Hardcover, 144 pages
Expected publication: February 3rd 2015 by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Clover’s Luck is the first in a new early reader series by Kallie George who is a local author and an alumnus of the MACL program at UBC (that all the Book Warriors graduated from). I have read some of Kallie’s works before but I reckon I like Clover’s Luck the most because it has so much heart to it.
Clover’s Luck is about Clover who is convinced that she was born unlucky. Because what other reason could there be for her constant bad luck with all the animals she tries to keep as pets. When her latest pet, a canary called Penny, escapes when someone throws a ball through Clover’s window, Clover follows Penny all the way to The Woods (capitalized because these are magical words and not of the usual garden variety). Though The Woods have a reputation as the place where evil beasties lurk, Clover gathers up her courage and ventures in to see if she can get her pet back. Though she can’t see Penny anywhere in The Woods, Clover does find directions to an animal adoption agency which is in sore need of a volunteer to help with the animals. What Clover doesn’t realize as she goes to offer her services that the animals in question are magical though in no less need of love and kindness.
She perseveres however and is soon apprenticed to Mr. Jams, the owner of the adoption agency and the eater of cinnamon toast, and learning how to look after magical salamanders, cursed toads, abused unicorns and Snort the kid Dragon amongst other animals. When Mr. Jams has to leave on a rescue mission, Clover is left to manage the agency by herself and that’s when her real adventure begins.
The novel is cute and sweet. I really liked how painfully earnest Clover is and her grief at not being able to keep a pet despite so desperately wanting one is heartwarming. The novel’s plot moves quickly though not speedily and there are some wonderful retrospective moments where Clover thinks and makes connections that are so satisfying (I can’t be more specific without giving the story away). The writing is fun with gems like:
“An old wooden fence circled the building like a toothy grin.”
Clover’s growth is also a treat to witness as she comes into her own through her own agency without outside forces affecting her change. If I did have a slight complaint, it would be that I wasn’t sure what time period this book is set in. But this is really because I’m an adult reader and prone to being particular about such things.
Clover’s Luck is heartwarming and will make anyone who reads it a little bit happier. And really, what more could anyone ask for?