WINDFALL by Jennifer E. Smith: You’ll be a Lucky Reader

BookendsCindy: I have some eighth-grade girls who felt like they won the lottery when I returned from ALA Midwinter with an advance copy of Jennifer E. Smith’s new novel, Windfall (2017). I did, too.

Alice doesn’t know what to get her good friend Teddy for his 18th birthday. On a whim, she gets him a lottery ticket, since you have to be 18 to buy one. The next morning, when all of the numbers match the winning ones, Teddy is rich. $142 million Final cover.inddrich—it just takes a little rooting around in a dumpster to find the ticket. (He misplaced it.)

As you might imagine, Teddy’s life changes. So does the relationship between Teddy and Alice, which had been heading towards romance. Teddy tries to share his wealth with Alice, but she’s not interested. Since she lost her parents in an accident, money can’t buy what she wants most. Besides, she doesn’t really know what she wants. College looms with all of the choices, changes, and uncertainties that go along with it.

Meanwhile, Teddy is spending money like crazy. His gambling-addicted father shows up smelling the money, but claims to be reformed. And Alice and Teddy’s other best friend, Leo, is having boyfriend troubles. As with Smith’s other titles, the ample riches of this gentle romance will draw in lucky readers.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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