Title: Nora and the Texas Terror
Author: Judy Cox
Illustrator: Amanda Haley
Publisher: Holiday House
Concepts: scarcity, jobs, unemployment
Review: Nora Robinson liked her routines and set ways of doing things, so the news that cousin Ellie and her family would come to live with the Robinsons for a while did not bode well. Ellie’s father had lost his job and the family could no longer pay the mortgage on their house.
Although Nora’s and Ellie’s mothers were sisters, they were as different as sunshine and shadow, and these differences carried over to Nora and Ellie. Their personality quirks immediately led to tensions and arguments when the girls had to share a room and even a desk at school. Nora also noticed that her parents had started to cut back in response to the tough times by ending her expensive ballet lessons and switching to bargain brands. It would take a family emergency for Nora to stop channeling her frustration with this situation into anger toward her cousin.
This chapter book serves as a useful resource for helping children to gain a better understanding of some of the adjustments that families have made in response to the hardships caused by economic recession. A lighter tone and amusing illustrations make the book appealing to younger readers who otherwise may not be drawn to the topic.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children