Using a metaphor that’s as topical as it is unusual, 13-year-old Cashay compares the ups and (mostly) downs in her life in Chicago’s Cabrini Green projects to those in the stock market. She makes that connection after Allison, a big-hearted stockbroker, comes into her life as a mentor in the wake of several devastating events–including but not limited to the relapse of her mother into drug addiction and the shooting of younger sister Sashay, to whom she was so close that she deliberately flunked seventh grade to stay in the same school. Happily, Cashay is not only gifted with epic resilience, but surrounded by supportive adults. So by the end she’s on the way to coming to terms with her grief and anger; earned acceptance to a challenging magnet school; moved in with an aunt after her mom gives birth to an addicted preemie; and even helped to nab the local hoodlum who killed her sister. Along with the street-lit-style plot (if not language), Cashay’s spirited voice and non-frothy prose will draw both confirmed and newer fans of inner-city drama.