#16 of All the Things- Half a Chance


I love reading books to my kids.  Even though they are old enough to read to themselves, my husband and I take turns reading books to the girls and we like how we can talk about them and look up words together.  It’s really fun now that they are 9 and 12 years old, because we can pick better books! Recently I read a book called Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord that we really enjoyed. 


The Emery family has just moved to a house on a lake in New Hampshire.  Lucy, even though she feels awkward being “the new kid” once again, quickly makes friends with Nate and his family who summer on the lake. She goes on loon patrol kayaking adventures, explores the lake, mountain, and the town and watches sadly as Nate’s grandma Lilah’s health slowly declines.   While Lucy’s dad, a famous photographer, is traveling, Lucy, a budding photographer herself, decides to enter a photography contest hoping to gain approval and recognition from her father.  The only trouble is that Lucy’s dad is the judge and submitting her best photo will strain her new friendship.

Lucy was a great character, and I enjoyed witnessing how she grows and learns all summer.  She has a big heart and a great attitude which I really admire.

“Whenever we move, I take a picture as soon as we arrive.  It always makes me feel a little bit braver, knowing that on some future day I can look back at that photo, taken when it was new and scary, and think, I made it.  Like creating a memory in reverse.”

One of the things my kids really liked about the story was that it was like real life, and sometimes in real life, bad things happen.

“It’s just as important to show the hard things in the world as it is to show the beautiful ones.  Even in the midst of horrible things, there are little bits of wonder and all of it’s true.”

The book was sweet and it moved me.  I love all the little bits of “photography lessons” sprinkled throughout and my girls and I are excited to take pictures from the scavenger hunt on our own this spring and summer.

Alina, my 12 year old says “My favorite thing about Half a Chance is how they get to see the loons every day.  I love to go to the cabin myself so I think that would be really fun to do.”

Cynthia is also the author of Rules where she won a bunch of awards including the Newbery Honor Medal Schneider Family Book Award (We haven’t read it yet but it’s on our list):



I hope you enjoy the book with a little one that you love.  Click on any of the books on this page to add it to your Goodreads list. See What is Goodreads for more info.  See you on Friday, with a TED Talk from one of my new favorite people.

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All the best,


Question of the day.  What are your favorite books that are geared towards kids or young adults?


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