!>/files/2007/04/100milliondollarcover_sm.jpg! This post isn’t about Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web, nor is it about the upcoming Everything is Miscellaneous, both of which are no doubt quite good, but neither of which I’ve read. Rather, this is a post about My 100 Million Dollar Secret, a marvelous Creative Commons-licensed young adult novel David published last year. It was the perfect remedy for lying in bed sick on a pretty Friday morning.
The story starts out a bit worrisome — slightly overblown analogies and other young adult tropes — but these just serve to introduce the reader to a quirky but well-meaning protagonist, a teenager who accidentally stumbles into a $110,000,000 lottery jackpot and needs to decide what to do with it. This is complicated because he feels the need to keep the winnings secret from his parents, who are ardently against the state lottery system. Accept that premise, as well as suspend a bit of disbelief about America’s tax laws and banking systems, and you end up with an interesting moral exploration as well as a story with surprising depth and interesting subplots. Along the way the story explores teenage relationships, town politics, microeconomics, and journalist ethics, all in an accessible and friendly way that enhances the primary plot. Plus you can feel intellectually superior if you spot from the beginning the clue that will eventually be the secret plot’s undoing!