Title: Bingo Summer | Author: Dawn Malone | Publication Date: May 7, 2014 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 173 | Recommended Ages: 10+
On her thirteenth birthday, Summer Haas scratches the lottery ticket her mom tucked into her birthday card and the down-on-their-luck family become instant millionaires. Then the attention gets crazy in their small Illinois town, and the family moves north to ‘disappear’ in 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 grade even though she didn’t invite a single guest. Everyone wants Summer to be someone other than herself, including the super-popular Suri who Summer hopes will be her new best friend. There’s Mara who wants Summer to forget about competing with her for third base when softball season comes. And Summer just wants to avoid Dink and Anna even though she has more in common with them than she wants to admit.
But when Mara discovers how Summer’s family made their millions, and threatens to tell the whole school, Summer needs a friend more than ever. Can Summer fit in AND stay true to herself?
Buzz About The Book
“Good grapes, but this is a fun story that was well-written. ” ~ 5 Star Review, Librarian Sheryl, Amazon
“Bingo Summer was nicely written, kept your attention, and is a great book to have in a junior high library. ” ~ 5 Star Review, Kathy, Amazon
“Dawn Malone is a great writer whose lively writing style and interesting details make the book fun to read. A charming book that is perfect for middle school girls. ” ~ 5 Star Review, JadeBlue, Amazon
“I loved this book! I thought the author did a fabulous job of weaving a great YA book that readers will remember. Believable characters and just really great writing. ” ~ 5 Star Review, M.Z., Amazon
When I was between the ages of 8 and 13 years old, I would spend quiet hours roaming the aisles of our local library. I would gather many hardcover books, which crinkled when they were opened, that they would stack perilously in my arms. I had many favorites that I found just by browsing, and, when I began reading Bingo Summer, I was transported to those moments where I would discover a wonderful new book. From the first chapter, Malone has the reader hooked. Her casual tone describing the moment when Summer scratches off the winning ticket brought the reader right into their hot kitchen to follow her family along on this adventure.
“Announcing our luck in front of Mrs. Hennessey was our first mistake.”
Of course, the winning lottery ticket changed Summer’s life, as they found neighbors and friends who all needed a helping hand. Summer moves from Stanton to Dorrance, but she’s not quite sure how this transition is going to be for her with new friends. Malone writes with thoughtful detail, and I loved the description of Summer’s sister, J.C., circling everything she wants in catalogs with gel pens. The reader follows Summer as she makes this transition to a new home, new place in life, and new school. It’s a journey for Summer as she tries to find friends, keep them, and stay true to who she knew back in Stanton. 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 :)!
About the Author: Dawn Malone
Dawn Malone is an author and former newspaper reporter. She has written on a wide range of subjects, from a creole cooking school in New Orleans to award-winning irises in a Wisconsin greenhouse. Writing those articles and working other odd jobs over the years – cake assembly line worker, yogurt seller, substitute teacher ? helps her develop the quirky characters that populate her stories. Her work has appeared in theWisconsin State Journal, the Chicken Soup for the Soul Think Positive for Kids edition, and Highlights for Children. When she’s not writing, Dawn loves hiking when someone else carries her backpack. She lives in central Illinois.