Title: Crows & Cards
Author: Joseph Helgerson
Illustrator: Peter de Seve
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Concepts: economic history, entrepreneurs, human resources, interdependence
Review: This historical fiction tale is told by Zeb, a young man growing up along the Mississippi River in the heydays before the Civil War. Charmed by a riverboat gambler, Zeb finds himself involved in plans and schemes to redistribute the wealth of other enterprising gentlemen. He learns to mark cards, deal seconds, and wear a gambler's vest. He learns that lucky rabbit's feet may be worth more than gold coins. Ultimately, he learns the value of following his own conscience. Written using the language of the time, the book conveniently provides a short dictionary of no-longer-familiar terms.
Greed, the value of money, and source of real power are the stories behind the story as Zeb realizes the true nature of the gambling man who charmed him into this life of adventure.
Review by: The Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children