Very Rich (Paperback)

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Ten-year-old Rupert Brown inadvertently finds himself spending Christmas with the wealthiest family in town and is astonished to discover a world he never knew existed.

Rupert lives with his parents and many siblings in a small house in the poorest section of Steelville, Ohio. When he spends Christmas with his classmate Turgid Rivers, he is offered all the food he can eat, and the opportunity to win wonderful prizes in the family games—prizes he hopes to take home so he can share his Christmas bounty with his family.  But after he loses everything in the last game, Rupert resigns himself to going home empty handed. 

Feeling secretly guilty, all of the adults in Rivers family try to make it up to him by taking Rupert on one unlikely adventure after another, embroiling him in everything from time travel to bank robberies.  But can anything he experiences make up for what he has lost?

Deftly blending magical realism with heartbreak, hope, and a wide cast of eccentric characters, Polly Horvath weaves a tale that is darkly funny and deeply poignant.  Very Rich is a bittersweet and quirky story that celebrates the unique nature of human experience.

A Junior Library Guild selection!

About the Author

Polly Horvath has written many books for children including Everything on a Waffle, a Newbery Honor Book; The Canning Season, a National Book Award winner; and The Trolls, a National Book Award finalist. She lives in British Columbia with her family. Visit her at

Praise For…

"Horvath is at her odd, arch best."Kirkus Reviews

"a brainy, unusual, and entertaining confection."—The Horn Book

"Packed with outrageous characters and moments of brilliant clarity, Horvath’s holiday romp touches on thankfulness and the importance of self-acceptance."—Publishers Weekly

"Readers who enjoy quirky, episodic adventure stories will find themselves swept along by the current of Horvath’s latest imaginative novel."—Booklist

"Very rich indeed! Clever quandaries, witty dialogue—all crisply written with giddy Horvath cheerfulness—topped off with a whipped-cream message of wonderment that will never grow old."—Jack Gantos, author of the Newbery Medal-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
Product Details
ISBN: 9780823447312
ISBN-10: 0823447316
Publisher: Margaret Ferguson Books
Publication Date: October 20th, 2020
Pages: 304
Language: English

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