Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

The Retired Kid / by Jon Agee

Title:  The Retired Kid
Author and Illustrator:  Jon Agee
Publisher:  Hyperion Books for Children
ISBN:  978-142310314-1
Year: 2008
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level:  3.1

Concepts:  human resources, jobs, opportunity cost

  Jon Agee has done it again with taking a well known idea and turning it upside down.  The main character, Brian, is tired of working so hard and decides to retire to the Happy Sunset Retirement Community in Florida.  The fact that he’s a kid does not stop him; who wants to chase after the school bus, do all that homework, babysit the younger sister, and take that enormous dog for a walk day in and day out, when the relaxing alternatives of retired life are but a plane ride away.  Retirement agrees with Brian until he realizes that there were some aspects to his old job that he did find rather agreeable.

The Retired Kid is unique among other children’s books about work and jobs with its focus on retirement.  It can also teach children about opportunity cost: they may think twice about wanting to leave school and chores for a retirement community if it comes at the cost of prune juice smoothies, long documentaries on TV, weekly doctor’s checkups, and conversations about hip replacements. This book gets top marks for its very funny illustrations and clever writing.

Review by:
 Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

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