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American Road Narratives: Reimagining Mobility in Literature and Film by Ann Brigham
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Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran
Lunch Lady and the Field Trip Fiasco by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
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Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman
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Lucky Boy: 07/08/17

Lucky Boy  by Shanthi Sekaran

Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran is the story of Ignacio "Nacho" Valdez, an American baby who ends up in a tug of war between his Mexican mother and his Indian foster parents. The book is told in alternating points of view between Solimar and Kavya — the two women who want to be his mother.

This is a long book that covers all sorts of back story before getting to the meat of the matter. There are lengthy chapters about Kavya and her husband (who works for fictional Google clone) and how their marriage is falling apart because she can't get pregnant. Then there is a similarly long, overly detailed account of Solimar leaving her home, making the perilous journey across the border into the United States (dangerous for the coyotes who take advantage of the desperate, for the dessert heat and expanse) and the on-going threat of ICE once the border is crossed.

The problem is — the title and the blurb both jump immediately to Nacho and yet there are a couple hundred pages to get to him. Here is a time when either started in media res and providing flashbacks, or just doing some heavy editing of extraneous details would have helped. But there is also the dryness of narration. It's unemotional — told in a matter of fact manner. There's no heart or soul to this book despite the many times we're told how much both women love Nacho.

Two stars

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