These Unlucky Stars


Annie feels that her older brother, Roy, has all the luck. Not only is he a capable student but he has lots of friends. What’s more, he is punctual and likes oatmeal too. Then again, he has Dad’s business, Logan and Son, in common with their father, too. Meanwhile, Annie grieves her mother, who left the family some years ago. She suggested that Annie’s ill fortune was because she’d been born under These Unlucky Stars. Annie is inclined to believe it…

It seems the stars were at work when she tried to fit in with the game Roy’s friends were playing in the park. That’s why she agreed to the dare to knock on the door and run away. She wasn’t to know that the elderly resident would fall over?

However, Annie’s guilt at the accident has her volunteer to help Gloria Crumb each day of the summer. Not only does she tidy and rise to Gloria’s irascible bait, but she walks Otis, Gloria’s dog. That’s no easy task, for Annie is scared of dogs, for some good reason.

Yet as Annie learns about Gloria, so she learns about herself. Then again, she befriends Faith, staying with her aunt Louise. Both become involved in the town’s proposal to draw more customers to their small businesses, like Annie’s father’s. Is it possible that Annie’s ideas might be accepted and then acted upon. Then again, is it possible that Annie might have found herself a mentor, other than Jackie Spudzzzz……?

These Unlucky Stars is a warm, encouraging and empathetic novel ideal for middle grade readers who appreciate character rich, introspective books. Bookwagon is delighted to welcome this title aboard.

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These Unlucky Stars

Gillian McDunn


Annie has come to believe that the bad luck that dogs her is the result of These Unlucky Stars. After all, that’s what her mother used to tell her, before she left the family. Therefore, from dog bites, to bad marks to constant lateness, Annie feels she’s fated to miss out. It seems she can never be a shining star like her older brother, Roy. Neither can she enjoy the closeness he has with their father.
Therefore, Annie tries hard to fit in with Faith, staying with her aunty over the summer. What’s more, she tries hard to fit in with the gang that hang around Roy, even Tyler. However when she’s dared to approach Gloria Crumb’s house on a dare, nobody can predict the outcome.
Thereafter, Annie’s guilt has her acting as a companion for Gloria, learning to care for her and her peculiar dog, Otis. What’s more, she learns a lot from this older woman, this mentor, about living a good life, that we are made of more than what people suggest we might be. However, can Annie apply this learning to herself and learn to surrender the unhappiness she believes she causes?
These Unlucky Stars is a welcome middle grade novel for those readers, like me, who enjoy character rich, drama driven reading. Gillian McDunn absorbed us with Cat’s experiences in Caterpillar Summer. Therefore, we are delighted to welcome another novel by this empathetic and insightful writer aboard.


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