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Posted on Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 12:05 p.m.

Ann Arbor author's book, '17 Cents and a Dream,' wins an award

By Jenn McKee

The book "17 Cents and a Dream: My Incredible Journey from the U.S.S.R. to Living the American Dream," by Ann Arbor's Daniel Milstein, has won the 2013 Beach Book Festival's award for general nonfiction.

A press release contains complete details:

The Beach Book Festival judges books for general excellence and the potential of the work to be an engaging beach read this summer season. "17 Cents and a Dream" is Daniel Milstein’s gripping story about how his mother, father and brother escaped the oppressive government of the U.S.S.R and immigrated to the United States.

Available in paperback and on Kindle, the ebook version alone was downloaded 40,309 times April 23-27 on Amazon. The book was also recently awarded an ‘Honorable Mention’ by the Paris Book Festival in May 2013 in Paris, France.

"17 Cents and a Dream" ranked No. 1 on Amazon’s list of the best-selling Kindle eBooks in the Business and Entrepreneurship category, No. 2 in the Business and Investing category and in the top 30 in the Biography and Memoir category in its first weeks of being released this year. More than 100 reviewers on Amazon have rated the book 4 1/2 stars out of 5 possible, including many of Amazon’s Top Ten and Top 50 Reviewers.

Mark Victor Hansen, bestselling author of ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ says this about “17 Cents and a Dream": “Through pure determination, fortitude and attitude, Daniel pulled out of impossibly difficult situations. His story is true, his story is a personal inspiration to me and I hope it will inspire you too to maximize your potential and go for the greatest of dreams.”


Daniel Milstein

"17 Cents and a Dream" begins with a candid, gripping account of the Milstein family’s tough life in Kiev, Ukraine under the oppressive government of the former Soviet Union. He recalls how he and his family were affected by the 1986 explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant: Daniel was ten years old, and the disaster took place only 78 miles from their home, killing 100,000 people and spreading poisonous radiation throughout the environment.

A few years later the family, struggling against poverty, government oppression, and anti-Semitism, made a secret plan to flee to America. After a narrow escape, the family arrived in Ann Arbor, Michigan with no understanding of English and few belongings.

Young Daniel had only seventeen cents in his pocket, given to him by a friend to cover the expense of a postage stamp so that Daniel could send him a letter. In the ensuing years, Daniel endured extreme poverty, endless hunger, relentless bullying from his new classmates all while working long hours mopping floors and cleaning restrooms at a McDonald’s.

“None of this came easy.... In school after working my morning shift at McDonald's, I was painfully aware that I smelled like a quarter pounder with cheese.... I was always tired, but I was also proud that I was able to take care of my family and to make something of myself, to honor the wishes of my grandfather.”

Milstein’s work ethic and relentless determination fueled his success. After graduating from college, he worked for various financial institutions and was consistently promoted.

Milstein’s courage and sheer willpower continued to drive him as he began to build upon his success in the world of finance, working harder and longer than anyone else, until eventually opening and growing his own multi-million-dollar company, Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group.

"17 Cents and a Dream: My Incredible Journey from the USSR to Living the American Dream" is both a dramatic autobiography of a true American success story, and a manual for anyone who dreams of becoming successful in today’s competitive world.

About Daniel Milstein

Daniel Milstein is founder, president and CEO of Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group ( Milstein led the company to the Inc 500 list and one of the fastest growing companies in the United States. Gold Star has more than 500 employees in 48 offices across the U.S. and has been named a Top Workplace in Michigan for four years by the Detroit Free Press. Milstein holds an honorary doctorate and BBA in business management from Cleary University, Ann Arbor, from which he graduated with honors. He is the author of The ABC of Sales: Lessons from a Superstar, which in March 2012 sold 10,000 copies and became the #1 sales book on and the thirty-first top seller of all ebook sales. In 2012 Milstein was named to the prestigious National Academy of Best-Selling Authors. Milstein has been interviewed by numerous media outlets including FOX and Friends, Voice of America, WJR, CBS TV and many others.

Jenn McKee is an entertainment reporter for Reach her at or 734-623-2546, and follow her on Twitter @jennmckee.


Jenn McKee

Mon, Jul 29, 2013 : 4:19 p.m.

Milstein's book also went on to win the nonfiction category at Los Angeles' DIY Book Festival, and honorable mention in the nonfiction category at the 2013 Hollywood Book Festival.