For fans of Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish and Katherine Applegate’s Crenshaw comes the humorous and heart aching story of one girl’s struggle to keep hope alive for her and her younger sister in Sunny Pines Trailer Park.
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.
About the Author
Ann Dee Ellis lives in Utah with her husband and five children. She is the author of the YA novels This is What I Did:, Everything is Fine, and The End or Something Like That. You May Already Be a Winner is her middle grade debut.
Read an Excerpt
One day I sunk to the bottom of the pool and died.
People were screaming and a boy named Troy jumped in and even though he was a lifeguard and he had a whistle, he was scared.
Very very scared.
He jumped in and I saw him coming and I said, “Too late. I’m already dead.” And he said, nothing. Because he was lugging my body to the surface.
People screamed. Especially Mom.
She was saying: “NO! NO! NO! MY BABY!”
And someone was holding her back because she was trying to jump in with me and Troy, but this would only complicate things.
Troy tried tried tried to get me over to the side of the pool and there was a crowd, including my old best friend Carlene and her new best friend Bonnie. They were bawling and the other lifeguards were yelling at Troy and he was saying, “I GOT IT!”
I was flopping around, turning blue, and now my mom was passed out.
When he finally got me to the deck, his lips were on my lips and he was breathing hard into my lungs. Though I’d never been kissed, my soft mouth molded to his as he tried to breathe life back into my body. During one of the intervals he was surprised to find himself no longer blowing breath into my mouth. But rather I was blowing breath into his.
I splashed up from the back float, the sound of the water and people and Mom.
She stood on the deck with her hand on her hip, her Naturalizer shoes, and her horrible Merry Maids uniform.
Everyone stared at her.
“What is wrong with you? Get your sister and get out. We’re leaving.”
A man with a snake tattoo on his neck gave me a sorry look and I gave him a none-of-your-business look, and Mom said, “Did you hear me?”
“Okay,” I said.
“Where is she?” Mom said.
“She’s right . . .”
I looked around. She was here. She was just here. Playing with a little boy in the shark shorts.
“Where is she, Olivia?”
“Hang on,” I said.
The pirate ship was swarming with kids but no pink swimsuit.
My heart fluttered. I never lost her. Ever.
I swam to the side.
The other side.
“Olivia,” Mom said.
Then a lady in a bikini said to me, “She’s over there.”
At the corner of the pool stood my baby sister in her pigtails and chubby bum, talking to a man. A very big man with a big belly and a big beard, crouching down next to her.
Mom probably saw it at the same time because she let out a shriek.
And even though it was okay, even though his name was Kyle and he worked for the DMV and he was trying to help Berkeley find me, even though all those things, I got grounded for a week.
Excerpted from "You May Already Be a Winner"
Copyright © 2018 Ann Dee Ellis.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book was so emotional and so very beautiful. I was expecting lighthearted and cute. What I got was anything but. I just cannot stop thinking about the characters and especially sweet Olivia. She was in a hard position for a child and was such a champion for her sister. My heart breaks for many of the decisions placed upon her and how quickly she had to grow up. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.