Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

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The Unfortunate Son / by Constance Leeds

Title: The Unfortunate Son 
Author: Constance Leeds
Publisher: Viking
ISBN: 978-0-670-01398-2
Year: 2012

Concepts: wealth, poverty, slavery, apprenticeships, human resources

Review: Luc and Beatrice have both experienced more than their fair shares of misfortunate. Luc, born with just one ear, endured constant harassment from the bitter man who raised him, and Beatrice lived as an orphan after she witnessed her father's execution and suffered her mother's abandonment. Their lives, however, improved immeasurably when, through their separate journeys, they each found refuge and support from Pons, a generous local fisherman. Their friendship prospered until Luc was kidnapped by a dangerous group of pirates and sold into slavery, thus taking him from France to North Africa. Would he ever see his kindred spirit Beatrice again?

This work of historical fiction wraps a compelling story together with important economic themes related to wealth, poverty, slavery, and work. The changes in setting and time add further dimensions to hold the reader's interest and enrich the book's substantive content.

Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

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