First Friday – Five Favorite Things – Debut Novel Day

February 6, 2015 | Comment

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by Dave Amaditz and 
Marcy Collier

Bingo Summer

Welcome to February’s version of – First Friday – Five Favorite Things – Debut
Novel Day
. In this monthly series, we ask five simple questions about a
debut novel that will hopefully entice anyone reading this post to pick up the
novel and read it themselves, and/or give them at a glance some insight into
the author’s writing style and voice as well as how some of the characters
might think or act. We do this by presenting, first, answers to our Five Favorite Things, followed by the
author’s answers in a follow-up post.
This month we’re pleased to highlight debut YA novelist,
Dawn Malone and her novel, Bingo Summer.
Summer and her mom and sister struggle financially. Each birthday, Summer’s mom
splurges on a BINGO lottery ticket. This year, Summer hits the jackpot and her
life changes dramatically, but not all for the better.

We can’t wait for you to read this exciting novel!
1) What is your favorite line or paragraph from the novel as it relates to
the main character’s development and/or growth?

Dave – I chose this particular
passage because I believe it is the first time Summer is aware of what she is
doing to try to fit in.

I waited for him to tell me what he meant. Ever since school
started, I felt like I was trying to slip inside someone else’s skin, and it
fit me like a too-tight shirt. Sometimes, I wanted to do whatever it took to
have friends, to be popular again like I was in Stanton.

Marcy – Summer is not happy in
her new situation. She’s trying to make the best of it, but there are so many
obstacles standing in her way. This paragraph demonstrates Summer’s attempt to
work through some of her problems. And it’s a fabulous idea!

My third-grade teacher, Mrs. Bertram, once told us to write our
troubles down on paper, to make a Worry List, and then get rid of those worries
by throwing the list in the garbage. I’d done that before, when Mom and Frank
were divorcing and she was too distracted to pay much attention to J.C. and me.
I’d felt like I was J.C.’s mom, that my own mom had gone missing. Every day, I
came home and listed my worries. Then I tore out the page, crumpled it, and
banked the shot off the wall and into the garbage can. Sometimes writing stuff
down worked. So I flipped to a new page in the notebook and tore it out.
Instead of complaining to Dana, I’d make a Worry List.

2) What is your favorite chapter ending or cliffhanger?

Dave – This particular chapter ending
comes from early in the novel. I chose it because when Summer moved it sets the
stage for what happens in the rest of the novel.

I thought people who won the lottery had everything they could
ever want. But I didn’t feel like a winner. In fact, I felt like the biggest
loser of all, watching Stanton disappear in the side view mirror as we headed
north to escape our small town that had become smaller still.

Marcy –  Summer is having a rough day. When she arrives
home, her situation only gets worse.

All I wanted was my bed, to pull the comforter over my head, and
sleep September away.

But there was a pickup truck in the driveway. That meant I
couldn’t disappear upstairs. I had expected a Harley, but he changed vehicles
as often as people changed underwear. And the crystal horseshoe dangling from
his rear view mirror was a dead giveaway. Mom had given it to him shortly after
J.C. was born.

Frank was here.

Just perfect.

3) Who is your favorite secondary character and why?

Dave – I choose Dana as my
favorite secondary character, although I also had Anna high on my list. Dana
stays true to her best friend even after Summer moves and begins to socialize
with neighbors and friends who have a lot of money. She’s not worried if she
will be accepted or not and she still feels comfortable telling Summer exactly
how she feels. Following, is an example.

She shrugged. “There’s nothing wrong with that, but you’re not
exactly politician material. Sorry. It’s true,” she said, when she saw me
frown. “You get defensive when no one likes your ideas. And you’re kind of
grumpy.” She looked pointedly at my frown and smiled. “See? That’s what I mean.

Marcy –  There are a cast of great characters, but
Dink is my favorite above all of the others because of his wit, humor and
offbeat personality.

Summer has
just delivered a speech because she is running for Student Council. She runs
into Dink behind the stage.

“Way to deliver a speech.”

“What are you doing back here?” I turned in circles, looking for
something. Anything.

“Working the sound system. Hey, you’re looking pretty green—”

Just then, I barfed into the nearest container, which happened to
be a barrel of basketballs. Next to me, Dink nodded and grinned. I came up for
air, wiping spit from my lips. Had my lunch not been making a repeat
appearance, I would have smacked him.

“The basketball team won’t like that, you know,” he said.

I’d never felt so humiliated. I barely made it away from Dink and
into the girl’s bathroom down the hall, before I threw up again.

4) What is your favorite line or paragraph of description?

DaveThis particular section depicts a perfect image. Not only does it
describe this scene but it highlights personality traits of the character as

“Frank found his spot on the couch again, this time lying back and
propping his boots on the arm. He chewed on his fingernails and spit the bits
onto the front of his shirt.”

Marcy – Great line that describes the situation so well.

Announcing our good luck in front of Mrs. Hennessey was our
first mistake. She didn’t mean to cause trouble, but telling Ruth Hennessey
that you scored ten million dollars on a lottery ticket and expecting her to
keep quiet is like telling a rooster he can’t crow. It’s just not possible.

5) What is your favorite line of

DaveThis particular line of dialogue is spoken by Summer. I think
there’s a touch of irony in what she says given the fact that this is advice
given to her younger sister, yet Summer doesn’t apply it to herself when she
moves to Dorrance.

“Friends aren’t something you can just whip up like a batch of
cookies, you know. Dana and I were friends since kindergarten. Good friends
take time.”

–  J.C. is Summer’s little sister. She is
an ornery, funny person and has no objection to moving into a new house in a
nicer area after they hit the jackpot.

going to have a ton of friends here, and I’m not going to be a granny by the
time I make them either.”

To read more about Dawn Malone’s debut
novel BINGO SUMMER please go to:

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