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Lottery Boy by Michael Byrne

Lottery Boy

by Michael Byrne

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I went from not wanting to pick this book back up at the beginning, to not being able to put it down at the end. I didn't really enjoy the first part of the story as I found the writing style difficult to read and follow. Once I got used to the style though, I started to enjoy the story. It follows a homeless boy who calls himself Bully, and his dog on their quest to redeem a wining lottery ticket. It shows the struggles faced by individuals who live on the street, as well as the added difficulties that come with being a teenager. Although Bully likes to think he is equipped to fend for himself, his inexperience with the world and people around him due to his age leads to his downfall many times. At the same time though, his youthful nature and quick wit get him out of many bad situations. Overall, this is a suspenseful story that will have the reader cheering for Bully in his journey to create a better life for himself. I would recommend this novel to middle school readers looking for a story with lots of adventure and suspense. ( )
  alienwierdos | Aug 4, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A gritty and at times violent thriller about a 12-year old homeless boy who survives in London's streets with his mixed (possibly pitfall) dog. After finding he owns a winning lottery ticket, Bully finds himself chased all over town by low-life and dangerous street thugs. I enjoyed the street lingo that Bully used (calling regular people zombies, for instance), and it was unpredictable enough that I kept reading. The ending was a bit choppy, but overall, I really enjoyed this story. ( )
  sylliu | Jun 17, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I know there are homeless children living in every large city in the world. And I suppose it is possible that a 12 year old homeless boy in London could survive on the streets with his dog over the winter. However, it does strain the bounds of credibility that the boy would find a winning lottery ticket in a card left him by his mother just before she died.

That is essentially the story told by Michael Byrne in this book. Bully (or Bradley as his mom called him) left home after his mom died. His birth father is not in existence and his step father has already moved on to another woman. He takes his dog, Jack, and a few other belongings including the birthday card his mother left for him. It was one of those cards that can be recorded and it is the last record of his mother that he has. She tucked the lottery ticket inside the battery compartment and he only found it about 5 days before it was due to expire. When he gets the ticket checked he finds out that it is the winner of a large prize but not how much. He is supposed to contact the lottery head office but he doesn't even have money to make a phone call. As he reads the ticket he realizes that only persons over 16 can buy or redeem a ticket. That is a dilemma which Bully tries to solve by telling some adult friends. They immediately see an opportunity for themselves and Bully and Jack have to evade a crew of lowlifes who want the ticket. As the hours and days tick by Bully tries to get to the headquarters and redeem his ticket.

There are some genuinely nice folks that Bully runs across but even some of them seem incredible. How many people returning from a vacation to find a dirty boy and dog sleeping on a bed in their house would feed him, clothe him, clean him up and then give him money? All without calling the police or the child protection people? Sorry, it just doesn't completely work for me.

However, I am not the intended audience for this book. It is billed as young adult fiction and I can see that teenagers would be caught up in the excitement and intensity of Bully's race to get his winnings. ( )
  gypsysmom | May 31, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
After the death of his mother, and to avoid living with his step-father's new family, twelve-year-old Bully runs away to live in the streets. Together with his dog, Jack, Bully manages to survive. However, when he finds a winning lottery ticket tucked in the last birthday card he received from his mom, life takes a turn for the worst. Unable to trust anyone from the street, Bully is embarks on a five-day race to claim his prize and his life. The fear and immaturity of Bully comes through as well as his ingenuity. A believable tale of life on the streets and the dangers faced by young people who have lost trust in society. Highly recommended for reluctant readers. ( )
  SheilaCornelisse | Mar 22, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
For me, this was a tough book to initially get in to. I was really intrigued by the premise and kept with it though, because I did want to see how the plot would turn out in the end. I did like the way it was organized with time, sort of like a countdown/the bomb will go off/24 type of vibe that helped maintain that feeling of urgency with the reader. ( )
  LauraEnos | Feb 12, 2016 |
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Bully, an orphan living on the streets of London, races to cash in a winning lottery ticket while ruthless hoodlums track him down, desperate for the ticket themselves.

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