Title: Twenty Gold Falcons
Author: Amy Gordon
Publisher: Holiday House
Concepts: Great Depression, money, savings, budget constraints, real estate, wealth, class
Review: Moving to the city proved difficult for twelve-year-old Aiden Farmer. True to her last name, she loved the farm and wished desperately that her mother did not need to sell it. But they had trouble making ends meet, especially after her father died, and a kind uncle in the city had offered to take them in for a while. Although Aiden could attend the elite private school where her mother had found a teaching job, she felt ostracized and out of place.
Life in her new home and school took an unexpected turn for the better when Aiden became enmeshed in an exciting hunt for a cache of gold coins hidden away in the grand Ingle building. Although those coins had lost most of their value after the Great Depression, they had remained hidden so long that they were worth a lot of money -- enough to pay for Aiden’s dream of keeping the farm. Would she and the friends she made along the way manage to decipher the mysterious clues before the other treasure hunters did?
This mystery novel provides middle-grade readers with an appealing mix of intrigue, humor, and adventure. Key to the plot development are some important economic ideas revolving around tight budget constraints, the value of real estate and gold, and the class barriers created by wealth differentials. A bright and vivacious heroine sweetens the pot to make Twenty Gold Falcons a highly satisfying read.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children