by Dawn Malone
On her thirteenth birthday, Summer Haas scratches the lottery ticket that her mom tucked into her birthday card and the down-on-their-luck family become instant millionaires. When the attention gets crazy in their small, southern Illinois town, the family moves north to the Chicago suburbs. Summer’s new home might as well be on the moon, it’s so different from where she used to live.
Suddenly, Summer is a candidate for student council, trades her t-shirt and jeans for mall-brand clothes, and throws a party for her entire 8th-grade class even though she didn’t invite a single guest. Everyone wants Summer to be someone other than herself. Can Summer fit in and stay true to herself?
“The writer visits many issues that kids deal with: parents, siblings, step-parents, fitting in, friends, finances, bullying and more. Yet the entire time, the story remains entertaining without becoming depressing or painful. We are right there with Summer as she grows and her life changes.”
“Teachers and parents could use this in the classroom or at home to discuss making friends, finances, and growing up. In fact, this would be a really fun story for students to discuss and work on creative writing, too. I’d highly recommend this for any reader; it’s descriptive, well-written, and relatable (well, the life journey – maybe not the million dollar lottery ticket!”
“Summer shows us it’s never too late to rediscover who we really are. Bingo Summer is an enjoyable read, perfect for any tween.”
Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble
CIR: What inspired this book?
MALONE: As with most of my stories, a news article and the question ‘What if?’ inspired me to write BINGO SUMMER. I had read about a family who won millions in the lottery and thought, ‘What if winning the lottery wasn’t such a good thing?’ While the instant riches might be wonderful, a teenager might not appreciate being forced to move across the state after getting so much unwanted media attention.
CIR: Who is your favorite character and why?
MALONE: I loved writing Summer’s little sister, J.C. She is the sharp-witted, mouthy, little sister, though her protective strength shines through when Summer gets into trouble.
CIR: What was the hardest part of writing this story?
MALONE: The process of creating a coherent story line which had only existed in my mind up to that point never fails to amaze (and scare!) me. I really have a hard time trusting the process during the first draft stage of any story. Thank goodness for revising, which I love to do!
CIR: Is there more coming?
MALONE: Yes! The sequel is coming Spring 2017. Summer’s family faces new financial challenges, while her softball rival presents more trouble on the field and off.