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Five Flavors of Dumb / by Antony John

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Title: Five Flavors of Dumb 
Author: Antony John

Publisher: Dial Books
ISBN: 978-0-8037-3433-3
Year: 2010

Concepts: jobs, incentives, money, marketing, saving, budget constraints

Review: It happened so quickly. One day Piper Vaughan stood around the school steps as the hottest rock band at her high school gave a spontaneous outdoor performance after having won Seattle's annual Teen Battle of the Bands. The next day she got into an argument with the band members and wound up becoming their manager. Never mind that the band had named itself Dumb. Never mind that Piper was deaf.

Piper needed money. Her parents had raided her college fund for attending Gallaudet, the leading university for deaf and hard of hearing students. They had to come up with the co-pay for an extremely expensive cochlear implant so that Piper's baby sister would be able to hear. Of course Piper felt jealous and cheated, so when the opportunity came up to split the proceeds of any paying gigs with the band members, it seemed like a great idea for replenishing the fund. Piper never realized just how much that band would bring out hidden sides of her personality and radically change her relationships with family members and people at school.

Set against the Seattle music scene, the book is infused with historical nuggets about Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and the development of grunge rock. Financial constraints also motivate key elements of the plot, further helping this novel to rank highly in terms of substance and entertainment.

Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

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