Title: The PS Brothers
Author: Maribeth Boelts
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Concepts: saving, jobs, entrepreneurs, economic class
Review: Best friends Russell and Shawn have not had it easy in life. Russell lost his mom to a car accident and his dad to incarceration, so now he lived in a small camper parked in his Uncle Cory's backyard. Shawn's mother supported him, his five brothers, and his sick father with a job as a hotel maid. So when the school bully zeroed in on their living situations as a reason to push them around, they decided they would buy a mean dog to protect themselves.
The Rottweiler puppies they found for sale cost $200 each, more money than either boy could even dream about earning with the conventional jobs for kids. Shawn, however, thought outside of the box and came up with scooping up dog poop from dog-owners' yards. At ten cents per poop and more for larger dogs, the Pooper Scooper Brothers would have the cash in no time. Little did they realize that they were heading straight for a mess much nastier than the doodoo they scooped away.
Author Maribeth Boelts is back with another winner, a clever book that speaks to children's inherent dreams, naïveté, and resourcefulness. Thoroughly entwined in the laughs and excitement are some important economics lessons about entrepreneurship, economic class, and saving. With additional story threads related to bullying and crime, this little book goes much deeper than the light-hearted premise may suggest.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children