Eleven-year-old Lotto Lewis thinks he has it tough being a gifted foster kid with little access to technology. After Lotto and his siblings meet a long-lost relative, they’re whisked off to a magical, challenging summer in state and national parks and Lotto discovers how smart and lucky he really is.
Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 1:
Chapter 1 Meeting Mr. Baxter
Armond closed his eyes. For a long time he just breathed in and out and didn’t say anything.
“Are you dead?” asked Lotto.
Armond opened his eyes and said, “I wish I could find Mom’s Cousin Baxter.”
The candle went out in a snuff. Some candy sparkles took flight and temporarily fluttered in the air of Ms. Shirley’s sunny kitchen.
“Did you even blow?” Riley gasped.
“You’re not supposed to say your wish out loud,” said Lotto. He thought Armond’s birthday wish was foolish. When their mom was alive, she was always saying, “Cousin Baxter this, Cousin Baxter that” like Cousin Baxter was the greatest man on the planet, but they never saw him. Not once. Even when Lotto was very young, he thought their mom made her Cousin Baxter up so her kids would want to be like him.
Maybe it was the magic of Armond’s wish, or the hours Armond spent on the computer at the library after he finished his cupcake instead of taking Lotto to see a movie, no one can say for sure, but Armond really did find their mom’s Cousin Baxter. He was listed as B Lewis on an online travel review site.