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Mouse, aka Martin, is a rebel, whose bohemian streak regularly gets him into trouble. When he decides to brighten up a blank school wall with graffiti art, he finds himself back in his long-suffering social worker’s office. As he’s leaving, he encounters a strikingly pretty mixed-race girl, whose own nickname just happens to be ‘Cat’. Almost immediately their paths cross again over the rescue of a stray dog, which they name Lucky.
Mouse is irresistibly drawn to the mischievous Cat, but there is a mystery: just why is a privately educated girl from a smart part of town under a social worker’s care? And what does she want with a boy from distinctly the wrong side of the tracks? It’s soon apparent that Cat has her own wild side, as she skives off school to draw Martin into an adventure in smart parts of London he’s never visited, shoplifts in front of him and sweet-talks her way on to the London Eye with a party of French tourists. But even when Cat visits Eden Estate uninvited and persists in finding beauty and excitement in the run-down environment, Mouse remains convinced that she is ‘some rich-kid tourist on a package tour to trouble’. And that trouble is soon in evidence.
Cassidy’s many fans will relish this lively contemporary story, which reintroduces some characters from earlier books. Lucky Star offers a lightly drawn, but plausible portrait of estate life, while offering readers hope through the ability of characters like Magi and Mouse to challenge their bleak environment. While I wasn’t always convinced by aspects of characters’ ‘back story’, astronomy is cleverly employed as the magical thread which draws these disparate characters together, metaphor for a world of possibilities that anyone can aspire to. And Cat and Mouse are vulnerable, engaging personalities whose quirky romance is touching.