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Children's LiteraturePetey never paid much attention to news of the Great Depression, but that changes when he meet a kid he used to know—a kid who used to live a life pretty much like Petey's but who now lives hand to mouth in a shantytown outside of town. Could the same thing happen to Petey? Petey's father assures him that it won't; although things might get a little tight, Dad's been a loyal employee and his job is secure. But is it? Uncle Mort built his factory with sweat and tears and he has always been a good employer. His workers would never strike. Or would they? And Cousin Steve...will he and others like him succeed in their mission to unionize the workers? Uncle Mort and Dad articulate a strong case for capitalism and property rights; Cousin Steve argues for worker's rights, but his arguments, as presented, are not quite as compelling. The epilogue briefly discusses the causes of the Great Depression, new legislation (primarily the Wagner Act and Social Security) and the growing belief "that government had a responsibility to help people in trouble, to do certain kinds of jobs that private enterprise won't or can't do, and to keep the economy running on an even keel." According to the publisher, this book is aligned to state standards of learning. A teacher guide is available. 2004 (orig. 2000), School Specialty Children's Publishing/Waterbird Books, Ages 9 to 12.
—Anita Barnes Lowen