Thursday, December 11

Half A Chance

Half A Chance
Cynthia Lord

My rating: ★★

ISBN: 978-0545035330
Publisher: Scholastic
Date of publication: February 25, 2014
Age: Grades 4 - 7
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Themes: photography, family, memories,

Lucy and her family has just moved (again) to a cottage on the lake, and she's ready with her camera. She yearns to have her father be proud of her photos, himself being a famous photographer off on a job in Arizona. So when she learns he's judging a contest, she enters anonymously with the help of her new-found friend, Nate. But as they find shots, what Lucy thinks makes good, truthful art seems to Nate a sad realization: that his grandmother's memory is fading along with what he holds dear about his summers at the lake.

The premise of seeking truth through art seems deep and moving, but this story was slow and boring. Perhaps, if I had a passion for photography, I could have connected more. But as it stands, the characters were flat and never really evolved in the story. It is clear from the beginning that Lucy needs praise and attention from her father, to the point where it drives the majority of her thoughts and actions. But he never really gives it to her; it remains unresolved and Lucy still lacks real identity. It makes for a hollow climax. The other characters remain pretty flat, as well.

And the story? I can appreciate the scary and heartbreaking battle with Alzheimer's/dimensia (or whatever it is that Grandma is suffering from) that some families go through. But it gave this story a depressing undercurrent; it's never fully addressed and dealt with by the characters. Then, with the plot being mostly about this photography contest, there just isn't much (or any) excitement or drama. I'm just not wowed by it. Which is a bummer coming from Lord, since her other books are pretty amazing.

If you really want to, find it at your library or on Amazon

No comments:

Post a Comment