Published by Random House Books for Young Readers
Summary: When Felix and Benji find a wallet belonging to billionaire Laura Friendly, they return it–after first “borrowing” $20.00 to buy themselves hot dogs and ice cream. As a reward/punishment, Ms. Friendly offers the boys $10 million. But there’s a catch: first they have to spend $5,368,709.12 in a month (the amount you’d have by starting with a penny and doubling it every day for 30 days). There are some rules: no real estate, no vehicles, no charities, and no gifts. At first, the boys are thrilled to buy whatever they want, but they soon learn the ancient lesson that money can’t buy happiness. The “no gift” rule makes them look selfish, and spending millions just on themselves proves increasingly difficult. When tragedy strikes, the boys realize that many of the best things in life have no price. The end finds them wiser, but no richer…well maybe just a little bit richer. 336 pages; grades 4-7.
Pros: This improbable but fun tale taps into our love/hate relationship with money, and could lead to some interesting discussions. Sure to appeal to upper elementary and middle school kids.
Cons: I was expecting some sweeping revelation about Laura Friendly, but there was nothing spectacular.