The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky
by Holly Schindler
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” meets Because of Winn Dixie in this inspiring story of hope.
August “Auggie” Jones lives with her Grandpa Gus, a trash hauler, in a poor part of town. So when her wealthy classmate’s father starts the House Beautification Committee, it’s homes like Auggie’s that are deemed “in violation.” Auggie is determined to prove that she is not as run-down as the outside of her house might suggest. Using the kind of items Gus usually hauls to the scrap heap, a broken toaster becomes a flower; church windows turn into a rainbow walkway; and an old car gets new life as spinning whirligigs. What starts out as a home renovation project becomes much more as Auggie and her grandpa discover a talent they never knew they had—and redefine a whole town’s perception of beauty, one recycled sculpture at a time. Auggie’s talent for creating found art will remind readers that one girl’s trash really is another girl’s treasure.
I've been caught in the fantasy genre for such a long time, I think I forgot what it was like to read a story with such real and familiar elements. The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky is a wonderful story--the middle grade voice of Holly Schindler, equally as powerful and beautifully written as her YA novels. I loved it so much that when I finished, I gave it to my daughter to read. She loved it too, which is a big deal since she primarily reads animal and dragon stories right now and needed to be convinced to give this book a chance. Once I told her about Auggie and her grandpa, though, she was all in. Truthfully, I can't remember the last time she read a book that had people as the main characters!
I loved Auggie. She is spunky and brilliant and creative and full of all things delightful. The relationships between Auggie and her grandpa and the neighbors and the "Beautification Committee" are powerful and full of subtle lessons about what's truly important in life and what "true beauty" is all about. I highly recommend this book for fans of all genres and readers of all ages, because Auggie should be met and loved by everyone!