Title: Cashing In
Author: Susan Colebank
Publisher: Dutton Books
Concepts: scarcity, wealth, wants and needs, jobs
Review: High-school senior Reggie Shaw had no intention of taking the SAT and going to college. Not only did her family lack the financial resources to pay for college, but Reggie was too busy working extra shifts at the local Cashmart. Although all those extra hours at the Cashmart meant that her grades were going downhill, Reggie did not care, she just wanted to save enough to build a nest egg, leave town, and start a new life on her own.
Reggie, however, did not expect someone else to get the big promotion to photo manager at Cashmart. Neither did she expect that after her father's death, her mother's gambling addiction would spiral out of control and leave Reggie as the main breadwinner in the family. Her dream of leaving behind her reputation as the school's biggest loser seemed to become increasingly bleak until her mother announced that she had finally won the lottery, in a big way. Maybe now her mother would pay the overdue utility bills, pay off the family's debt, and pay Reggie back for all the money she had "borrowed" over the years.
As Reggie learned, almost two million dollars could finance many new purchases and plans, but it also brought headaches she had never envisioned, including greedy relatives, mixed signals from close friends, the attention of the press, and complications in an exciting new romance. Cashing In provides an enjoyable and engrossing read, particularly as a character with few aspirations and little backbone slowly gains the courage and wisdom to start living to her potential.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children