Twelve-year-old Summer and her Japanese-American family work every harvest season to earn money to pay their mortgage. But this last year, Summer has had malaria (she is now obsessed with learning everything to be known about mosquitoes and is both amazed and repelled); her parents have to travel to Japan to care for elderly relatives; her grandmother, now in charge of cooking for the combine crews, has intense spinal pain; and her grandfather driving the giant harvesting machine all day and night is getting very tired. Her brother, Jaz, amusing and puzzling, earnest and autistic, is, like Summer, attempting to maneuver within friendship and family ties. The Thing About Luck is heartfelt, perfect in structure and narrative, accessible, and very funny. Newbery-winner Cynthia Kadohata could, with this book, do it again. Grades 5–8.