THE MONEY ROOM by Eloise Jarvis McGraw


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After he lost his fortune and moved to an Oregon farm, Great-Gramp joked about his Money Room--but was there maybe something to it? You bet, and it makes for a sweet-revenge climax with a psychological tilt. Newly arrived with their widowed mother, heir to the farm, introspective Scotty, 13, and exuberant Lindy, 9, start (at her urging) on the Great Money Room Quest--only to be set back, straight off, by finding a tin box full of worthless old foreign banknotes and some equally unpromising stocks and bonds. Still, ""nosey old big-mouth"" Dorrie Suggs, one of Great-Gramp's cronies, is awfully eager to buy the farm. And somebody is prowling around--besides, Scotty thinks, some clubby local boys who have it in for him for being ""dumb and stuck-up."" Meanwhile Mrs. Holloway, ""Mur"" to the kids, is having her own problems--not selling any real estate, learning that the house needs costly repairs. Then the Holloways' parrot rips off the wallpaper in Scotty's room--which turns out to he literally papered, underneath, with ""stocksenbonds."" The ""good ones,"" Scotty wonders? But Mur, dejected, has just sold the house to old Dorrie! Happily, the Money Room was a joke: the securities aren't worth a cent. Ironically, one of the tin-box papers is worth a whopping $34 thousand. But, sadly, the Holloways have all become attached to the farm: even Scotty has a friend now and, he realizes, no enemies. So Mur feels terrible that she ""surrendered"" so hastily. Wanting to relieve her of responsibility and inspired by Great-Gramp's bravado, Scotty contrives to let old Dorrie see the Money Room and, deliciously, to let him know it's worth nothing. (End of sale.) The lead-in is circuitous, the rest zips along--and each of the Holloways is so decent, in a different, unhackneyed way, that the reader is all for them.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1981
Publisher: Atheneum