Lucky Broken Girl – Ruth Behar

4 stars

In an effort to expand my horizons and diversify the types of books I read, I grabbed Lucky Broken Girl from the library and loved it! This book is geared for young readers but I loved the messages the reader can take away. This book is an #OwnVoices story, which means it’s written by an author from a margenlized or underprivileged group and written about his or her own experiences, rather than told through the voice of someone else.

Lucky Broken Girl centers around Ruthie, a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant who lives in New York City.  When she is involved in a serious car accident leaving her with a body cast and bedridden, Ruthie struggles to understand the meaning of her new life in America. Struggling with English as her second language and missing out on normal childhood activities, Ruthie learns how to cope with her new reality and make the most of her time spent sequestered to her bed.

Not only is Ruthie lovable, but readers both young and old can benefit from her story. Ruthie shows us how to escape the hate that sometimes forms in our hearts due to unfortunate circumstances and how to make the most out of any situation. We also learn about she and her family’s difficult transition from beautiful Cuba turned Castro-dominated Cuba and their journey to adapt to the American way of life, a world that is so vastly different than her life before.

Lucky Broken Girl is a wonderful story of diversity and inclusivity, two things readers of all ages can benefit from and elements I personally am trying to incorporate more of into my reading life.

*If you’re interested in reading further about the #OwnVoices movement or what books qualify as such, I recommend this helpful list compiled by the Seattle Public Library.

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