare bones of this book before: mother dies, oldest daughter takes care of her siblings, trouble comes, and help arrives but not without complication. Even the Virginia mountain town of Depression era Walnut Ridge feels mighty familiar. But Bayard's unseemly cast of characters gives it fresh life in a story as colorful as a Shenandoah spring and as gritty as the gravel surrounding the family's gas station, Brenda's Oasis. And 14-year-old Amelia is determined to keep that gas station running, even if she only has 11-year-old Earle and young Janey for help. Unfortunately, Harley Blevins owns all the other Standard Oil stations in the area, and he wants the Oasis bad enough to see the family split up. Enter Hiram Watts, a hobo who could be the father figure to save the day, if he didn't come with his own problems. Narrator Amelia tells the story with a folksy twang and uses plenty of cussin', heaps of hollerin', and tons of gumption. Her foible-ridden supporting cast features more adults than kids, and in an interesting twist, they give young readers insight into grown-up issues that transcend those usually found in youth books. Most of all, though, this is a darn good yarn with plenty of room for rooting and more than a few laughs.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2016 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Featuring a heroine as pragmatic and resourceful as Mary Call from Where the Lilies Bloom, adult author Bayard's (Roosevelt's Beast) poignant Depression-era novel traces the struggles of 14-year-old Melia Hoyle and her siblings after their mother's death. Now orphaned, Melia has to care for siblings Janey and Earle, keep the family gas station running, and find a legal guardian so they won't be put into foster care. Unexpected help comes from a down-and-out hobo, Hiram Watts, who agrees to pose as their estranged father. While he spends his days holed up in a tiny bedroom, Melia pumps gas and fixes engines. The deception works for a while, but a competing businessman, Harley Blevins, is bent on bringing down Melia and the gas station. Set in rural Virginia and told through Melia's no-nonsense narration, this period novel evokes the stoicism of mountain people and the ways neighbors help each other during hard times. Although a loner by nature, Melia's uncompromising integrity wins the trust and affection of community members while earning her a steady stream of customers, too. Ages 12-up. Agent: Dan Conaway, Writers House. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-Notable adult author Bayard tries his hand at writing for young teens with the story of 14-year-old Virginia-born Amelia. Raised with no father and an ailing mother, Amelia has been forced into the role of head of household for most of her young life. When her mother passes away, Amelia takes it upon herself to keep what's left of her small family together. With no parents to help and the Great Depression still having its effect on businesses, the family service station is losing money fast. In an effort to keep the station running and prevent her siblings from being sent to separate foster homes, Amelia devises a plan to turn a homeless drifter into a makeshift father. Can she convince the town that Hiram is her long-lost father, allowing them to evade child services? Or will bringing a homeless man into her family lead to more trouble? Bayard deftly depicts life in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Reading about the poverty experienced by the characters will bring awareness to the struggles families endured during the Depression. VERDICT A great read for history buffs.-Paula Bonifer, Pendleton Public Library, OR © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.