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the luck of the buttons

Reviewer rating

Format reviewed: Audio
Ready by Laura Hamilton
3 hours


The Hawkeye State

The Luck of the Buttons by Anne Ylvisaker


Time Period:



Goodhue, Iowa
Small town life; Brownie cameras
Quirky, upbeat, humorous

The Luck of the Buttons by Anne Ylvisaker is the first book in the Buttons trilogy. Each book focuses on a different Button family member; the first two take place in 1929 and the third book takes place during the Civil War when granddaddy Ike was just a boy. All three of the books are suitable for a slightly younger age group: second or third grade and up.  

Tugs Esther Button doesn’t have high expectations in life; she’s a Button and the Button Family has always been unlucky. But after Tugs wins a three-legged race and a Brownie camera from a
raffle and an essay contest, well, who knows? Maybe the luck of the Buttons is changing! This is a fun, upbeat story about living in small town Iowa during the Great Depression. A bit of
luck is all it takes for Tugs to gain a new sense of confidence and a can-do attitude. Tugs is out with her new Brownie camera when she meets Harvey Moore, the new guy in town, who would
like to start a newspaper, the Goodhue Progress. While the rest of the town’s folk might find him charming, Tugs has a feeling he is up to no good. Tugs decides it’s up to her to discover the
truth about Harvey Moore. With a bit of sleuthing, resolve, and help from her friends and the local librarian, Tugs is sure to succeed.

With a cast of quirky characters including the Rowdy Gang, crazy Granddaddy Ike and the (adult) Thompson twins, Eldora and Elmira, you’re bound to enjoy this book. And if you happen
to be down on your luck, take a lesson from the spirited Tugs and learn to make your own luck!

iowa state bird
Eastern Goldfinch
iowa state flower
Wild Rose
iowa state tree
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