While the slow start and trappings of finance culture will deter some readers, those who are drawn in by Lindy’s passion and...

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THE SHORT SELLER

A seventh-grader plays the stock market.

Lindy isn’t ready for her math test, and coming down with mononucleosis is one way to get out of going to school. In the month that Lindy’s home sick, her father gives her $100 to play with on his stock-trading site. Though Lindy thinks of herself as “dense at math,” she is more than able to pick up the concepts when they have a practical use. Aided by the book Buying Stock for Dummies, Lindy immerses herself in the stock market. Her rate of return on her $100 is excellent, so it’s completely safe to dip into her parents’ capital, right? But the stock market is more volatile than Lindy realizes—and so are junior high friendships. While she’s been home focusing on the NASDAQ, her friends have formed new relationships without her. Lindy’s enthusiasm is infectious but sometimes impenetrable. The mathematical and functional aspects of selling stock are explained fairly clearly, but the social aspects of finance, from CNBC to the Wall Street Journal, from television analysts to certified financial advisors, lack explication.

While the slow start and trappings of finance culture will deter some readers, those who are drawn in by Lindy’s passion and the fun math puzzles will be rewarded by a startlingly suspenseful conclusion, with far more at stake than mere classroom drama . (Fiction. 11-12)

Pub Date: May 7, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4424-5255-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE

Carrick (Melanie, 1996, etc.) sensitively explores the pain of a parent’s death through the eyes, feelings, and voice of a nine-year-old boy whose world turns upside down when his father becomes terminally ill with cancer. Through a fictional reminiscence, the story explores many of the issues common to children whose parents are ill—loss of control, changes in physical appearance and mental ability, upsets in daily routine, experiences of guilt and anger, the reaction of friends, and, most of all, a fear of the unknown. Although the book suffers from a pat ending and the black-and-white sketches emphasize the bleakness of the topic, this title is a notch above pure bibliotherapy and will fill a special niche for children struggling to deal with the trauma of parental sickness and death. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 1999

ISBN: 0-395-84151-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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SNOW DAY

Peddle debuts with a small, wordless epiphany that flows like an animated short. A low winter sun first lights a child building a snowman, then, after a gloriously starry night, returns to transform it—to melt it. Leaving most of each page untouched, Peddle assembles a minimum of accurately brushed pictorial elements for each scene: the builder; the snow figure; their lengthening shadows; the rising sun’s coruscating circle in the penultimate picture; a scatter of sticks, coal, and a carrot in the final one. Most children will still prefer The Snowy Day, but others may find layers of meaning beneath the story’s deceptive simplicity. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-385-32693-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1999

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