Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

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Paper Daughter / by Jeanette Ingold

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Title: Paper Daughter
Jeanette Ingold
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 978-0-15-205507-3
Year: 2010

Concepts: immigration, bribery, corruption, incentives, careers, production, economics of gender, discrimination

Review: Even before Maggie Chen had reached high school, she knew she wanted to become a journalist, just like her father. So the first day of her internship at the Herald proved not only a much-anticipated opportunity to start her writing career, but also a bittersweet one, because her father had recently been killed in a hit-and-run accident. 

 Learning the ropes in different divisions of the paper soon led to a stint of investigative reporting into a political scandal that entailed not only corruption, bribery, and a drive-by shooting, but also a potential connection to her father’s accident. At the same time, Maggie also became entwined in a personal genealogy as she made a series of discoveries indicating that her father had a family history that differed dramatically from the one he had shared with Maggie and her mother.  The urgency of Maggie’s family search grews as she realized her answers could provide crucial information about her father’s involvement in the unfolding scandal.

 This novel cleverly weaves together intrigue and family drama into an engrossing story that is difficult to put down. Added to the mix are a number of important economics lessons related to the Exclusion Era laws facing Chinese immigrants into the U.S. during the early 1900s, son preference in China, and career and production issues in the modern newspaper industry. The book should appeal to a wide readership. 

Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children


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