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The Fortunes of Indigo Skye

by Deb Caletti

Published by Simon & Schuster, 2008
298 pages
ISBN: 978-1416910077

Age 12 and older

Podcast featuring this book

Indigo Skye is a high school senior with no big plans for the future. She loves her current job as a waitress at the local diner, the kind of place where the regulars are like family and newcomers garner lots of speculation. When the guy on the Vespa scooter shows up everyone’s curious, but he clearly has no desire to chat. After Indigo spots a pack of cigarettes in his coat, her respect for his privacy dissolves in an anti-smoking diatribe. He responds by leaving her a thank you note and a $2.5 million tip. Deb Caletti has carefully set up what happens next by spending ample time early on grounding readers in the life of this smart, down-to-earth teenage girl and her family and friends, characters who feel authentic, with lives of hard work and everyday struggles to pay the bills, dreams and regrets, humor and heartbreak. As a result, the impact and uproar of the stranger’s act is all the more powerful. Indigo’s mother insists she give the money back, but when Indigo tracks the man down he refuses to take it, explaining that she’s freed him from his life. Suddenly rich, Indigo is sure money won’t change her—she’s seen enough of it among other kids at her high school to know it can’t buy things that really matter. But money seems to change the people around her, who suddenly want things that never mattered to them before. At first unable to see that she herself is not immune, Indigo’s sense of self slowly loses its focus in a novel that is an absolute pleasure to read. Caletti’s rich, descriptive writing offers so many moments of contemplation and insight in a story that is nonetheless swiftly paced, and exceedingly satisfying. (MS) ©2008 Cooperative Children’s Book Center


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