Title: The Top Job
Author: Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
Illustrator: Robert Neubecker
Publisher: Dutton Children's Books
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level: 4.1
Concepts: Human resources, jobs, training, education
Review: On Career Day, students in Mrs. Feeny’s class have interesting facts to share with their classmates about their parents’ jobs. Emma’s father works as a scientist who uses a telescope to search the skies for stars and flying objects, Elizabeth’s mother is employed as a jeweler who designs and sells precious jewelry, and Aidan’s mother drives racecars in flameproof jumpsuits. In comparison, a young girl in the class has a parent with an apparently mundane job: her father changes light bulbs. Yet as she continues describing a day on her father’s job, Mrs. Feeny and her students quickly realize that this girl’s father has no ordinary job. He changes the light bulb at the top of the Empire State Building.
This unusual job requires training, special equipment, and unusual safety conditions. This book weaves important economics lessons about human resources, jobs, training, and education into an entertaining and informative story about what it takes to hold a highly-skilled job working at high altitudes. Primary-grade teachers, parents, and volunteers seeking high-quality children’s literature with valuable lessons would be well advised to choose this book.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children