A booklist curated by Heather Alexander, author of The Good Luck Book
The Children’s Book Review
Welcome to the enchanting world of children’s literature, where luck and wishes come to life!
In this curated collection of books put together by author Heather Alexander, she invites young readers and their families to explore the whimsical realm of lucky charms and the power of making wishes. From charming characters to delightful adventures, each book on this list weaves a captivating narrative that not only entertains but also imparts valuable lessons about hope, friendship, and the enchanting possibilities that lie within the realm of dreams. Join us as we embark on a literary adventure filled with joy, wonder, and the belief that every child deserves a sprinkle of magic in their lives.
But first, have you ever found yourself knocking on wood, making a wish as you blow out birthday candles, or crossing your fingers for good luck? Ever pondered the magical significance of saying “rabbit, rabbit” on the first day of the month or relying on a lucky pencil during a test?
Get ready for a journey into the enchanting realm of traditions and superstitions with The Good Luck Book: A Celebration of Global Traditions, Superstitions, and Folklore (DK/PRH, 2023).
This delightful exploration takes young readers on a global adventure, unraveling the mysteries behind these quirky customs, revealing their origins, and even questioning whether science gives them a nod of approval. From shared good luck charms to the peculiar ways we wish for fortune, this book is a magical celebration of the charming and curious world of superstitions.
Learn more about The Good Luck Book below. In the meantime, we pass you off to Heather Alexander for her list of seven beautiful children’s books about lucky charms and making wishes.
Charmed! Here’s a lucky list of fiction titles that pair well with The Good Luck Book: A Celebration of Global Traditions, Superstitions, and Folklore:
Publisher’s Book Summary: Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has been making the same secret wish every day since fourth grade. She even has a list of all the ways there are to make the wish, such as cutting off the pointed end of a slice of pie and wishing on it as she takes the last bite. But when she is sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her wish will ever come true.
That is until she meets Wishbone, a skinny stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a neighbor boy who proves surprising in lots of ways. Suddenly Charlie is in serious danger of discovering that what she thought she wanted may not be what she needs at all.
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Publisher’s Book Summary: Trees can’t tell jokes, but they can certainly tell stories. . . .
Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood “wishtree”―people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches. Along with a crow named Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red’s hollows, this wishtree watches over the neighborhood. You might say Red has seen it all. Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red’s experience as a wishtree is more important than ever.
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Publisher’s Book Summary: Twelve-year-old homeschooled Olive is tired of being seen as “fragile” just because she has osteogenesis imperfecta (otherwise known as brittle bone disease) so she’s thrilled when she finally convinces her parents to let her attend Macklemore Elementary. Olive can’t wait to go to a traditional school and make the friends she’s always longed for, until a disastrous first day dashes her hopes of ever fitting in.
Then Olive hears whispers about a magical, wish-granting hummingbird that supposedly lives near Macklemore. It’ll be the solution to all her problems! If she can find the bird and prove herself worthy, the creature will make her most desperate, secret wish come true.
When it becomes clear that she can’t solve the mystery on her own, Olive teams up with some unlikely allies who help her learn the truth about the bird. And on the way, she just might learn that our fragile places lead us to the most wonderful magic of all…
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Publisher’s Book Summary: Nate Harlow would love to be lucky, just once! He’d like to win a prize, get picked first, call a coin toss right, even! But his best friend, Genesis Beam (aka Gen), believes in science and logic, and she doesn’t think for one second that there’s such a thing as luck, good or bad. She doesn’t care what names the other kids call them. She cares about being right, about saving the turtles of Paradise Beach, and she cares about Nate.
Then, on his birthday, at the Goofy Golf mini-golf course, Nate is struck by lightning — and survives! Suddenly baseballs are drawn to his bat — popular kids want HIM on their side. It seems the whole town of Paradise Beach thinks Nate has the magic touch. But is there room for Gen in Nate’s lucky new world? Lucky Strike tells the unforgettable story of two vulnerable outsiders and what luck is really all about.
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Written by Ann M. Martin
Adapted and Illustrated by Cynthia Yuan Cheng
Ages 8+ | 176 Pages
Publisher: Graphix | ISBN-13: 9781338616101
Publisher’s Book Summary: Mary Anne should never have thrown away that chain letter she got in the mail. Ever since she did, bad things have been happening to everyone in The Baby-sitters Club. With Halloween coming up, Mary Anne’s even more worried — what kind of spooky thing will happen next?
Then Mary Anne finds a new note in her mailbox: Wear this bad-luck charm, it says. OR ELSE. Mary Anne has to follow the note’s instructions. But who sent the charm? And why did they send it to Mary Anne? The BSC might never see an end to their bad luck if they don’t solve this mystery soon!
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Written and Illustrated by Jo Rooks
Ages 4+ | 32 Pages
Publisher: Magination Press | ISBN-13: 9781433832383
Publisher’s Book Summary: Layla is a ladybug with a lucky charm for every occasion: lucky socks for running, a lucky pencil for tests, and a lucky watering can for her flowers. When Layla enters a baking event, she is counting on her good luck to help her bake a delicious cake. But is luck the only ingredient that matters?
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Written by Janet S. Wong
Illustrated by Julie Paschkis
Ages 7+ | 40 Pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books | ISBN-13: 9780689855122
Publisher’s Book Summary: In this collection of original poems, accomplished poet Janet S. Wong explores seventeen superstitions, some common, others that are less known, and delves into their origins as well as their lore. Rich, full-color illustrations by Julie Paschkis enhance each poem. The result from this award-winning team is sure to intrigue young readers and make them think again about things they often do, like opening an umbrella, walking under a ladder, or putting on a hat!
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About Heather Alexander’s Book
Written by Heather Alexander
Ages 7+ | 128 Pages
Publisher: DK Children | ISBN-13: 9780744084696
Publisher’s Book Summary: Ever wondered why we knock on wood, cross our fingers, or say “white rabbits” on the first day of the month? Dive in and learn about fascinating traditions and superstitions from all over the world!
The Good Luck Book explores the surprising – and sometimes scary – history of the world’s most practiced traditions and superstitions (and plenty more that you probably won’t have heard of!). Discover superstitions old and new from China to Chile, the USA to the Ukraine. Learn how and why they started, and why people still participate in them today.
Featuring fascinating topics, including animals, nature, sport, life events, the human body, and lucky locations, The Good Luck Book is packed with bold original illustrations, fun facts, and the origin stories behind rituals and superstitions. Ideal for young readers curious about world culture and why we do the things we do, this colorful and charming book will amaze and entertain.
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About Heather Alexander
Heather Alexander is the author of numerous books for children, both fiction and nonfiction, including The Good Luck Book, Only in America, Eat Bugs: Project Startup, A Child’s Introduction to Egyptology, A Child’s Introduction to The Nutcracker, and the Wallace and Grace early chapter book series.
Learn more about Heather at her website: heatheralexanderbooks.com.
The 7 Beautiful Children’s Books about Lucky Charms and Making Wishes book list was curated by Heather Alexander.