Author: Gordon Korman
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Concepts: scarcity, supply and demand, incentives
Review: Eleven-year old Griffin Bing had heard enough of his parents' arguments about too many bills and not enough money. If only his father had kept his engineering job and not risked everything with that silly new invention, the SmartPick fruit picking device of the future. Now the family might even need to sell their house and move to a more affordable location. All these worries seemed to melt away when Griffin found a rare Babe Ruth baseball card in a deserted old house slated for demolition. He had a hunch that card could be worth a lot of money.
Initial disappointment that the local collectibles dealer, S. Wendell Palomino, purchased the card for only $120 led to outrage when Griffin discovered that Palomino had lied about its true value. The Babe Ruth card could fetch close to a million dollars at the auction where Palomino planned to sell it. Griffin, always "the Man With a Plan," needed his best plan ever to get the card back. He would also need a team of friends to help him deal with a ferocious guard dog, high-tech security, watchful eyes, a locked safe, and those inevitable surprises.
Hold onto your hats and get ready for a fast ride. Swindle is a hilarious novel that provides a clever story and could even leave a racing heart and sweaty palms. Reading about how economic incentives can lead to some truly extraordinary behaviors has never been so much fun.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children