About This Book:
River Ryland is the girl everyone wants to be around. But this brave 13-year-old has a secret that’s getting harder and harder to hide: she lives mostly alone in a ramshackle, single-wide trailer with a mom who drops in and out of her life.
After a visit from Social Services goes horribly wrong, longing for security, River sets off on the run. Soon, a case of mistaken identity gives River a chance to live a life that she had never even dreamed. But, when her newfound safety is shattered, River discovers, against all odds—one in 307 million, to be exact—that life’s true jackpot isn’t anything that it seems.
A simultaneously heart-wrenching and exhilarating exploration of what we value, suspenseful and wise, Billion Dollar Girl is a deeply-felt reminder that we are inexplicably intertwined; a hopeful story of our times.
*Review Contributed by Karen Yingling, Staff Reviewer*
Complex tale of family and identity
The trip to the island is also fantastic, and there are great details about all of the wonderful natural resources. Jemma and her family are understanding, and River learns about a whole new way of life. She is exposed to kind people who understand that she is not perfect and might make some mistakes, but who also help her through things. The mistaken identity is a goofy ploy, but one that I can see actual middle schoolers trying to pull off. I would have been more likely to just admit who I was!
There is also some interest in reading about lottery winners, which are main characters in books like Tashjian’s My Life as a Billionaire, West’s Lucky in Love, Haworth’s A Whole Lot of Lucky, Smith’s Windfall, McAnulty’s Millionaires for a Month.
While this is a very long book for middle grade (416 pages), there is a lot going on for readers who like more complicated stories. It seemed like several different books rolled into one and will be eagerly awaited by fans of this author’s Bounce and The Swap.