Title: The Teashop Girls
Author: Laura Schaefer
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Year: 2008 (paperback)
Concepts: goods and services, entrepreneur, competition, jobs
Review: Like other towns and cities across the country, Madison, Wisconsin has seen an influx of big-name chain restaurants and stores. Locally-owned businesses are suffering, including the Steeping Leaf, a small teashop owned by Annie Green’s grandmother. Annie despairs at the thought of the Steeping Leaf going out of business, particularly since the shop has served as the heart and home of the club she formed years ago with her two best friends – the Teashop Girls.
Now that Annie works as a barista at the Steeping Leaf, she sees firsthand the financial troubles that her grandmother faces and the true threat of the name-brand coffee shop across the street. Annie stands ready to rally community members and turn them on to the wonders of tea, but just how much can an eighth grader do to save a sinking ship?
This refreshing novel gets top marks for all it does to strengthen its appeal to a wide readership. Not only does it have an interesting plot seeped in economics, the book is loaded with reproductions of old advertisements for tea, which adds an intriguing historical twist. Delightful quotes and frequent facts on all the benefits of tea act as strong incentives to brew and drink more tea than one ordinarily might. Young adult readers will also enjoy the boyfriend and best friend dilemmas, which are resolved more easily of course over a nice cup of tea.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children