The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky by Holly Schindler 230 pages
Poor folk have poor ways. Don't I know it? As someone who is always looking for ways to re-purpose about anything I can get my hands on, this book really resonated with me. It was the ultimate one man's trash is another man's treasure kind of story. Young Auggie Jones is so excited to start her new school, even though she knows she will miss her old Montgomery. Everyone in her neighborhood ooohs and aaahs over Auggie and her friends getting to go to Dickerson, the best school there is by most accounts. Her excitement falls flat when she meets Victoria, a girl who can barely see anything beyond the end of her nose, but sure doesn't like Auggie's let-down jeans and her grandpa picking her up in his salvage truck. When the city's House Beautification Committee starts targeting Auggie's neighborhood as "eyesores", it's Auggie's mission to prove that poor doesn't mean ugly, it doesn't mean stupid and it sure doesn't mean weak. I loved Auggie's spirit and the joy you feel through all of her triumphs and letdowns. Not once did Auggie wish she had money, she only wished that others could see the simple beauty in making do, and experience how rich a community can be when it's filled with people who care about each other. This book by a Missouri native takes place in Willow Grove, MO which gave it an extra nice touch to being on the Mark Twain nominee list this year.