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Saturday, February 03, 2018

Ann Dee Ellis' Newest a Winner in My Book

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

I usually write my own plot summaries, but I love the publisher's description of You May Already Be a Winner by Ann Dee Ellis so much that I'm going to use it instead:

Twelve-year-old Olivia Hales has a foolproof plan for winning a million dollars so that she and her little sister, Berkeley, can leave behind Sunny Pines Trailer Park.

But first she has to:

·  Fix the swamp cooler and make dinner and put Berkeley to bed because her mom is too busy to do all that

·  Write another letter to her dad even though he hasn’t written back yet

·  Teach Berk the important stuff, like how to make chalk drawings, because they can’t afford day care and Olivia has to stay home from school to watch her

·  Petition her oddball neighbors for a circus spectacular, because there needs to be something to look forward to at dumb-bum Sunny Pines

·  Become a super-secret spy to impress her new friend Bart

·  Enter a minimum of fourteen sweepstakes a day. Who knows? She may already be a winner!

Olivia has thought of everything . . . except herself. Who will take care of her when she needs it? Luckily, somewhere deep down between her small intestine and stomach is a tiny voice reminding her that sometimes people can surprise you—and sometimes your family is right next door.

There's so much to love about this novel that I don't even know where to start.  Olivia is a likable, sympathetic heroine who's quirky and kind.  Although she seems a little immature for a 12-year-old, she's very capable but also realistically anxious about her family's precarious situation.  The story takes place in Provo, Utah, a quaint college town in which I lived for six years.  You May Already Be a Winner shows a different side of the familiar city, which surprised me and made me love this tale even more.  If you enjoy poignant but entertaining middle grade fiction, be sure to pick this one up.  You won't be disappointed.

(Readalikes:  I'm so bad at this lately.  A bunch of titles should probably be coming to mind, but I'm drawing a blank.  Suggestions?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for brief, mild language (no F-bombs) and violence

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of You May Already Be a Winner from the generous folks at Penguin.  Thank you!

4 comments:

  1. This one sounds so quirky and fun!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This one looks cute. I need to read more of her books.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I haven’t read this book yet, but your synopsis reminds me of Three Times Lucky. It’s also about a 12-year-old girl with a lot of spunk and unconventional family living in small town. She and her best friend become a detectives to solve a local murder.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This one sounds interesting. It would be interesting just for the sheer fact that I live in Provo, lol.

    ReplyDelete

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Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

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