The Higher Power of Lucky, by Susan Patron, Illustrated by Matt Phelan
Believing that her French guardian is about to abandon her to an orphanage in the city, ten-year-old Lucky runs away from her small town with her beloved dog by her side in order to trek across the Mojave Desert.
Lucky, age ten, can't wait another day. The meanness gland in her heart and the crevices full of questions in her brain make running away from Hard Pan, California (population 43), the rock-bottom only choice she has.
It's all Brigitte's fault -- for wanting to go back to France. Guardians are supposed to stay put and look after girls in their care! Instead Lucky is sure that she'll be abandoned to some orphanage in Los Angeles where her beloved dog, HMS Beagle, won't be allowed.
She'll have to lose her friends Miles, who lives on cookies, and Lincoln, future U.S. president (maybe) and member of the International Guild of Knot Tyers. Just as bad, she'll have to give up eavesdropping on twelve-step anonymous programs where the interesting talk is all about Higher Powers. Lucky needs her own -- and quick.
But she hadn't planned on a dust storm. Or needing to lug the world's heaviest survival-kit backpack into the desert.
“Patron [is] a master of light but sure characterization and closely observed detail. A small gem.”—Kirkus Reviews