Wednesday, July 12, 2017

You May Already Be a Winner
by Ann Dee Ellis




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.





Sometimes you read a book that leaves your mind as soon as you close it, and sometimes you read a book that you can't stop thinking about long after you've finished it. You May Already Be A Winner is a story that touches on some very difficult topics and has one of those characters that you just can't forget. 

Olivia is 12 and lives in a trailer park. That may not sound very memorable but Olivia is practically raising her little sister Berkley, she does everything around the house, and is even trying not to stay behind because lack of school. Olivia is so unbelievably strong. She should be having fun growing up, not having so many responsibilities! I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT! There are so many issues going on at home, but she persists, and most of the time prevails. Bart is one of her escapes, when he's around she can forget about everything and just be a young girl, she can help him spy on her neighbor, and talk about impossible things. I LOVE OLIVIA SO MUCH! I root for her, laugh with her, cry for her. I feel like there is so much truth to this story and I think that's what grabs at me the most! 

This story absolutely charmed me. It had the perfect combination of characters that were so very different but always there for each other. Olivia and Berkley are two of the most precious characters I have ever read about. This isn't the light hearted book I thought I was going to read, it was so so much more!

4/5 Fangs

*A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

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