Money Hungry

Money Hungry

4.6 92
by Sharon Flake

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Thirteen-year-old Raspberry Hill is starved for money. She will do just about anything legal to get her hands on the almighty dollar--wash cars, sell rotten candy, skip lunch, clean houses. She is obsessed. She is driven. She is afraid. Memories of being homeless, sleeping in the streets, and eating handouts keep Raspberry's eye on the only prize that matters to her:


Thirteen-year-old Raspberry Hill is starved for money. She will do just about anything legal to get her hands on the almighty dollar--wash cars, sell rotten candy, skip lunch, clean houses. She is obsessed. She is driven. She is afraid. Memories of being homeless, sleeping in the streets, and eating handouts keep Raspberry's eye on the only prize that matters to her: cold, hard cash. A haunting story of greed and forgiveness by the award-winning author of The Skin I'm In.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"With her brassy voice and saucy attitude, 13-year-old Raspberry Hill emerges as a vivacious heroine," said PW. "The author candidly expresses the difficulty in breaking the cycle of poverty and leaves it up to readers to judge Raspberry's acts." Ages 10-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Raspberry Hill knows what it is like to be on the streets, to sleep in an abandoned car and to bathe in a public washroom. Now living in the projects with her mother, the thirteen-year-old has vowed never to live like that again. Raspberry is obsessed with money—earning it and keeping it—and never seems to have enough of it. Money is her life. She loves the feel of it, the smell of it. It motivates all that she does. Whether it is selling pencils or involving her friends in cleaning a filthy nursing home, Raspberry is always scheming for a way to make a buck. Against her better judgment she digs into her $600 nest egg to loan $200 to her friend Ja'nai and frets continually over its return. The loan that deepens the rift between Raspberry and her mother, who fears that greed is destroying her child. In a fit of rage, Raspberry's mother throws her money out of the window after being mistakenly told that the money is stolen. This act becomes the catalyst for Raspberry to examine the hold that money has over her and her own depth of forgiveness. Tough and tender, with moments of humor, this is a riveting story. The streetwise Raspberry and the mean streets she inhabits are vividly portrayed in the vernacular of the streets, and hers is a story that is hard to put down. Urban kids will nod their heads in agreement with Raspberry, and suburban kids will come away with a new understanding and respect. 2001, Hyperion, $16.99 and $15.99. Ages 12 to 14. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
Thirteen-year-old Raspberry Hill is obsessed with money. She comes up with all kinds of schemes to make it and hoards her stash in her bedroom. Simple greed is not what motivates her. Raspberry and her mother have been homeless, and Raspberry is convinced that the only way to keep that from happening again is to have money. Her schemes get her in trouble at school and put her at odds with her friends, each of whom has problems of her own. When Raspberry's mother finds the money, she thinks that it is stolen and throws it out the window. When their apartment in the projects is robbed, they indeed end up on the streets again, although a hopeful ending suggests that they will not be there for long. Where Flake excels is in her depiction of these people and their lives. Most of the many characters spring to life—Raspberry, her mother, and in particular, Raspberry's friends, Zora, Mia, and Ja'nae. The plot, however, is less successful. Raspberry really does not grow or change, and the ending is abrupt and almost too good to be true. As a slice-of-life story and in the depiction of relationships, this book is vivid, compelling, and disturbing. Teen readers either will see themselves in it or have their eyes opened. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M J (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, Hyperion/Disney, 187p, $15.99. Ages 11 to 15. Reviewer: Alice F. Stern SOURCE: VOYA, February 2002 (Vol. 24, No.6)
School Library Journal
Gr 7-9-Raspberry Hill, 13, loves money. She sells clearance holiday candy and pencils, and keeps her lunch money rather than eat. She hoards every dime she can gather and hides her cash in her room. Greed drives her and is more important than friends, boys, or her mother's love. Ever since her father got involved with drugs and she and her mother lived on the streets for a while, cash makes her feel safe. She and her mother now have a place of their own, but life in the projects is hardly ideal. Everybody has problems: Mai Kim, with her mixed heritage; Ja'nae, whose mother deserted her; the bothersome neighbors, Check and Shoe, who help drug dealers in order to eat. When Raspberry's mother finds her stash, she thinks it's stolen, and throws it out the window. Everything else-furniture, dishes, and clothes-is stolen from their apartment and the teen and her mother are on the street again. Raspberry then has to face the questions in her life and work with her mother toward possible solutions. Flake does a stunning job of intertwining Raspberry's story with daily urban scenes, and she writes smoothly and knowingly of teen problems, discussions, and reactions. Focused storytelling, clear writing, and a compelling voice are the highlights of this short novel.-Gail Richmond, San Diego Unified Schools, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Flake (The Skin I'm In, 1998) gives a rock-solid portrayal of an inner-city life where money colors everything. At 13, Raspberry avidly collects opportunities to make a little green wherever she can find them. Readers see her obsession driving her to peddle rotten chocolate and spare pencils long before they learn of her history of living on the street or the tenuousness of her home security that makes her greed understandable. Her friends both express disgust at her avidity and want in on the spoils. Raspberry's mom and girlfriends Janae, Mai, and Zora along with the guys that swirl around them leap to life as Raspberry doggedly pursues her desire to stash enough money away for some kind of safety. But there is never enough, and earnings are hard to hang onto. The energetic interaction of the projects' neighborhood, lively language, the realistic school scenes and Raspberry's moneymaking schemes, along with the inevitable convoluted ethical dilemmas keep the pace brisk. Suddenly, Mom erupts when she thinks Raspberry's begun to steal, and she tosses money out the window in an effort to wake her up. The result is that their home is burglarized. Realizing they'll never be safe there again, the two hit the streets in a move that devastates Raspberry. There's a satisfying fairy-tale ending, but Flake successfully conveys a situation where life is precarious. Kids who live like Raspberry will find validation in seeing themselves sympathetically portrayed, and more pampered readers will find their eyes opened wide. (Fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

Disney Press
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File size:
557 KB
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Sharon G. Flake won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award for her first novel The Skin I'm In and is a two-time Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book winner. Beloved by children and adults, critics and booksellers, librarians and teachers, she is the author of a middle-grade novel and five books for young adults that have sold more than half a million copies. The mother of a college-age daughter, Flake writes full-time from her home in Pittsburgh.

To learn more about Ms. Flake, please visit her at

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Money Hungry 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 92 reviews.
JazminLeya More than 1 year ago
I read Money Hungry by Sharon G. Flake and I loved it. I picked this book because I thought it was going to be about someone that always wants to get money. At the beginning it was, but I noticed as I read on that it was more about family situations. My favorite character was Raspberry, which is also the main character. She goes through the roughest times. That and her mom think she steals because of how much money she made. My least favorite character was Raspberry's mom because she was always mean to her. And she tried to get a boyfriend just right after her husband left her. This made Rasberry really sad/mad at her mom. All together I liked this book. It was filled with amazing details and one awesome story. Also, it's filled with real life experiences. And lastly I strongly recommend this book. - Jazmin :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book like 3 times and never got tired of it. I recommemd this book to everyone.Great Reading!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its a good book. Its very interesting towards the middle end part
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book soooo many times, and each time I read it, i act like I dont know what is going to happen. Thats how good this book is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book along with begging for change is very touching in a way where she blends family issues and money issues into 2 books this book is amazing you will not regret buying it ~NylaJ.~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
will someone please invite me to be there nook friend my name is in chris simpson my email is chrissophie1@verizon .net
victoria_adekunle More than 1 year ago
Wow I must say that Money Hungry is one amazing story. The words seem to jump off the pages and put me in another world. I feel as if I'm watching a movie because the words are so descriptive. I always had to pace myself so that I wouldn't get to ahead of my classmates. This story is about a girl named Raspberry Hill who will do just about anything to make money. She wouldn't go that far to make money. Raspberry lives in one of the poor neighborhoods and when I say poor I mean that she is living in the projects. Sorry to tell you this, but I have a "Spoiler Alert" Ja'Nae(one of Raspberry"s friends) asks Raspberry for two hundred dollars! Raspberry is like WHAT? However in the end Raspberry stills gives Ja'Nae the money. She then tells her that she better pay her back. So a few days later they are cleaning houses and after they get their money Raspberry says pay up. Ja'Nae says no. Raspberry then steals the money and keeps on running. She ends up giving back the money. Every time Raspberry and her mother walk out of their apartment they smell urine. They already knew who did it, Check and Shoe. Raspberry's mom is always out with this rich doctor now and Raspberry doesn't like it at all. The worst part about it is that the doctor is her best friend's dad. I would most definitely recommend this book to other teenagers my age. The only flaw of this book is that it doesn't have any challenging words.
3240 More than 1 year ago
thirteen year old raspberry loves money do anything legal to get the almightly dollar and its only one thing that mean alot to her cold hard cash as soon as you can read good read this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never thought I can be so interested in a book, especially not a book like this one. I mean, the only books I really am attached to and actually read are suspenseful, scary books, but this one was so different. I love a book with accurate detail and with a fantastic conflict and when I began reading "Money Hungary" I was surprised how the conflict already starts in the beginning of the book. This is a book that you can never find and a book that is so hard to stop reading. It captivated me through out the book and help me visualize,in detail, what was always going on. Every other book is usually an OK for me, but this book was more then OK, it was great! The author named Sharon G Flake created an amazing inspirational book called Money Hungary in where the main character Raspberry and her mother are in a situation that can change their whole life. What she doesn't know is that her choices and her greed will bring her to unexpected surprises during her journey in forgetting a time in her life that has marked her for a long time. Raspberry is a thirteen year old girl with a haunting past who lives with her mother in a neighborhood that can effect their life drastically. Raspberry is a normal teenager, looks like a normal teenager and attends school like a normal teenager, but what no one knows is that she makes a living out of selling pencils, rotten candy, cleaning houses and washing cars. Her life might look like its normal, but in reality she has many economical problems and a nightmare that keeps scaring her, to the point of loving and enjoying the smell of money. Through out the book she struggles to survive and show her friends that she really is normal. She notices that maybe her friends aren't really who she thought they were. After the back stabbing , the fights and the lieing to each other, they still stay close. Together they work hard to get money and repay the money they owe, but notice that the elderly don't pay what they say. This causing more friendship break ups and much more surprises. Not only does money create friendship problems and family problems, but the actions of Raspberries has changed incredibly, finding it difficult for her to be trusted. Jainae' has been hiding some thing form her grandfather, but the secret will be let out, after she receives a visit, in where she has been waiting for a long time. Making the rumors and lies about her and Ming change. Raspberries easy fast plan to get money has impacted every one. Even the hatred between a family and the disgust of even their own culture. The problems don't end there because when she thought every thing can be alright, she was wrong. By her mothers actions and her decisions has created Raspberries night mare to come true and the return of an event that she never forgot. Not only is there problems in Raspberries life, but her mom has found some one who she thinks she wants to spend her life with. Is it love? Will her mothers romance impact not only Raspberries future, but the risk of losing one of her best friends, because of the certain connection between her and Dr. Mitchell? This is a fantastic book that teaches every one an important lesson. Excepting and being proud of what you have now because many other people have nothing. Its a story that can make you cry and really think about it. Thats why I really enjoyed this book and I know you will too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have you ever been in need of money? have you ever needed money so bad you would do anything to get it? the book Money Hungry is story about a poverty stricken girl Rasberry hill whos never had nice things through out her life. she hustles anything to get money in hopes that one day she will save up enough cash to get up out the hood. living in the projects is a luxary to where she used to live in a broken down van with her mom. she hustles everyday to have "fat pockets" from old choclate shaped hearts to pencils to anything she can make a profit from. her money hungry ways get her in trouble with her peers and the schools administration along the way she learns to seperate her friends from family. i really enjoyed this book because it was something i could relate to. growing up i never had money like my peers and nothing ever came easy i had to hustle as well and "get money by any means" was my motto growing up. my story is very similar to Rasberrys i went thru the same struggles with friends and family and the law. i really loved this story its very inspirational it brought upon feelings with in myself that i have never felt before. i recommend this book to all ages old or young.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Are you ever ''Money Hungry?'' well, your not the only one. This bok is a story about a thirteen year old girl named Rasberry Hill who lives in poverty. I like this book because it talks about evnts that happen in real life and what it's really like to hustle to keep your family safe. Rasberry Hill lives in the projets after previously living in a broken down van in a junkyard. Her biggest fear is to be kicked out of their apartment and forced to live on the street like they had before. When Rasberry still begins to sell things and to stuff for money to keep her family safe, she gets into trouble along the way and begins to seperate from her friends anf family. Her best friends dad on the other hand, starts dating Rasberry's mom! Rasberry will do almost anything for money like selling pencil's at school, selling old candy, cleaning houses and much more just so she won't have to face the fear she hates the most. I really enjoyed reading this book and i reccomend it to anyone who loves a little bit of everything in a book! including drama, love, laughing, and a book that will keep you on the edge of you seat and reading for hours!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the book Money Hungry by Sharon G. Flake and I really enjoyed it. I recommend this book to everyone. It is a story about the life of a 13-year-old girl Raspberry Hill that¿s lives in poverty. I really like this book because it is a fiction book but it talks about what it is really like to live in poverty. Raspberry Hill is a young girl living in the ghetto and her worst fear is that her and her mother will be kicked out of their apartment and will be forced to live on the streets. She will do almost anything for money like selling old candy, cleaning other people¿s houses, and washing cars just so she won¿t have to live on the streets. She is always thinking of ways to make money. She is truly Money Hungry.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A book about a mother and daughter struggling to move on since Rasberry's(the daughter's) father has left them for drugs. Rasberry hustles at school because of living in vans and alleys. She doesn't want to go back. She works her hardest selling erasers, pencils, and everything else she can think of.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just got finished reading this book and it was really good. It teaches young adults life lessons and I like how it was not covercoated to make us think life is always how we choose for it to end up. It teaches real life lessons that someone you may know has went through or even yourself. I am now going to read the sequel to the book which is called Begging For Change.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoy the book 'money hugry'by Sharon G.Flake becuase there alot of people with the situation like Rasberry the suffer alot because she did not have enoght money and live in the street.Rasberry dad used beat up her mom and ended in the hospital.Her dad left them alone wondering in the street and living an old van with broken windows throught the summer.Rasberry mom look for a desend job a rent a complex aparment to live.Rasberry is try to make money to buy her own stuff aqnd want to ask mom for money.He want to help mom so they won't end up in the street like before.she trying to sell valetine candy from last year and trying to make money and some kids said they got sick with those candy and the pricipal took away the candy and the send to his office to call her mom for selling candy on school hours and she was send home with a note saying the if she caught one more time she would be supended from school.They try to sale valentine heart pencil to the stundent in school.Also make money buy cleaning the old people house and earn a little more to help to buy stuff fro them self.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sometims you want to just be there to change her whole life Money Hungry change my life I love to read now
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book it is so about me. My mother all was tell me that I am MONEY HUNGRY, I know it because of this book and begging for change. I have been doing good because of these books. THANK YOU FOR MAKING THIS SO THAT PEOPLE LIKE ME CAN WORK ON NOT BEING SO MONEY HUNGRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased several books by Sharon Flake for my high school classroom. They have stayed checked out. I would recommend this for high school girls.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Money hungry is a amazing book becaus it keeps u on the edge of your seat wanting to know whats going to happen next. Another book is beging for change the second book a continuation of money hungry. I give it 4 stares
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That is an awesome book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it.... I want the book after this :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ho was the book