Hailee Richardson is on the lower rung of her neighborhood’s economic ladder, but things take a turn when her parents win the lottery. Though Hailee sees big houses and a horse in her future, the story plays out more realistically. While three million dollars is a lot of money, it’s set up to come in installments over decades, so a new lifestyle isn’t in the works, except for one thing. When Hailee learns that her parents are transferring her to the exclusive Magnolia Academy, she tries to fight it, but soon enough she becomes intrigued with what it offers, even as she tries to redefine her relationship with her neighborhood BFF.

Haworth does an excellent job of portraying the modern kid’s life (cell phones, Facebook) mixed with evergreen problems like trying to fit in with the popular crowd and cheating on tests. She also makes the smart decision to have the lottery win be a plot point that propels the story into places that will interest kids most, rather than be its center. The fact that religion plays quietly and comfortably into the narrative is another plus. Booklist