Annie Logan believes she was born under an unlucky star. It’s what her mom always said, before she left their family when Annie was only 4 years old. Was Annie the reason she left? Annie will never know for sure, but she feels like the black sheep of the family anyway. Although she’s 11 now, her older brother, Ray, treats her like a baby, and she chafes under her dad’s strict rules—and neither her brother nor her dad ever wants to talk about Ma.
Reluctant to get close to anyone yet eager to fit in, Annie agrees to a game of ding-dong-ditch that goes awry when the house’s elderly owner, Gloria, trips and falls on her way to the door. Annie’s ill-fated and, yes, unlucky prank comes with a reprimand, and she must help Gloria with her oddball dog all summer.
Annie’s summer of reckoning offers many epiphanies. Getting closer to Gloria takes time and effort but proves rewarding. Gloria challenges Annie’s long-held belief that luck is something beyond her control, and as the two develop an unusual friendship, Annie begins to realize that her own luck, whether for good or for ill, might be up to her.
Against the backdrop of the small North Carolina town’s upcoming Rosy Maple Moth Festival, the characters in These Unlucky Stars face their weaknesses and discover their strengths despite the many challenges life has put in their way. Annie’s mother rarely comes up in the story, but McDunn excels in illustrating how her absence has shaped Annie’s life and continues to influence every decision she makes. These Unlucky Stars is a warmhearted story about learning to make your own way, in luck and in life.