Book review: Half a Chance

Half a Chance coverby Cynthia Lord
Realistic fiction
Interest level: 3-6
Reading level: 4.3
5 out of 5 stars

Cynthia Lord has created another masterpiece, to follow the amazing RULES. Twelve-year-old Lucy has just moved to a new cabin on a lake. She struggles through meeting and making new friends, and trying to fit into this new lifestyle. Along with her neighbor and new friend Nate, she decides to enter a photography contest to impress her professional photographer father, and also to win the prize money. She wants the prize money to help Nate’s Grandma Lilah, who is struggling with the onset of dementia. Lord has crafted a story that deals with really difficult topics in a simple, straight-forward, and very real way.

This book can also be used to open a discussion with kids about the ethical issues that surround taking photos. This is so timely, with everyone having a cell phone with photo and video capabilities, but rarely does anyone stop to think about the implications of a photo. Does the person in the photo have the right to say no to it being publicized? If the photo is important, or captured in a really artistic way, does that change your thinking about publishing it? When does taking a photo get in the way of experiencing that moment in time?

This would make an excellent class read-aloud!  I would put this on a possible Newbery list.

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