Mystery of the Missing Luck

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Mystery of the Missing Luck (Orca 2011) — Sara loves her grandmother’s bakery. It’s a special place ─ not only because of its delicious Japanese buns and pastries. She enjoys spending time with her obaachan, her grandmother. But things aren’t going well for the bakery. When the bakery’s lucky cat statue goes missing, the bakery’s luck seems gone as well. But then a mysterious cat appears in the backyard one night and inspires a plan. With the help of her friend, Jake, Sara just might find the statue and restore the bakery’s lost luck. Chapter book for ages 7-8. Illustrated by Leanne Franson.

Order it from Orca Books,, or (also available as an e-book)


Southwest Ohio and Neighboring Libraries (SWON)Booklist – May 1, 2011

“This beginning chapter book ably portrays the two main characters and the bond between them. In a nicely handled subplot, an actual cat makes mysterious appearances and eventually leads to the finding of Maneki Neko…The mystery’s resolution is far more realistic than one usually finds in books for young children. Readers new to chapter books will find this paperback, with its many full-page drawings, a good place to start.”

– August 14, 2011

“This ready-for-chapter books story is great for the young reader. Using a Japanese icon as the subject of the mystery was an ingenious concept as it pulls a multicultural aspect into the storyline. The simple plot and the humorous conclusion are well written…Another great addition for the elementary library.”

Resource Links – June 1, 2011

“Short chapters and nicely detailed pencil illustrations by Leanne Franson will definitely keep even reluctant readers turning pages. Recommended.”

The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books – September 1, 2011

Canadian Teacher – January 1, 2012″[Has a] tightly focused plot, well supported by a manageable cast of characters…Will fit nicely into reading programs as well as offering newly independent readers [an] engaging option for first chapterbook reads.”

“A wonderfully warm and clever book…The chapters are short and fast-paced. There is suspense or mystery with a hint of magic…The story is a great introduction to many facets of Japanese culture, and the pictures reinforce the sense of immersion. Well done!”

Awards and Recognitions

2011: Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) Best Books selection

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