Every year, there are a select few books I read that just grip me.  I can’t wait to get back to the book, and I try to steal time from my day to read a few more pages, and a few more. . .These are books that I hate to have end.

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This year, the first book to grab me in that way is Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran.

Lucky Boy follows two story tracks.  Soli is an 18 year old girl living in Mexico.  She watches most of the kids her age make their way North.  One neighbor boy sends home so much money to his mom that she is having a brand new, large house built.  Soli longs to have a new life and send money home to her parents.

Her father, knowing that Soli will go regardless, saves up money to hire someone to drive Soli across the border.  But the man who is hired has other plans to get Soli across.

Crossing the border is perilous for anyone, and Soli runs into her fair share of danger.  However, she luckily finds Checo, a boy who is also trying to cross the border.  Checo helps and protects her; she would not have made it to America without his help.  Unbeknownst to her, thanks to her relationship with Checo, she also arrives in America pregnant.

The other story track follows the Reddys, an Indian couple who have good career tracks but can’t get the thing they most want–a baby.  Despite their best attempts, Kayva can’t have a baby.  They enter the world of foster care, which eventually brings them to Soli’s son, Ignacio.

This is a painful story to read because both Soli and Kayva so desperately want to raise and love Ignacio.  Indeed, he is a lucky boy.  The book asks the question, who should raise him?  Is it the couple who can give him a better life, or the single mother who is his biological mother?

As might be expected, there is no good solution to this dilemma.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

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