Saturday, April 19, 2014

All About Middle Grade Review: The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky

The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky by Holly Schindler, February 6, 2014. 240 pages. Published by Dial. Source: publisher.
August “Auggie” Jones lives with her Grandpa Gus, a trash hauler, in a poor part of town. So when her wealthy classmate’s father starts the House Beautification Committee, it’s homes like Auggie’s that are deemed “in violation.” Auggie is determined to prove that she is not as run-down as the outside of her house might suggest. Using the kind of items Gus usually hauls to the scrap heap, a broken toaster becomes a flower; church windows turn into a rainbow walkway; and an old car gets new life as spinning whirligigs. What starts out as a home renovation project becomes much more as Auggie and her grandpa discover a talent they never knew they had—and redefine a whole town’s perception of beauty, one recycled sculpture at a time. Auggie’s talent for creating found art will remind readers that one girl’s trash really is another girl’s treasure.
First Sentence:
Old Glory shimmies like she's dancing the jitterbug.

With The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky being my first Holly Schindler read, I had no idea what to expect from her writing and so had nothing to compare this one to. Frankly, I am excited to have had the chance to have her debut middle grade book be my first glimpse of her writing because I loved not being able to compare it to her young adult writing, which left me with a clean view.

To say I enjoyed The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky would be a mild understatement. This book grew on me from one page to the next as Auggie's story unfolded with her quest to, not only, find her shine but to show that there was worth and pride in her small community. While I enjoyed Auggie's voice from pretty much page one, what really pulled me into her story was her struggle to how the boards members and her classmate the beauty of her house and neighborhood. I really enjoyed watching Auggie light up as new ideas formed in her brain for the designs she and Gus, her grandfather, made for their home.
    What made her creativity even more interesting was that I could imagine just what they had made thanks to Holly Schindler's excellent descriptions of them. Seriously though, the way she wrote about them, and everything in the book, just made everything come to life and jump off the page. Her writing, it made The Junction of Sunshine and Luck such an enjoyable read for me.

Besides seeing Auggie find her shine, one of the things that made this such a great read was the characters themselves. I absolutely loved reading about Auggie, Gus, and even Weird Harold because they were such fresh and interesting characters with a deepness that pulled me in. After the writing, the characters are definitely what makes this such an interesting read because, other than having interesting stories, I enjoyed the way those of Serendipity Place pulled together to protect their neighborhood and what they held dear, even when the odds were stacked against them.
    It just goes to show that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Three elements that made The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky such an enjoyable read for me. Otherwise known as, the three things I enjoyed most about this book.

  1. Holly Schindler's writing. I loved how well she told the stories of the characters and how she brought their situation to life in such a meaningful way. 
  2. The Characters themselves. There were many reasons to love the characters in this book, but what really stuck with me was their bond to each other and the place they loved; as well, as how they kept fighting the unjust rules and fines being handed down to them.
  3. The ending. The last bit of the book nearly broke my heart as Auggie learned the truth about something that had been kept from her since she was left with Gus. Seriously, this part of the book nearly tore my heart out with how it affected each of them. I won't go into details, but, this was definitely one of the biggest points in the book and the story had been leading up to that moment for quite sometime. 
Really, the only thing that made me unhappy about The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky would have to be saying goodbye to the characters at the end. While I was happy with the way things turned out, I would have liked to read just a little bit more before shutting the book. 

Final Verdict: The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky- A beautifully written story about one girl's quest to save what she holds dear and her journey to find her shine. Definitely a must read for those trying to find their place in the world.

The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky earns

this book was received in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I reviewed this book last week on The Nerdy Book Club. I loved this book and think it is a perfect middle grade read. I hope many more readers find it and enjoy it like we did!

    1. Yes, this is one that I definitely hope more readers will pick up. I think Holly did one fantastic job with the setting and characters.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. =)


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