How to Lose Everything

A Mostly True Story

by Philipp Mattheis


Jonathan, Sam, Schulz, and Eric usually spend their summers skateboarding at the park and dreaming about the time when they’ll finally move out of the suburbs. But in the summer of 1994 the four teenagers find a small fortune hidden inside an abandoned house, and that changes everything. The money was a dream come true, but it couldn’t last. Stress, drugs, and dwindling funds raise the stakes and also raise some serious questions about the future. Eighteen years later, Jonathan returns to that life-changing summer to tally up the cost of that discovery and explain how one broken dream led to a totally renewed sense of purpose.

✳ IndieFab Gold Award Winner, Young Adult Nonfiction
✳ CBC Teen Choice Book of the Year Award Nominee
✳ Junior Library Guild Selection

“Jonathan’s perspective in hindsight offers a nuanced view of temptation in the face of moral obligations.”Publishers Weekly

“Mattheis effectively delineates four teenagers’ lives of quiet desperation, tracing the effects of an unearned fortune on their dreams of something better. Choosing to have Jonathan relate the story several years later gives the narrative a much-needed perspective, a chance for a character to reflect on the significance of the events he’s lived through. A nuanced character study.”Kirkus Reviews

Download the How to Lose Everything Discussion Guide

Product Details

    • Teen Nonfiction
    • Paperback: 224 pages
    • Publisher: Zest Books; Original edition (July, 2013)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-13: 978-1-936976-40-9

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Categories: TRUE STORIES

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