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EconKids Home New Picture Books in 2010 (First Word Q-Z) The Worst Things in LIfe Are Also Free / by Jim Benton

The Worst Things in LIfe Are Also Free / by Jim Benton

Title: The Worst Things in Life Are Also Free
Author and Illustrator: Jim Benton
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 978-0545116145
Year: 2010

Concepts: money, savings, entrepreneurs, jobs, consumers

Review: Jamie Kelly's Aunt Carol and Uncle Dan offered to take her and a couple of friends to Screamotopia Amusement Park and even stay overnight at a hotel. The trip hinged on one condition: each girl needed to earn $100, without simply getting a handout from family members, to cover the cost of admission.

Jamie had great confidence that they could earn hundreds of dollars in a single day by selling refreshments. Several days later, though, a lemonade sale, babysitting job, and carwash had gotten them just $5.50 and some unfortunate lessons in how to upset their clientele. The girls needed to do something less conventional to come up with the money, which, given their combined spunkiness, proved to be quite within their power.

As the twelfth installment in the Dear Dumb Diary series, this particular entry continues the adventures of Jamie Kelly with an economics-oriented escapade in earning and spending money. The amusing illustrations, fast-paced banter, and diary format work well to engage readers and keep them wondering what on earth the girls will dream up next.

Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

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