The English Experience


The Chain Letter

Delacorte 2005

Livvie isn’t superstitious like her best friend, Joyce, who thinks everything is bad luck. So Livvie isn’t worried about tearing up the chain letter and throwing it away — until she’s humiliated in gym class, falls down her back stairs, and gets invited to Thanksgiving dinner at Peter Finch’s house. Peter’s dad has crooked teeth, a plastic wonderland in his front yard, and some kind of secret up in his study. There is no way Livvie wants Phil Finch to date her mom.

But it’s hard work keeping their families apart — especially when Livvie is assigned to work on the sixth-grade snow maze project with Peter. Clearly, Joyce was right: breaking the chain was a huge mistake. And the only way to set things straight is to find out who sent the letter in the first place…

Rich in humor and suspense, Julie Schumacher’s absorbing novel is about friendship, choices, and the kind of luck that really matters.


Continuous, fluid descriptions of slapstick events and interesting issues of family and friendship will keep readers turning the pages as they begin to know and care about this likable protagonist. Lots of attention is given to her days in school and her growing awareness of luck, serendipity, and the power to make important choices…. Readers will appreciate the story’s suspense, humor, and many examples of fine prose.”
-School Library Journal

Do we make our own luck, good or bad? A serious question underlies this entertaining friendship story… A lively, enjoyable read.”
-Kirkus Reviews