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THE GREAT SKINNER ENTERPRISE by Stephanie S. Tolan

THE GREAT SKINNER ENTERPRISE

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Pub Date: April 1st, 1986
Publisher: Four Winds/Macmillan

In The Great Skinner Strike, Mrs. Skinner, beginning a new job, went on strike until she received help from her family with the chores. Now it's Dad's turn to be independent. Fired because he is becoming more self-assertive, Mr. Skinner invests in a van, a computer, etc., and starts At Your Service, providing any help people might want. The Skinner children become car-washers, dog-walkers, window cleaners, and errand runners. Mr. and Mrs. Skinner do their bit, and after the expected goof-ups, Mr. Skinner sells his successful company and its new franchises to a wealthy investor, leaving the door open to another Skinner adventure. But do we want another? This one, narrated by 13-year-old Jenny, is a breathless, prepubescent gush, belabored and confusing. Assuming that we have read the previous book, Tolan does not fully establish characters' ages or temperaments. Boys who make lewd remarks suddenly become ideal boyfriends; Dad's buying spree puts little financial strain on the family; and most unreal, the children of these revolutionary parents obediently do as they are asked. The poorly drawn, confusing family portrait on the jacket aptly describes the contents of this disappointing sequel.