The tale has a whiff of nostalgia (the Brownie box camera, “dagnabit”), but the good old days are balanced by the strongly realized, immediate characters and the delicacy and originality of the writing
An increasingly suspenseful tale revolving around a dapper, silver-tongued newcomer with plans for starting a newspaper with citizens’ money (think The Music Man).
The main message here is uncomplicated, but important—with a little faith in ourselves and a willingness to take some risks, anything is possible
Ylvisaker’s lively writing style and appealing characters will charm readers.
Subtle humor, a clever narrative style, and an endearing heroine. Details of photography of the time period add interest, and readers who enjoy a good story with only the mildest of sinister overtones will find this one appealing.
—School Library Journal
Tugs is nothing but good luck for young readers, and they’ll appreciate her role in this perceptive exploration of identity.
—Bulletin of the Center of Children’s Books
A heartwarming story about a sensitive girl who exhibits innovation, ingenuity, and creativity.
—Library Media Connection
Combines mystery with unusual characters, including even a well known town cat.
Ylvisaker’s prose reads like poetry as she creates beautiful images that never feel contrived or self-conscious.
Books like THE LUCK OF THE BUTTONS by Anne Ylvisaker are some of the best in the biz. A svelte little novel that’s chock full of plum, pluck, and vinegar, Ylvisaker gives us a heroine you can believe in but never pity….Hand this one over to the kid that wants a good story with humor and spice and a family that’s practically cursed itself. It’ll stick in your brain long after you’ve read it, this one, and you’ll be glad that it’s in there.
—A Fuse 8 Production (SLJ blog)