Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord

18222557Lucy 's dad is a famous photographer who goes off on photo shoots pretty frequently. This time he is is in Arizona, leaving Lucy and her mom to set up their newest location at a lake house in New Hampshire. While Lucy's dad is gone, he's asked her to keep an eye out for photo scavenger hunt entrees for a contest that he is judging once he gets back. Lucy loves photography and “looking for the story” in the pictures she takes, just like her dad taught her. So, entering the contest may just be the way she can connect with him and show her dad just how good a photographer she really is. Nate is the boy who lives next door who quickly makes Lucy feel at home by the lake. Lucy invites him to help her complete her photography scavenger hunt and the two begin exploring the lake for the perfect shots. As the two hang out, Lucy starts to make plans to win the contest for Nate's grandmother. Lucy hopes that the money will be enough to take his grandmother on a pontoon ride around the lake so she can view her Loon's. This might just be the last summer that she can safely come down to the lake.

Lucy was very passionate about photography and I thought the photo scavenger hunt was a very creative idea. Each of the pictures were used to describe a word (sticky, skip, holding on, wonder etc.) with the added challenge to not just take a picture with that word, but to really look beyond just the word or phrase. Lucy thinks that she has the advantage, because she always looks for the “story in the shot.” I could see this being adapted in a classroom very easily. There was also a very good moral about the importance of living life and not trying to capture everything in pictures. Another aspect that I enjoyed about Half a Chance was the balance of Lucy and Nate's storyline. Lucy was concerned about her father being away and moving to a new town once again. While, Nate was trying to understand his grandmother's memory loss and make sure that she had the best summer possible. The two plot lines intertwined into a shared one that featured around Loon's that were living on a near by island and trying to capture a photo memory for Nick's grandmother. I thought the relationship that formed between Lucy and Nate was very sweet and enjoyed the honest portrayal of Dementia.  

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