Monday, September 30, 2013

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Money Hungry

Today’s Pick: Money Hungry by Shannon Flake

Published by Jump at the Sun, Hyperion Books, 2001

From Scholastic:

Thirteen-year-old Raspberry Hill is starved for money. She will do just about anything legal to get her hands on the almighty dollar. Memories of being homeless, sleeping in the streets, and eating from handouts keep Raspberry's eye on the only prize that matters to her: cold, hard cash.

But even money can't answer the questions that keep Raspberry awake at night. Will she and Momma ever move out of the projects? What did Ja'nae do with the two hundred bucks Raspberry loaned her? And what's really going on with Momma and that rich doctor?

This unforgettable novel will keep you glued to each and every page. Bank on it.

My Take:

This story takes you into a different place and opens your eyes to another life. It wasn’t a fast-paced story, but I had enough questions in my mind that I wanted to see how it ended. Raspberry is a strong character and I enjoyed her determined attitude and wish to make things better for herself and her mom, as well as her loyalty to her friends. I read this one as an e-book from my local library.

As a writer, I’d study this more to see how to create an interesting opening – it puts a question in the reader’s mind right away. I’d also pay attention to the way the author used small details that Raspberry would notice to help develop her character.

Opening Line:

“Some people think I would do anything for money.”

Favourite quotes:

“I try not to do what I always do when dollars grease my palm—smell the money like its chocolate chip cookies straight out the oven.”

“But as long as I got two hands, I ain’t never living in the street no more. Ain’t never gonne be broke, neither.”

“I got too much on my mind to be a thirteen-year-old. That’s what I’m thinking on the bus ride home.”

Other Info:

Sharon Flake went to college to become a pediatrician, but ended up majoring in writing instead.

I love the inspiring message for readers she posted on her website. Here’s a bit of it, but I encourage you to check out the whole thing:

As you read my novels, believe that you can do and accomplish more than you know. After all, you have so many gifts, so many talents, so many opportunities to accomplish what you will. You’re human, so you’ll make mistakes along the way. We all do. But don’t you dare give up on you.”

Other Books by this Author:

The Broken Bike Boy and the Queen of 33rd Street (2007)
Bang! (2005)

Who Am I Without Him? Short Stories About Boys and the Girls in Their Lives (2004)

Begging for Change (2003)

The Skin I'm In (1998)

For more info, visit Sharon Flake’s website.

You can find more Marvelous Middle Grade Monday books by checking out Shannon Messenger’s blog! Shannon is the founder of Marvelous Middle Grade Monday and the author of the middle grade novel, Keeper of the Lost Cities.


  1. I like books that present a question for readers. Life is full of questions (and searching for answers) so books like these are important.

  2. I read The Skin I'm In a while ago and really enjoyed it. It was a powerful read. I am curious to read another book by this author. Raspberry sounds like a great MG character. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Sounds like an interesting premise, with a really driven character--for me it's always the character that makes or breaks a book. I always veer toward fantasy, but I'm glad when people point me toward realistic books to try!


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