Friday, January 07, 2022

Guy Friday- My Life as a Billionaire

If you don't have this series in your middle school or elementary library, you really need to look into getting them in prebind. They are the perfect book to hand to students who obsessively reread Wimpy Kid books or graphic novels. Along with the Charlie Joe Jackson and Stick Dog books, these are my go to titles for slowly expanding readers' choices when they need a suggestion for something new that also feels familiar. 

Tashjian, Janet. My Life as a Billionaire (My Life #10)
April 6th 2021 by Henry Holt & Company
Library copy

Derek spends the day working for his friend Matt's brother, and is supposed to get $40 for his efforts. When Jamie doesn't have any cash at the end of the day, he tries to give the boys lottery tickets instead. Disappointed that he isn't any closer to buying the 3-D printer that he wants, Derek still takes the ticket. When the news is on, and he hears numbers that sound familiar, he is surprised to find that the ticket is actually a winner. His mother points out that he is too young to claim the money himself, and events proceed very realistically. He and Jamie agree to split the money, and their parents dissuade them from getting it in one lump sum. While Derek does buy his printer and a few other silly things ($9,000 shoes?!), he also helps out his friend Umberto with a new wheelchair he can use for skateboarding, and donates to other charities as well. Knowing Derek, he manages to combine his new found wealth with his other interests of skateboarding, videotaping, 3-D printing, training assistance monkeys and hanging out with his friends. 
Strengths: This is wish fulfillment at its finest-- what middle school student doesn't dream about winning a lot of money? I did appreciate that it was all done very realistically, and the legalities were well addressed. Having a lawyer involved (as would have probably happened in real life) would have slowed down the story. Derek is a great kid who makes a conscious effort to do good things even if he doesn't want to. He buys the expensive shoes, but then feels bad about it. His parents are supportive but reign him in when needed. His friends are all very different, and interact with him in fun ways. 
Weaknesses: This was rather episodic, which is a change from the other books, that have more of a plot. This will not bother the fans of this series at all. 
What I really think: I buy all of these books without reading them now, since I trust the author, and am never disappointed. It just takes me a while to be able to get my hands on the books to read them myself, since they are always checked out!
 Ms. Yingling

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