|You may already be a winner|
Author: Ellis, Ann Dee
Twelve-year-old Olivia endeavors to care for her younger sister, possibly make a new friend in the quirky and secretive Bart, and keep hope alive for her, her family, and her community of idiosyncratic neighbors at Sunny Pines Trailer Park.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 3.70
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 190296
Kirkus Reviews (05/01/17)
School Library Journal (05/01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 05/01/2017 Gr 4–6—With her father gone and her mother working overtime, there is never enough food, money, or attention in 12-year-old Olivia Hales's life. She enters multiple contests a day because the words, "You may already be a winner" give her hope for a better future. She takes care of her little sister Berk during the day, even skipping school to do so. When neighbor boy Bart notices that Olivia has been sacrificing school and friendships to care for her younger sister, he tells on her, bringing her carefully constructed plans to an end. The quirky characters and drama keep the story interesting and imaginative. The young characters deal with divorce, abandonment, and adult responsibilities. Short chapters include letters Olivia writes to her father. VERDICT Recommended for readers who enjoy realism with roller-coaster emotional arcs.—Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, Alta. - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 06/01/2017 Olivia is a sensitive, imaginative, and self-reliant 12-year-old who lives with her frazzled and depressed mother and little sister, Berkeley, in a mobile home park in Utah. Her father is no longer in the picture, and when Olivia isn’t staying home from school to take care of Berkeley, she’s preparing meals and combing the Internet to find sweepstakes and contests to enter to help her family. Eventually, she has to go back to school, and when Berkeley’s cough keeps her from attending day care, she smuggles her sister into school—a stopgap solution that falls apart. At her core, though, Olivia not only believes in luck, she believes that she can create her luck, and, miraculously, she does. Olivia’s first-person narrative fills brief, expressive chapters where she mixes fantasy and real life at will, all in a lyrical, poetic voice. Ellis realistically taps into the kind of magical thinking so typical of kids trying to solve big problems, and plenty of readers might recognize themselves in the appealingly optimistic, daydreaming Olivia. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.