"Eleven. Lucky thought from her seat at the back of the school bus, eleven, eleven, eleven, and the idea of it the sound of it threw off sparks in her head. You start with one, two, three: those clunky one-syllable beginner-ages like wooden blocks that toddlers play with. Keep going and you get to eight, nine, ten: the plodding steps you have to climb until, at last, you arrive. Finally, finally, you reach the best age, the one that, when you say it out loud, sounds like a little tap dance or a drumroll....She pictured 11 as a swinging double door, a saloon door in an old Western; you push the sides open, bam, with both hands and stride through before they flap shut again, your childhood behind you." (p.1-2)
This is a book that will satisfy readers who read for plot. In the first chapter, we learn (from Miles, who is about to turn six) the story of two miners from about a hundred years ago who loved the same woman who was tragically killed in their fight for her. A piece of her brooch is supposedly at the bottom of an abandoned (or condemned?) well. The story captures Lucky's imagination, and any reader worth their salt is going to know that sooner or later, Lucky will be down that well looking for the missing piece of the brooch and it's a good thing that the book is titled lucky breaks. It would be interesting to use this book in a literature circle or grand discussion and have readers focus on all of the things that break (literally and figuratively) in the book.