Monday, May 30, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Luck of the Buttons

The Luck of the Buttons, by Anne Ylvisaker, is on my "books I love" list. Published in 2011, this novel is genuine and soft-at-heart. In it, readers meet twelve-year-old Tugs Button, of the unlucky, plain, don't-strive-for-too-much Button family. Tugs is a character I wish I could meet, and if I could, I would hug her right off because she is the friend everyone needs.

The premise: Funny, tomboy Tugs Button has never had too much luck, until the 1929 Independence Day Race and Raffle in Goodhue, Iowa. Aggie Millhouse enlists Tugs to be her three-legged race partner and Tugs buys a raffle ticket. These two events, along with Harvey Moore's arrival in town and his promise of progress, lead Tugs into a mystery designed just for her.

What keeps readers reading: A character you cheer for and a situation only she can make right. When Tugs wins a Brownie camera in the raffle, she sees everything from a different angle. She notices what others overlook and wonders just what progress Harvey Moore is offering. Though she struggles with wanting to fit in, Tugs is nobody but herself and starts to think that maybe her luck can change.

Curl up with The Luck of the Buttons, sink into the past with Tugs, and look for a guest post, coming soon and coming right here, from The Luck of the Buttons author, Anne Ylvisaker!

Other MMGMers and their reviews:
Please find their links in my right sidebar.


  1. I'll have to look for this book. The premise is intriguing -- and Tugs Button is a great name for a character.

    Thanks for commenting on my blog too.

  2. What a great title. I hadn't heard of this. Have a great weekend. I'm getting ready to leave too.

  3. Love hearing about good new MG fiction!! Awesome. Hope your travels went well. I tried to address you question on my blog today, btw.

  4. Hope you've had a lovely weekend. I had to work most of it, but have today off, at least.

    I haven't read this yet, although I've heard of it. Not sure that cover will appeal to kids. But you make it sound like a lovely story and I enjoy reading about that time period. Do you think it has Newbery potential?

  5. Megan, Natalie, Lisa - always a pleasure to show off MG!

    Joanne, the weekend was a whirlwind - full of graduations and traveling - but wonderful although busy. Glad you had a break today!

    The cover, for me, is adorable (even more so after reading the book), but I'm not a kid. =) It IS a lovely story. As far as Newbery potential, I say yes! The book's message is timeless although woven into a specific time period. All in all, it's simply a beautiful story.

  6. Can't wait to read this one--looks like a fantastic choice! Sounds like one of those take-a-bit-of-this-character-with-you-when-you-leave-the-book books.

  7. Amanda, thank you for reading (and I think so too)!

    Kristen, Tugs is exactly that kind of character.

  8. Oh, wow, I haven't seen this one. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Barbara! :-)

  9. I'll take a look at this one. We do have a sixth grade unit on the Depression, but historical novels are a hard sell in my library.

  10. Ms. Yingling, I hope you include it in your library's resources and your readers enjoy it.


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