Title: The Not-So-Great Depression
Author: Amy Goldman Koss
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Concepts: recession, unemployment, wants and needs, scarcity, budget constraints
Review: Up until the day when their mother lost her high-powered job, Jacki and her siblings had enjoyed a pampered lifestyle: private schools; a fancy car; a large house with a pool in a posh neighborhood; restaurant and takeout meals; a housekeeper, gardener, and driver; and an abundance of clothing, gadgets, and toys. All these perks slowly started to unravel as it became increasingly clear that Mom’s various job interviews were not translating into a job offer, the value of their financial investments would continue to tank, and opportunities for loans were drying up faster than the weather.
As an eternal optimist, Jacki typically saw the brighter side of her family’s regular progression to economize. She had always hated those piano lessons, switching to public school meant that maybe she could go to school with cute Adam B., and new household rules for home-cooked meals seemed to be revealing cooking skills she never knew she had. But even her positive attitude could not diminish the tensions in her household or the hardships that people she knew were experiencing as a result of the great recession.
Chock-full of economic principles, The Not-So-Great Depression helps middle-grade readers better understand the causes of the recent financial crisis and some of the outcomes for families experiencing job loss. Because the story is cloaked in humor, innocence, and teen-age angst, it will draw and entertain readers who would otherwise avoid a novel about economic recession like the plague.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children