What would you do if you won the lottery?
Ms. Linda LaCrosse is a very unlucky person. She puts too much milk on her toast and too much butter in her coffee. She is the teacher in Classroom 13, with 27 students. On this particularly unlucky Wednesday, she decides to use a lottery ticket to spice up her math lessons and promises to split her earnings evenly with every single student. The prize for this lottery is $28 billion. And Ms. Linda is the only winner. In a sure storyteller’s voice, the remaining chapters of the book relate the misfortunes the students experience after claiming their billion-dollar prizes. Lily Lin, who has always wanted to be an astronaut, buys NASA. Dev hires the best video game designers so he can live in a virtual-reality world. Ximena brings the wonders of the world to her ailing grandmother. Though each idea seems appealing, there’s a catch. The diverse cast, including kids with disabilities, is appreciated, although stereotypes do appear. Dreidemy’s absurd and cheeky illustrations depict the myriad ways that money does not buy happiness. The short, easy-to-read chapters and wry humor will appeal to fans of Captain Underpants and Wayside School. As this is but the first in a series, this interesting classroom of characters will soon meet another unlucky fate in the next book.
The ongoing hardships of Classroom 13 hammer home teachable moments with humor. (Fiction. 8-12)