On Sale: January 14, 2025

Publisher/Imprint: HARPER/HarperCollins Canada

Age: 8 to 12 • ISBN: 978-0063360921

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Ajay Anthonipillai has a million-dollar problem.

Ajay has lived his life dutifully following the rules set by his hyper-strict Tamil parents:

Rule #3: Straight A’s only.
Rule #5: There is no such thing as a no-homework day.
Rule #6: Never owe anyone anything.

However, moving to a new school gives Ajay a new rule to follow: get on Jacob Underson’s good side (seventh grade’s all-star).

When Jacob asks him to do the unthinkable and steal a chocolate bar from Scary Al’s convenience store, Ajay feels this is his chance to finally “get cool” and stop eating alone. But Jacob rejects his theft, leaving Ajay to discover that it contains more than he ever thought a stolen candy bar could—a wrapper with a million-dollar prize.

Faced with an extreme dilemma that sends his life spiraling out of control, Ajay, with the help of a new friend and his little sister Aarthi, will have to navigate his identity and morality in deciding whether or not to claim the one thing that could change his family’s life forever.

This poignant, funny, coming-of-age novel from author Maria Marianayagam has humor, heart, authoritarian parents, and a wannabe-cool Tamil-nerd hero you can’t help but root for.