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Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

Grounded / by Kate Klise

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Title: Grounded 
Author: Kate Klise

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
ISBN: 978-0-312-57039-2
Year: 2010

Concepts: competition, markets, entrepreneurship, jobs, incentives

Review: Daralynn Oakland and her mother did not know how to handle the grief that overcame them when Daralynn's father and two siblings died in a plane crash. Daralynn had narrowly missed being on that plane because her mother grounded her for going fishing without permission. So they each pushed the pain deep down inside and replaced it with numbness and anger. On top of the agonizing loss came financial difficulties as well, so mother took a job as a hair stylist at the local funeral parlor that had held the funeral of their loved ones.

Mother was good at styling, and requests from living townspeople to do their hair led her to buy the town's only beauty salon after the owner passed away. Because Mother barely let Daralynn out of her sight after the crash, Daralynn also spent a great deal of time there and was soon earning her own pot of money styling the hair of the junior clients. Their new means for making a living, however, soon faced a major threat when a slick stranger came to town and opened a crematorium. The competition could even put the funeral parlor out of business, which meant fewer dead people for mother to style and fewer living customers who wanted to look special on funeral days.

Little did Daralynn realize that her plan to fight back would set in motion a chain of events involving danger, intrigue, and love, thus making this novel an entertaining story about healing from profound loss. Thoroughly entwined throughout the book are a series of economics themes related to entrepreneurship, jobs, marketplace competition, and financial incentives. The book covers some big themes and does so in a touching and engaging way.

Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

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