April 11, 2011

A change in luck

By Anne Ylvisaker
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The Luck of the Buttons is a marvelous romp through the town of Goodhue, Iowa, in 1929, led by a plucky heroine named Tugs Esther Button. The Button family has long been known for their bad luck, but Tugs is determined to break that losing streak.

This is a fun, exciting story that readers will tear through, written by award-winning author Anne Ylvisaker (pronounced ILL-vi-soccer). She explains the Buttons' lack of good fortune this way:

“While other parents sent their children off to school with a kiss and told them to do their best, the Buttons just said, ‘Don't get hit by the tater truck.’ Which would be nonsense to any other family, but Leonard Button, one of the Swisher Buttons, had indeed looked the wrong way when crossing Main Street some years ago. While he had survived, he hadn't eaten a potato, mashed or otherwise, since.”

Happily, Tugs' luck seems to be rapidly changing. A wealthy, kind girl named Aggie befriends her, and the girls win the July 4th three-legged race. What's more, Tugs wins an essay contest and also a raffle for a brand new Brownie camera. How's that for defying the tater truck?

Ylvisaker throws in a bit of intrigue in the form of a stranger named Harvey Moore, who claims he's going to revive the defunct local newspaper, the Goodhue Gazette. Tugs feels there's something sneaky about this smooth-talking fellow, and her natural curiosity leads her to unravel his conniving plan.

The Luck of the Buttons is a fast-paced novel about a slower, but endlessly fascinating era. Tugs may be "old fashioned," but she's got a modern sensibility, and through her own intelligence and determination, this young woman finds herself and turns her luck around.

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The Luck of the Buttons

The Luck of the Buttons

By Anne Ylvisaker
ISBN 9780763650667

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