From Publishers Weekly
Currently the owner of a restaurant in California, Lu looks back on a life that reflects China's
tumultuous recent history, from wars and famine to Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution. Orphaned at
three, Chi Fa grows up amid hardships that will be scarcely imaginable to American readers. "Chi Fa,
you are lucky. Good fortune will find you," his beloved Sister tells him when, yielding to her husband,
she abandons him on another sibling's doorstep. The boy is shunted among his relatives, sold to strangers
and eventually rescued from them by Sister; he is beaten, starved and forced to beg. At 12, he survives a
dangerous trek to freedom in Hong Kong, where an elderly man to whom he gives food fuels his dreams of
emigrating to America ("In America people eat three times a day. In America they are too full to
swallow sorrow"), a dream he finally realizes at 20. The first-person narrative is pedestrian and
even plodding in parts ("An important thing I forgot to mention is China's class system"), but
readers who are not put off by the prose will be impressed by Chi Fa's perseverance, intelligence and
goodness of heart. Photos not seen by PW. Ages 10-up.
From Robert and Darlene MacPherson
Long Beach, CA
Last Monday morning, April 11, my husband and I had breakfast at your restaurant. As we were leaving,
I purchased your book, which you signed for me.
That afternoon we returned to our RV and I began reading about two o'clock. My husband asked me to read
aloud so we could share your experience. I read straight through, finishing about nine o'clock that evening.
We even skipped dinner. I could not stop reading.
We both shed some tears. Tears of anger and sadness. Tears of joy and happiness. Never in my 78 years have
I read an entire book in one day. Your book was mesmerizing and fascinating. We were both so impressed with
what you have become and what you have done with your life, in spite of the most adverse circumstances in
which you grew up.
We are so proud that you became an American citizen. May God bless you.
Remember when we were in Morro Bay and I was in the car and you came out and brought me this beautiful
coffee mug filled with candy? It was so sweet of you and I will never forget it. You are a wonderful person
and your book is great!
Michael L. Baird
Morro Bay, CA
We just met the affable Mr. Lu Chi Fa at his restaurant, The Coffeepot, in Morro Bay, CA. Here I saw a
true entrepreneur at work. We exchanged books. As the author of Engineering Your Start-up: A Guide for
the High-Tech Entrepreneur I am always interested in getting to know business start-up role models and
tangible success stories. Here is a story of success obtained through hard work, inspiration, and probably
most important, a positive attitude, and friendly manner. Reading Double Luck will be a particularly
rewarding experience for youngsters wondering about making their way in this uncertain world. Lu Chi's bookmark
says it all... "In America, no matter how humble your beginnings, if you work hard, respect yourself and
others, you can succeed." Lu Chi's sister says "You are lucky, Chi Fa... good fortune has found you."
I don't think it was luck, it was pure determination.
Schweitzer Elementary School
Excerpt from letter to Lu Chi Fa:
I am a teacher of a 6th grade class in Sacramento, CA. My father-in-law bought your book last summer at your
restaurant and while visiting him I read it. I loved reading about your life in China as a boy. Your courage and
fortitude inspired me. I had him buy one for me and also one for a friend.
I decided to read it aloud to my fifth graders. They were enthralled with each episode and almost every day
when I was reading it one of the students would say, "This is such a good book!"
I believe Double Luck should be a read-a-loud book in every 5th and 6th grade classroom. It is both
inspiring and informative, giving children a picture of China during the communist takeover.
Connie Hanretty Church, M.A.
College Instructor, Cal Poly
San Luis Obispo, CA
Excerpt from letter to Lu Chi Fa:
Please accept my sincere thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak to my class, Psy. 460 -
Child Abuse and Neglect, about your life story as portrayed in the book. The students were deeply affected
by reading your book and many commented that your memoirs provide hope to keep working hard, to preservere
through all of life's obstacles, and never give up.
Our world is a better place because we have people
like you who are willing to tell their painful life story because it encourages others and provides the hope
which is what sustains us during hard times. You exemplify resilience, which is a gift. I wish more abused and
neglected children had this to help them endure their sufferings and pain.
From School Library Journal
Grade 5-10-The power of positive thinking is amply demonstrated in this moving memoir. Born in the
turmoil of the Sino-Japanese war in China's Jiangsu province and orphaned at age three, young Chi Fa
("new beginning") had more new beginnings than any child should have to face.
He was passed from relative to relative and finally sold to a Communist village chief who treated
him badly. Rescued by his sister 18 months later, he was returned to his unwelcoming relatives. At nine
years old, he was the caretaker for a mute epileptic and then sent to Shanghai to join the brother and the
family who had first sold him. In time, they ended up in Kowloon, where, for nearly three years, Chi Fa
supported them by begging, until an aunt arranged for them all to migrate to Taiwan. For the first time
in his life, at 13, he went to school, but after a year, he was pulled out to work. He contributed to that
family until he was conscripted into the Taiwanese army. In 1969, he immigrated to the United States,
following a dream he had had for 14 years. The strength of this book is in the clarity of Chi Fa's personal
story, his optimism and determination in the face of incredible adversity. The grinding poverty of daily
life in China is clear. Less trustworthy is his understanding of geography and politics of the world beyond
his family. Such errors make this touching story somewhat less convincing.
Kathleen Isaacs, Edmund Burke School, Washington, DC
Charlotte Wood Middle School
Excerpts from letter to Lu Chi Fa:
Reading time was very sacred while we were reading your novel. Oftentimes the students did not
want me to stop reading.
Double Luck is a better-sweet novel, Lu Chi Fa. Although you lost your
parents at such an early age, your journey and hardship growing up in Communist China, in my opinion, became sweet
long before you obtained your passport to the United States. Your courage and preseverance throughout was inspiring
to all of us.
We live in a very high socio-economic community east of San Francisco and the very thought of
not having parents to nurture, a roof over our head, and food to eat was enlightening. Your feeling of constant
rejection is something that humbled all of us with your story. Kids and adults of all ages will trully grow as
human beings with your story. Thank you for sharing. With your story, I feel that good luck has found me.
Red Oak Elementary
Excerpt from letter: I loved the way you thought of the
positive side for everything. I thought it was cool that whatever situation you were in, you learned something.
For everything you did, you are now strong, obedient, persistent, considerate, thankful, careful, and kind.
Each one of your chapters was a lesson I can use in my life. I get the feeling that is why you wrote your book.
Write to Double Luck.