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The Richest Poor Kid Review by Susan Marlow

By Carl Sommer;
Illustratorillustrated by Jorge Martinez
Advance Publishing
6950 Fulton Street
Houston, TX 77022

The Richest Poor Kid is the newest addition to the Sommer-Time stories by author Carl Sommer. His Fun Times with Timeless Virtues series highlights various character traits with creative, nicely illustrated stories. This 8 x 11-inch hardcover, library-quality picture book is 44 pages long and includes a protective dust jacket. It is also available as a 7 by 9 hardcover for a lower price as well as a read-along CD. Although these books are recommended for grades 1-4, younger children will also find them delightful.

Randy is the "richest poor kid." He believes he is the most miserable boy on the planet because everything he owns is old. His bike is old; his toys are old; his family is hard-working but poor. The other kids tease Randy--especially Mike, who has a new bike and lots of new toys, and he doesn't have to do any chores. Randy wishes he were rich. He wishes he didn't have to work so hard. He's convinced that happiness comes in having things. Then one night he is allowed to make two wishes. . . .

In this engaging twist of the "golden touch of Midas" story, Randy learns firsthand the character qualities of appreciation, cheerfulness, and trust. I was delighted at the modern retelling of this old fable. My four grandchildren, ages 2-8, sat spellbound as they followed Randy's "golden touch" and its result. In addition, the wonderful illustrations by Jorge Martinez have a "Norman Rockwell" feel to them--especially the scenes of the family gathered around their rough table or spending the evening together.

Although the character traits are not presented from a Christian worldview (this is a secular publishing company), The Richest Poor Kid is still a great addition to a homeschool library. The principles are timeless, and the story can be read over and over again.

This series of books has won a number of awards, including the Mom's Choice Award and the Family Review Center Gold Award.

Product review by Susan Marlow, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2007