Ten-year-old Rupert Brown comes from an ordinary family. They live in a small house in the poorest section of Steelville, Ohio, and have little money or food. So when Rupert inadvertently finds himself spending Christmas at the house of Turgid River — the richest boy in town — he is blown away to discover a whole other world, including all the food he can eat and wonderful prizes that he wins when the family plays games, prizes he hopes to take home to his family so they can have Christmas presents for the very first time. But this windfall is short-lived when Rupert loses it all in one last game and goes home empty-handed. Each member of the Rivers family feels guilty about what happened and, unbeknownst to each other, tries to make it up to Rupert in their own unique way, taking him on one unlikely adventure after another.
Out September, 2018
I received this book in exchange for my honest review.
Welcome to a world of extremes and extreme opposites. In one family, poverty rules the roost. No food, ragged clothing, no bed, crowded living quarters and a sense of foreboding.
In the other family, riches are everywhere. There’s more than enough food with plenty to spare, clothes to cover a whole army, big rooms with lots of space and beds and a sense of fun and generosity.
So how would a boy from the world of poverty fair in the world of riches?
Polly Horvath introduces the reader to an abundance of possibilities/outcomes that are both sad and expected. When you have everything, losing isn’t as severe as it is to someone who has nothing and loses what little they have. It makes you think about what is really important in life.
It’s an interesting book with many different takeaways depending on how the reader perceives the outcome.
I love the characters. They are all well fleshed out and interesting. The plot transitions well but because there’s so much happening, it can be confusing at times. Although one scene does occur at Christmas time, this is not a Christmas book.
The book did end with a happy ever after but was it really the one that Rupert really wanted?
I gave it: