On of the things I like best about reading is the opportunity to be transported to faraway places. Through books I have been able to travel the world while forgetting the stresses of everyday life that too often bog us down and threaten to dull the imagination.
Half a Chance provides the unique experience of being able to travel to a small New Hampshire town, a vacation community nestled among majestic mountains on the edge of a pristine lake. Lucy and her family have recently relocated to this community in an effort to escape the rat race of big city life in Boston. Unfortunately for Lucy, this just feels like another one of her family’s many moves due mostly to her dad’s career as a photographer. Instead of being excited about the move and new possibilities, Lucy is more afraid of being the new girl yet again. As if that wasn’t stressful enough, her dad is scheduled to leave just days after they arrive at the new house. He’ll be gone most of the summer on a photography shoot, adding to Lucy’s feeling of loneliness.
However, Lucy quickly makes friends with the family in the cabin next door and learns something about fresh starts:
“That’s the thing with new beginnings – sometimes, they’re more than just starting over again. Sometimes they change things.”
Through her friendship with Nate and grandma Lilah, Lucy learns her photography has the ability to record moments, tell stories and most importantly help others.
There are so many important messages in this book: family, friendship, change, and memories. Cynthia Lord does an incredible job of weaving together the plight of the loons and grandma Lilah’s uncertain future. As I think back to the story I’m also seeing connections between Lucy’s feelings during her father’s absence and her fear over losing Nate’s friendship.
“It’s hard to think of anything being gone forever. Most things that go come back again, even if they’re a little different when they return. But not always, and when something has gone forever, it can hurt so much you start wondering if it would’ve been easier if you’d never had it at all.”
This is truly a book that needs to be read and discussed.