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You May Already Be a Winner

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  717 ratings  ·  186 reviews
For fans of Ali Benjamin's The Thing About Jellyfish and Katherine Applegate's Crenshaw comes the humorous and heart aching story of one girl's struggle to keep hope alive for her and her younger sister in Sunny Pines Trailer Park.

Twelve-year-old Olivia Hales has a foolproof plan for winning a million dollars so that she and her little sister, Berkeley, can leave behind S
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 11th 2017 by Dial Books
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Kiera I think it's that to be a winner you don't have to win the lottery or win a huge million dollar sweepstake all you need is happiness and love you don'…moreI think it's that to be a winner you don't have to win the lottery or win a huge million dollar sweepstake all you need is happiness and love you don't need huge sums of money and the term 'winner' is different for everyone. You could win a game by cheating but you wouldn't have the same winner feeling if you won without cheating. (less)

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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  717 ratings  ·  186 reviews

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Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
#Wrong number 1
So at first I thought this book would be easy and fun. A kids' read. Just what I need right now.

#Wrong number 2
Then I thought it would be a three star read.

#Wrong number 3
I thought it would be pretty forgettable. And that it would probably have typical tropes.
Well, guess again.

So let's get down to the facts.

As you might have surmised, it's a pretty emotionally loaded book. It took me through a rollercoaster of #feels , and although it took a while for i
Medeia Sharif
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was torn on whether to give this book 3 or 4 I'll say it's a 3.5. Great voice and characters here, but certain scenes seem rushed or shifting too fast and other scenes have numerous names dropped, adding confusion to the story. This will not prevent me from reading more from the author. NetGalley and the publisher provided a review copy.
Lindsey Leavitt
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best middle grades I've read. The voice is magical and the plot perfect. Read this, then hug it.
Chantele Sedgwick
Aug 07, 2017 added it
Shelves: own
Oh, this book broke my heart. I just wanted to hug Olivia and her little sister and tell them they were loved and everything was going to be alright. An emotional and real look at a girl who has lost hope because of decisions her parents have made, but finds out exactly how much people really do care about her in the end.
Patty Smith
Thank You to Netgalley, Penguin Random House and Ann Dee Ellis for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Do you remember when you were a little kid and you would live in half reality/half fantasy. Your parents are yelling at you and your mind has already taken off, adding all kinds of imaginary events onto what is really happening. I used to do it all the time. I was a perpetual day dreamer, often lost in thought, so I immediately related to Olivia, the main character in “You
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a novel that was hard to read. It was depressing because as a teacher, I am sure I have students in dire straights like Olivia and her family and I just don't know. I think the heart of the novel is learning it is important to learn to trust and rely on others, just as Olivia did. I am appreciative to NetGalley for allowing me to be an early reader in exchange for my fair and honest review. I hope that in reading I will be more cognizant of the "secret" lives of my students.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it

Sometimes you read a book that leaves your mind as soon as you close it, and sometimes you read a book that you can't stop thinking about long after you've finished it. You May Already Be A Winner is a story that touches on some very difficult topics and has one of those characters that you just can't forget.

Olivia is 12 and lives in a trailer park. That may not sound very memorable but Olivia is practically raising her little sister Berkley, she does everything around the house, and is even tr
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
Wow! You May Already Be a Winner is such a cute, heartbreaking, funny and comforting read! I loved it from the start until the end.

The story is about a 12 year old girl, Olivia, who has to be independent and able to take care of herself and her younger sister, Berkeley, since nobody is. To be able to get through the day, she imagines a world where everything is good. She subscribes to many contests so they can be rich and have an easier life. She seems to think that she has to take care of ever
Savannah Porter
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Utterly amazing. There are so many things I love about this book. I love Olivia and her unconditional love for her sister. I love how her unique voice shows through in the writing. I love how the setting is in Utah County and I could pick out details of places I've been. I love how this book made me cry in a public place. This book enveloped my soul.
Ms. Yingling
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Copy provided by the publisher

Olivia's family lives in a trailer park and has been struggling ever since her father walked out. Her younger sister, Berkeley, is unable to go to child care because she's had a cough, and since their mother needs to go to work, Olivia has been staying home from school. She is very conscientious about making sure her sister does school work, plays outside, and has her meals, but it's not an ideal situation. Eventually, the school demands that Olivia goes back. She's
Apr 09, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Corrie DeWolfe (Fae's Finds)
* 3.5/5 *

I happened to come across this ARC at a library, where they have a couple shelves where people can buy books by donation. Normally, ARCs are not for resale, and I let them know that. I did take the book, as it seemed interesting.

Right from the very beginning, Olivia has a voice. A wildly, sometimes somber and morbid, but highly imaginative voice. Olivia is 12. Her sister, Berkeley - Berk - is 5. They live with their Mum, LeAnn at Sunny Pines Trailer Park. Their Dad left the year prior
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have so many words for this book and all of them are good. This book is so good. The story is perfect. The characters are amazing. I love how the Mom is so hard working and Olivia is trying her best to do everything she can to help her mother. How she writes letters and emails to her family and how they live toghether and all of the struggles they go through.

This is such an empowering book about how you don't have to win the big money jackpot or some million dollar sweepstake to be a 'winner'
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
You May Already be a Winner by Ann Dee Ellis was made available to me as an ARC courtesy of Netgalley and the publisher.

The story and characters are engaging and the perspective from a 12 year old precocious girl is well done.

Premise: family fallen on hard times, told from the imaginative and caring older daughter's point of view.

I felt that there were three very especially touching themes which I most appreciated: that of the older/younger sibling bond (exceptionally well done), the bond of
K.L. Beckmeyer
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of John Green
Quite frankly, I love it. I love Olivia.

The write up for this book should be scraped, it doesn't do it justice. Olivia Hale is an older sister who feels responsible for everything. Olivia Hale is trying to keep her family together and convince herself that everything is going to be okay. Olivia Hale is really, truly 12, and will teach you life lessons without ever preaching a word. Olivia Hale is about to find out who her friends and family are, and you'll love going along for the ride.
Josie Stewart
Thank you to NetGallery for this ARC. Loved the stream of thinking free style writing. The characters felt very real and you can't help but pull for Olivia and her sister and her new best friend as they deal with family changes. The author really gave me sense of hope and community as well.
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is written in the viewpoint of Olivia, who is a 12 year old that is very bound and determined. She lives in a trailer park with her mother and 5 year old sister Berkeley. She has many plans for her future and one of them is to win a large sweepstakes prize. She enters contests every chance she gets because she is hopeful that a large win will help her family financially.

Her father lives far away in Bryce Canyon, and Olivia sends him e-mail messages about what is going on in her life, but he
Amy Nicole
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
The sarcasm of Raymie Nightingale. The bleak, innocent narration of Room. This is the darkest middle grade book I have ever read. It shattered my heart and it’s not even written to be a tear jerker. The 12-year-old protagonist, Olivia, tells the story in such an innocent, aloof way that is really kind of chilling when you realize the drama that’s going on behind the scenes. As a teacher who has mentored kids like Olivia and who has had to call DHR on behalf of kids like Olivia, I was just horrif ...more
Aug 12, 2018 rated it liked it
So this was...bizarre. As evidenced by the three star rating I didn't dislike this one, but I didn't exactly like the novel either.
For one thing, it is pretty darn depressing. You May Already Be a Winner is the story of Olivia, a kid living in a trailer park with her mother and younger sister. The father has left, though the reason for his absence is never made entirely clear. Unable to afford day care, Mom has Olivia staying home from school in order to look after her five-year-old sister, Ber
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways, 2017
- 4/5. I received a free book of this book from the publisher via a Goodreads giveaway.

"You May Already Be a Winner" tells the story of thirteen year old Olivia, a young girl with a wild imagination living in Sunny Pines trailer park. After her dad leaves the family (just temporarily, of course, to work as a park ranger), Olivia's mom struggles as a single parent and leaves Olivia with the responsibility of caring for her five year old sister, Berkley. Frequently letting her imagination get the
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Olivia is trying to keep it together for her family. Taking care of little sister Berk. Helping her mother out because she can't seem to do it on her own. Writing to her father that is away and doesn't write back. Plus entering all the contests she can to win big time! Enjoyable audio book!
Sherry Guice
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very good book for middle school readers; it may be confusing for younger or struggling readers because the main character and narrator tells lies to help her cope with her current life--father gone, mother struggling to keep everything together. This book would be a good introduction to unreliable narrators. It is a bit long, but worth reading.
Michelle Stimpson
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: local-authors
Olivia is an easy character to cheer for. Everything I want to say about her would be a spoiler. Just read it. You won't be sorry.
Jessica Taskinen
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Olivia Hales lives in Sunny Pines Trailer Park, but she dreams of life outside the bounds of the trailer park. She wants to turn time back to the days when her family was all together. Her love for her family abounds, demonstrated by the various ways she takes care of her mom and sister. In her mind's eye, money could solve their multitude of problems, so, at twelve, Olivia has found the solution. She just needs to win big; that way she could really turn the life of her family around. Very deter ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Ellis, Ann Dee You May Already Be a Winner, 347 pgs. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2017. $16.99 Content: Language: PG (1 swear); Mature Content: PG; Violence: G.

Twelve year old Olivia’s dad has left and her mom depends on Olivia to watch her little sister Berkley during the day while Olivia’s mom goes to work. The only problem is that Olivia is supposed to be at school. Olivia likes to enter into contests in the hopes that she will win something and she likes to imagine herself as the hero, bu
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book had a lot of potential. These were relatable characters dealing with relatable issues. Unfortunately, I feel it missed the mark for the target audience. The author's tendency to have Olivia "daydream" crazy scenarios but not to give the reader an indicator of what was real life and what was fantasied was a huge mistake. If I gave my students a comprehension quiz at the end, only my most advanced classroom readers would be able to decipher what she was making up. I wanted to like this b ...more
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
This was a quick read and had some enjoyable parts, but I feel like it would be confusing and emotionally heavy for the target audience.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had the opportunity to read a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a review. This middle grade novel taps into the stress that so many young people have placed on their shoulders by the inability of their families to manage their households. When money issues, jobs, and daycare problems become the responsibility of adolescent children, it affects every aspect of their lives - especially school. Unfortunately, many kids are placed in these circumstances, where they are forced ...more
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Ann Dee (pronounced "Andy") Ellis received an MA from Brigham Young University, where she now works as an instructor for creative writing for children and young adults. She lives in Utah with her husband and two young sons.

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