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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Lucky Rocks is a novel written by Murray Richter. Determined to catch some fish early in the day, best friends Kevin, Preech and Rudy sneak out of the house before it becomes too hot. Kevin sustains a leg injury after hooking a huge catfish, right before it gets away. Rudy’s mother calls him home to get all of the chores done before his abusive, bullying stepfather, Ted, arrives home. Not only is Ted known for his physical abuse of Rudy and his mother, but also for his frequent verbal abuse towards the people around him. When Rudy considers shooting his stepfather out of desperation, the boys decide to seek out the wisdom of their one-legged adult friend and World War 2 veteran, Oliver (The Oracle), in order to find a solution to Ted’s evils. Oliver advises the boys that Ted had better pray the police get to him before Oliver does, should it turn out that Ted is physically hurting Rudy and his mother. With their parents’ permission, the three boys join Oliver on a road trip, where they not only discover some truths about the week that Oliver had lost his leg in the war, but also have a near-death experience of their very own. On returning home from the road trip, the Ted situation comes to a shocking conclusion after Ted’s actions push Rudy to take drastic and desperate action.
Realistic and funny throughout, Lucky Rocks is about three boys who are the best of friends, yet are the butt of each other’s light-hearted sarcasm, practical jokes and dry wit on a regular basis. Kevin and Preech live normal family lives, while Rudy uses humor to cover up the psychological and physical pain that his abusive stepfather inflicts upon him. Murray Richter’s depiction of this incredible friendship is true-to-life, delving into very deep and emotional issues which are confrontational and life-changing while keeping the humor constant to the very end. Each of the main characters is easy to relate to and I found Lucky Rocks to be entertaining, thought-provoking, humorous, yet quite gut-wrenching at times. I thoroughly enjoyed the detail and imagination that went into the tale. I recommend Lucky Rocks to readers who enjoy laugh-out-loud humor and adventure while tackling hard core social issues head on.