Books by David Zinn

BUSINESS AS USUAL by David Haynes
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 20, 1997

Haynes kicks off the West 7th Wildcats series, featuring a circle of sixth-grade boys involved in a thinly disguised lesson in business and economics. After looking forward to Mr. Harrison's famous economics unit for years, Bobby and his five buddies are dismayed to learn that they can only work in fours—and positively horrified when Kevin, one of the excluded, ends up in arch-rival Jenny Pederson's group. The object is to create a product to sell at River Road School's Marketplace Day, with rewards for the biggest moneymakers. To this end, Bobby and the others absorb lessons in supply and demand, market research, financing, advertising, customer service, and other topics, before settling on calorie-loaded Wildcat Cookies as their product. Practicing a bit of corporate espionage, Jenny and Kevin steal the idea, and the race is on. The storytelling is bland— Mr. Harrison ``was nice and fun and we learned a lot''—and Kevin, described as an okay student even though he often ``forgets'' to do his work and as such a cutup that he's in danger of being expelled, never seems believable. Nonetheless, the cookie rivalry ends on a harmonious note, and the economics are laid on with a light touch. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Fiction. 10-12) Read full book review >