FICTION

Jackpot

Crown. Oct. 2019. 368p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781984829627.
COPY ISBN
Gr 8 Up–Seventeen-year-old Rico Danger (pronounced DON-gur) has never wondered what it would be like to win the lottery, even though her mom isn’t great at handling the little money they have and is too proud to sign up for the public assistance they desperately need. That is, until the Georgia Gas ‘n’ Go where Rico works sells one of two winning tickets for a 212 million dollar jackpot. As time passes and the ticket goes unclaimed, Rico is positive that she knows who bought it and is determined to track the kind woman down. After a chance encounter with computer whiz Zan Macklin, one of the richest guys at school, the duo band together to follow the mystery woman’s trail, discover their different attitudes about life, bond over their biracial identities and complicated family relationships, and start to fall for each other. Chapters with inanimate objects’ point of view are interspersed into the first-person narration, giving clues to the plot and levity to serious topics of race, class, privilege, and poverty. While secondary characters could have been more fleshed out, Stone delivers a deftly constructed tale that is equal parts satisfying wish-fulfillment and light-handed lessons learned.
VERDICT A must-purchase for teen collections of all sizes, this is a real winner.

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