Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

EconKids Home Unemployment The Lucky Star / by Judy Young, illustrated by Chris Ellison

The Lucky Star / by Judy Young, illustrated by Chris Ellison

Title: The Lucky Star
Author: Judy Young
Illustrator: Chris Ellison
Publisher:  Sleeping Bear Press
ISBN:  978-1-58536-348-3
Year: 2008
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level: 4.6

Concepts: human resources, scarcity, Great Depression, unemployment, jobs, recession

Review:  Ruth, a young girl growing up during the Great Depression, has trouble understanding why her mother always seems to see the positive side of bleak situations.  “Count your lucky stars” constitutes Momma’s inevitable reply to her two daughters as she teaches them how to handle life in the face of job loss, food insecurity, hand-me-down shoes from the neighbor, and the closing of the local school. When Ruth’s father gets a new job far from home through President Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps program, Momma counts her lucky stars that the family can pay the mortgage while Ruth sees his departure from home as another star that burns out. Only when Ruth takes the initiative to use her skills in addressing the needs of the youngsters around her does she begin to have a brighter outlook on life.

This outstanding book will help children to gain a richer exposure to principles that are crucial for a basic understanding of the economic world around them. The lessons about unemployment, scarcity, and recession contained in The Lucky Star are important building blocks toward achieving a solid grasp of economics. Teachers and parents can use the book’s poignant illustrations and clear text to help children come to terms with potentially difficult economic times they may be experiencing themselves.

Review by:
 Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

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