The Think about Luck

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The Think about Luck

Book Plot

Summer : The kind, honest, and resilient main character of this book. She always picks herself up after a fall, with the examples of recovering from malaria parasites and also when she helped picking up the spilled grains of wheat (that she spilled). She is extremely honest because of the incident when her beloved canine, named Thunder, killed some of Mr. Laskey's (the farmer who hired them to harvest the crops) prized chickens (which cost a tremendous one-hundred dollars) and paid for them all. She's an endurance master! Jaz : The (extremely) short-tempered younger brother of Summer. Obaachan : The pessimistic and strict grandmother of Summer. Jiichan : The easygoing and hardworking grandfather of Summer. Melody : Summer's caring best friend Mr. and Mrs. Parker : the no-nonsense people who own the Parker Harvesting Co. Robbie Parker : The cruel son of Mr. and Mrs. Parker that Summer used to have a major crush on. Mick, Rory, and Sean : The playful and informal Irish men who work for Parker Harvesting Co.Mr. McCoy and Mr. Dark : The serious and hardworking American members of Parker Harvesting Co. And our furry friends... Thunder : Summer's loyal and beloved doberman.

Main Characters

The Thing About LUCK

CynthiaKadohata

Mosquito

Setting

The main setting throughout most of the novel is the Great Plain's spectacular farms, where the crew harvested the wheat. Imagine, a lush, beautiful, and monochromatic field. The field seems to be one as it sways with the gentle breeze that embraces you and the field alike on a crispy, tender autumn morning. The rich, earthy feeling overwhelms you, but in the most excellent way. As it sways like so, the harvest sun greets you and the field with a warm peck on the cheek as it enchants the swaying field with a shimmer to accompany the spontaneous swaying motion. Swaying... swaying in the wind. Abruptly, a distant roar awakes you and the field alike from these dream moments. As you try to locate the source of the unpleasant and continuous roar you realize it's a combine, hard at work, threshing the wheat and seperating it from the inedible chaff. If you look closely, you can see an A-frame abode with drab camper trailers nearby in immediate vicinity, where the harvesters stay. You can also see, along with good eyesight, a tiny road alongside the field. The road less traveled by. What a spectacular, magnificent, magical, yet so simple autumn morning. Perfect, even.

Glog by:Aybars H. Kocoglu

It seems to Summer as if bad luck is forever tied to her family's fate, with no room to spare for a four-leaf clover. Summer happened to get a rare but dangerous case of malaria, her grandmother's, Obaachan's, back started to cause torturous episodes of pain, and her brother, Jaz, got cursed with extreme loneliness. Life couldn't get more hopeless than the current state of things. Only then does Summer wonder if there is a way to exploit that good luck her family desperately wishes to own. Another incident springs up just before the family plans to go and harvest wheat. In an attempt to make friends for Summer's brother, Jaz, the family hosts a "meeting-party" at their house. Jaz gave an invitation to friendship candidates at his school, and three people decided they could come to the meeting-party. Unfortunately, when the time came to have the meeting party, none of the candidates arrived and a couple of hours after the party was supposed to begin, Jaz surrendered, resulting in a tragic and dramatic defeat to the treacherous epidemic of bad luck. After the family recuperated from that defeat, her family goes to harvest wheat along the Great Plains to pay the mortgage of the house, (the family is quite poor; the result of bad luck) so Summer will have to begin her quest along with the harvest. Another unfortunate feature of this year's harvest is that Summer's parents cannot come because her parent's need to take care of elderly relatives in Japan who are about to die (yet another case of bad luck). Once Summer's family rendezvous with the remainder of the Parker Harvesting Co. in Susanville, Kansas, Summer, her family, and the rest of the crew take a road trip to the lone star state to meet up yet again at the Laskey farm, their first customer. Summer's and Obaachan's duty during the harvesting period was to prepare food to feed the workers. They encountered minor issues along the way, such as attempting to find a grocery store to get the proper ingredients needed to prepare the food (and ended up making lunch at somewhere around two-o-clock!). Then, a major curveball came hurling her way. The Parker's son, Robbie, showed Summer a huge horse the Laskey's had in their barn, and Summer forgot all about Thunder, her Doberman, until it was too late. She heard the frantic squawks of the chickens and rushed outside, accompanied by Robbie, immediately. Then, the worst-case scenario came true; Thunder had killed three of Mr. Laskey's prized chickens, which happened to cost a hundred dollars each. For custom harvesters, the farmer is like the king. Summer's entire family could get fired for such a grave error! Mr. Laskey already blamed it on coyotes, did she really need to confess? She decided to prove her trustworthiness and confessed and payed the money to Mr. Laskey. However, she didn't have much time to celebrate her short-lived victory; in the nick of time, another problem arose. Summer had a major crush on Robbie, and something that he did tossed her and her shattered heart to the curb. It took quite a while to recover from that one, and Summer vowed to herself never to speak to Robbie again for the rest of her life. In about a week's time, the Parker Harvesting crew finished their first job and were on to their second. The crew decided that half the team would split up and go to another town in Texas to get more supplies while the other half (including Summer's family) would begin their second clients farm up in Oklahoma. However, Jiichan, Summer's grandfather, couldn't work because of a severe case of influenza he happened to catch. This was also a severe loss to the rest of the family as well; if the family wasn't productive enough, they were at serious risk of getting fired yet again. It was out of the question to get fired; how else would they pay the mortgage? Jiichan couldn't work at all even if he tried, what could the family do? Nobody else in the family could operate a combine (a combine is a large and mobile harvesting machine that threshes wheat and seperates the inedible sections from the edible sections)! Summer actually could drive a combine, she got her learner's permit, but she only drove five total hours at two miles per hour and was accompanied by her dad! Still, the entire house her family owned was at stake here. Terrible things could happen while she was driving. Driving a combine without permission is a great risk to take with many possible consequences. Her family may become homeless if she doesn't do this, though. Will she dare take a chance? Will she save the house? The most nagging question of all... will the era of bad luck come to an end?

I give this magnificent novel an astounding four and a half four leaf clovers! The thing I love about this book is that it teaches both middle-school age concepts and also how to react when life throws a major curveball with quite humorous and easy to understand techniques. One example is that when Summer's beloved pet, Thunder, kills three chickens, Summer becomes a role model when she goes to Mr. Laskey, apologizes, pays the money the chickens happened to cost, and promises the future will never see such a thing again. Another time she demonstrates praised acts is when she displays endurance by being patient when waiting in the pickup for half an hour while waiting for Obaachan to receive the instructions to drive to the nearest grocery store! The humorous parts usually are in Obaachan's and Jiichan's fuss over little things. In the story, once Jiichan and Obaachan had a full-on arguement over who was going to drive the pickup first (laugh out loud)! Cynthia Kadohata has definitely done it this time! ~Kocoglu Reviews

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