Very Rich by Polly HorvathVery Rich by Polly Horvath

Very Rich

byPolly Horvath

Hardcover | September 25, 2018

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From Newbery Honor-- and National Book Award--winning author Polly Horvath comes another magical novel featuring a time machine, money, food and lots of family.

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.
Polly Horvath is one of the most highly acclaimed authors writing today. Her books include The Canning Season (a National Book Award winner and a YA Canadian Book of the Year), Everything on a Waffle (a Newbery Honor Book), and My One Hundred Adventures (a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, a Booklist Editors' Choice, and a ...
Title:Very RichFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:304 pages, 8.5 × 5.81 × 1.05 inShipping dimensions:8.5 × 5.81 × 1.05 inPublished:September 25, 2018Publisher:PRH Canada Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143198610

ISBN - 13:9780143198611


Rated 3 out of 5 by from An unusual story This was an unusual story. It follows many adventures that Rupert has with the members of the Rivers family. Rupert comes from a very poor family. They eat oatmeal for every meal because they can’t afford much else. The Rivers family is the opposite. They have every extravagance possible. Rupert ends up spending Christmas with them, but his great evening takes a horrible turn when Rupert loses all of the prizes he won in the games. Then over the following weeks, the members of the Rivers family try to make up for taking all of Rupert’s gifts away. I found this story very strange. The Rivers family kept dangling gifts and food in front of Rupert but didn’t actually give them to him. It was so cruel. There were some fantasy elements like time travel, but these moments didn’t fit in with the rest story because the rest of it was fairly realistic. This story reminded me of some other children’s stories. Rupert’s family is in the same unfortunate situation as Charlie Bucket’s family in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The narration style and circumstances of Rupert’s life were like the Beaudelaire children in A Series of Unfortunate Events. However, I found this book was missing the excitement and redemption that these stories had. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.
Date published: 2018-12-01

Read from the Book

Rupert Brown came from a large family. They lived in a very plain small house on the edge of Steelville, Ohio. Rupert had so many brothers and sisters that it was like living in a small city-state. They crawled over the furniture. They ran in and out of doors. They were big and small and male and female. They all had sandy-brown hair, pinched noses, high cheekbones and narrow lips. They were all thin. There were so many children in the Brown family that Mrs. Brown claimed not to be able to remember all their names. She often addressed them by “Hey you.” Rupert had siblings he rarely talked to and hardly knew at all. There were many different alliances within the family, many secrets, many separate lives. Close proximity does not always make for coziness. Sometimes it is just crowded. Rupert was ten, and he moved among his family largely unnoticed except by his favorite sister,six-year-old Elise. She, like Rupert, was quiet and shy and spent a lot of time trying to keep out of everyone’s way. One day before Christmas, Rupert’s teenage brothers John and Dirk came home with a cat. Because they were often bringing home stolen cats, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind about the origin of this cat. It was not a stray. Perhaps they secretly longed for a pet and this is why they did it, although what they told the family was that it was sport. “Catch and release. Like fly-fishing. Only with cats,” explained John as he held the new one up for his mother to see. There was a wistful look in his eyes. Rupert wondered if he was hoping that his mother would fall in love with it and let them keep it. “Did I not tell you to stop doing that!” shrieked Mrs. Brown, just home from her job cleaning the offices in the steelworks. She tore across the room, grabbed the cat, and threw it into the backyard. Then she slammed the door. Elise looked out the window in concern. “The cat isn’t moving,” she whispered as Rupert joined her. “I’ll check,” Rupert whispered back. Their mother had gone to the kitchen to make the thin gruel of oatmeal that, along with other people’s kitchen scraps that their father collected every day, passed for dinner nightly.All the Brown children tiptoed around their mother. Sometimes she lashed out. Sometimes she hoisted one of the younger Browns onto her lap to watch television and cuddled them as if this, this soft and comforting jolly person, was who she really was. Because you never knew which mother would emerge, it was better to err on the side of caution.

Editorial Reviews

One of Quill & Quire's Books of the Year 2018One of CCBC’S Best Books for Kids & Teens (Spring 2019)PRAISE FOR Very Rich:"[Very Rich] is fast-paced and filled with witty asides, creative scenarios, and a ridiculously entertaining cast." --STARRED REVIEW, Quill & Quire“Very rich indeed! Clever quandaries, witty dialogue--all crisply written with giddy Horvath cheerfulness—topped off with a whipped cream message of wonderment that that will never grow old.” —Jack Gantos, author of the Newbery-award winning Dead End in Norvelt “Very Rich is wild, wise, and wonderful.”—Julie Berry, author of The Passion of Dolssa, a Michael L. Printz Honor book, and The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place"Readers who enjoy quirky, episodic adventure stories will find themselves swept along by the current of Horvath’s latest imaginative novel." -- Booklist“With Horvath’s familiar blend of wry humor and amiable weirdness, the story leaps from one entertaining comic absurdity to another . . .” --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books