Review Detail

Mya's Boot Scootin' Business
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Mya's exploits at school continue when her fourth grade class participates in an economics unit. The children get $25 from their parents, and their teacher gives them $10,000 in play money to use to start their own business. Some of the children want to do party planning, sell items, or have service businesses, but Mya doesn't know what to do, even after consulting with her older brother, Nugget, who did the project in the past. Eventually, she and her friend Connie decide to write a newspaper, the Texas Taradiddle (after the tall tales Mya enjoys telling). To earn money, they sell advertising in the paper, but when Connie tells her classmates that they will get a paper for free the very next day, Mya panics. She consults her family, and is eventually allowed to use the home computer, printer, and paper, but must pay her father most of the start up cash. The paper is a hit at school, and the girls decide they can charge 25 cents per copy to help with future expenses, but there are other problems in Mya's life. Her mother is overwhelmed by Mya's new baby sister, Macey, and her father, who runs the local feed store, is very worried about the price of corn and how it will affect his business. Mya is irritated that her mother doesn't pay attention to her, that her father calls Macey by HER nickname, and that Nugget is asked to help with the business and she is not. She is devastated that her parents don't even read her newspaper. There are problems at school, as well; the fair for the businesses has to be cancelled because the school exterminator is coming, and this affects the birthday party that Naomi is supposed to throw for twins Skye and Starr. Mya even goes to the principal to see if the events can somehow continue, and manages to get permission, but things must happen on a tight deadline. Can Mya make her family understand how distressing it is to be ignored "in the middle" and make things right at school as well?
Good Points
Mya's concerns are valid ones for her age group; much younger siblings can put a stress on family relationships for young readers. Family financial problems can also cause distress, and it's hard for children to understand what is going on. Nugget is a great character; since he is older, he is more understanding about the family circumstances and willing to help out, and it shows a lot of maturity to also help Mya understand as well. I would love to see more depictions of supportive sibling relationships.


The school project is an interesting one, and mirrors the JA Biz Town that my daughter did. It would not be an easy project, but as we saw in The Wall of Fame Game, Mya's school is very demanding! School and class relationships are very important in elementary school, and I loved that Mya's teacher and principal listened to her and even took her input.


Readers who like to see characters who accomplish things will enjoy Mya's attempts to control her world. Mya could easily be friends with Joahannes' Beatrice Zinker, Frazier's Cleo Edison Oliver, Simon's Cupcake Diaries crew, Torres' Griselda, or Conford's Jenny Archer.
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