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Lucky Broken Girl — 7 Comments

  1. I’m dreading this review. I try to read very little to nothing about a book before I read (or listen) to it. I chose to listen to the audio version. I really had trouble with the reader’s interpretation of the story. Her mellow, drawn-out style made heavy, unhappy events and feelings of the characters even more depressing. When Ruth talked with her mom, she had a very whiney voice.

While listening, I started to wonder if this was based on a true story. Not only is Lucky Broken Girl based on real events, but it is the author’s life as a little girl. And near the end of the story I learned it was actually the author reading her own story.

    The story touches on many topics that could be very relatable to students: immigrant students who struggle with feeling “dumb” because they don’t know English, as well as immigrant families adjusting to life in the United States, physical challenges, and a society of different religions.

    I expected more redemptive qualities to counter all the sad and bad that happened. The constant use of the words like “dumb class” and “invalid” grated at me. I know these were the times and a reflection of the author’s feelings and that there will be students who can relate. But I didn’t walk away from the story feeling inspired by her for getting through such trying times.

I skimmed reviews of this book on Amazon. I was surprised by all the positive reviews. I wanted so badly to relate with this book. It was obviously a painful and poignant time in the author’s life. Then, learning the reader of the audio book was the author caused more conflicted feelings. I wonder what my reaction would have been had I read the book rather than listening to it.

This book would probably be best suited for 4th to 6th graders. I believe girls would be most attracted to this book. However, there are themes that might appeal to boys as well (immigrants, those who have an interest in other cultures, those facing physical challenges).

  2. So much written/visual media and storytelling right now seems to be about superhuman abilities, extraordinary circumstances, and superheros. This book is not about those things, which I appreciated very much. “Lucky Broken Girl” does a wonderful job of moving tragedy and difficulty to a place of reflection. I was impressed with the author’s ability to lay out a struggle, such as Ruth’s friend refusing to visit her, and to help the reader relate to her pain or frustration or fear, and then follow her gradual process of healing or forgiving (which IS so often a gradual process).
    I will say it took me several tries to become engaged in this book. I understand the exposition and why it is important for character development, but I wouldn’t have persevered if this had been a random choice for myself. It also has some interesting opportunities to open discussions of changing cultural traditions, gender norms, and generational lifestyle differences. No smart phones! No internet! What a wonderful way for kids to see how different their world would be with one thing added or removed.

  3. I liked this book a lot. Teachers could really use this in their classroom. There are so many challenges out there that young people face and it is important to understand how fragile and challenging life can be at times. Kids are so vulnerable at this age and moving can be so hard, I enjoyed the power of friendship in this book. I already have a list in my mind of students who will enjoy this one. ***** 5 stars *****

  4. Lucky broken girl will make a great addition to our elementary library. Our school has a growing hispanic community, and will be able to relate first hand with Ruthie’s feelings after moving from Cuba to New York City. This story is true to life in that sometimes unfortunate circumstances, such as Ruthie’s broken leg, help us to reevaluate our thoughts, opinions and perspectives. While Ruthie starts out resenting her parents, and Cuban background, she grows to start to appreciate her family background and cultural benefits. As readers will identify with Ruthie, hopefully they will also grow in their appreciation for their own and others’ rich cultural backgrounds.

  5. I really enjoyed this book. The story was engaging and the main character had a great voice. I think this would be a great book for discussion. It deals with the difficulties of being from a different country and speaking a different language. There are various cultures, traditions, and religions portrayed. This book also discusses how to deal with hate and forgiveness as well as overcoming obstacles.

  6. Broken Girl was a great read! It had humor and tragedy all rolled into one incredible story. It would make a great discussion piece when talking about diversity and how many families have challenges to face when they come to a new place. I think many middle school students would be able to relate to Ruthie and would have a feeling of frieLuckyndships that are made even in difficult circumstances. 5 stars! *****

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