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EconKids Home Older Children and Young Adults: 2011 I Lost My Mobile at the Mall: Teenager on the Edge of Technological Breakdown / by Wendy Harmer

I Lost My Mobile at the Mall: Teenager on the Edge of Technological Breakdown / by Wendy Harmer


Title: I Lost My Mobile at the Mall: Teenager on the Edge of Technological Breakdown   
Author: Wendy Harmer
Publisher: Kane Miller
ISBN: 978-1-935279-97-6
Year: 2011

Economic concepts: financial crisis, budget constraints

Review:  Elly Pickering’s parents demonstrated the expected level of anger and frustration when Elly lost her cell phone for the third time, this time at the mall.  With the economy going through adjustments due to the global financial crisis, her mom and dad both agreed they would not pay for another replacement. Mom worked as an events planner for clients who had begun to scale back, and Dad worked as a driver for a courier truck company that was close to laying off workers. 

With the household budget getting tighter, her parents suggested that Elly try to find a part-time job and save up for a new phone; in the meantime, going without her cell phone might do Elly some good. Elly, however, thought differently. She was completely hooked on her cell phone and computer for having constant access to her friends and her gorgeous boyfriend Will.  Yet when a series of on-line picture and comment postings started to spiral out of control, Elly had to wonder about the degree to which technological devices could have prevented or actually caused these problems.

With the global financial crisis serving as the background setting, this young adult novel encourages readers to think about changes in spending priorities for families experiencing more stringent budget constraints and the threat of job loss.  The book has another prominent theme, cyberbullying, which has gained increasing media attention.  Because the story is rooted in humor and teenage angst, it will attract readers who might otherwise avoid a novel about these serious topics.

Review by: Rutgers University Project on Children and Economics
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