Publisher: Orca Books
Released: September 29th, 2015
Source: Ebook review copy from publisher
Moving forward doesn’t always happen in a straight line.
Malou has just turned sixteen—hardly old enough to be out in the world on her own—and all she knows for sure is that she’s mixed-race and that she was left at an orphanage as a newborn. Beyond that, it’s a mystery—a mystery that takes her to the little town of Parry Sound, where she finds lots of young brown faces like hers. Are these her relatives, and why doesn’t anyone want to talk about it?
I’ve said this before in other reviews, but I find it really, really hard to review mysteries. I don’t want to give anything key away so trying to decide what to write and what not to write can be a bit of a struggle. All I’m going to say about the mystery in A Big Dose of Lucky is that it was really well done and multi-layered. It involved several different elements that all fit together but wasn’t easy to figure out.
I think the thing that I loved the most about this book was watching Dot form friendships with Pete and Lucy. It was heartbreaking that this was a new thing to her and there’s one scene where she’s at their house for super that really brings that home in a way that isn’t overly sentimental.
The other aspect of the story that I didn’t necessarily love (because who loves racism?) but thought was well done and will really give young readers a strong perspective on race relations today is how she is treated because of her skin colour. It was hard to read about her treatment by certain people, but it’s an important and essential part of her story. And while I think there are lessons to learn from the book, they never present themselves as hit-you-over-the-head moment.
This was an intriguing read and anyone who enjoys a good mystery will enjoy it.