Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

Scumble / by Ingrid Law

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Title: Scumble 
Author: Ingrid Law

Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 978-0-8037-3307-7
Year: 2010

Concepts: entrepreneurship, incentives, money, property rights, foreclosure

Review: Ledger Kale belonged to a family with an unusual secret: whenever someone turned thirteen years old, they would begin to exhibit some special talent or power.  As a runner, Ledge dreamed his thirteenth birthday would bring extraordinary speed to his running, but he had no such luck. Instead, he gained an uncontrollable ability to disassemble mechanical appliances, gadgets, and fixtures.  The more agitated and confused he became, the worse the damage.

After visiting Uncle Autry’s Wyoming ranch for a family wedding, Ledge’s parents decided it might be better all around if mom and dad were to return home to their jobs while Ledge stayed out of harm’s way in a gadget-free dwelling on his uncle’s property.  Little did they realize the quandaries that Ledge would get himself into, including several altercations with the town’s most powerful property owner. Mr. Noble Cabot was forcing local business owners left and right to go into foreclosure, and his next target was Uncle Autry’s ranch. Adding to the complications, Mr. Cabot had a disengagingly charming daughter who seemed to set off Ledge’s destructive savvy in unpredictable ways.

This companion novel to Ingrid Law’s prize winning Savvy incorporates an interesting set of economics lessons related to property rights, foreclosure, and entrepreneurship.  Gaining familiarity with all the characters can take a little time, but after doing so the reader is in for an enjoyable mix of humor, adventure, and family drama.

Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

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