Morgan Makes a Deal

Description

60 pages
$5.95
ISBN 0-88780-666-X
DDC jC813'.54

Publisher

Year

2005

Contributor

Illustrations by Bill Slavin
Reviewed by Carol L. MacKay

Carol L. MacKay is a children’s librarian living in Bawlf, Alberta.

Review

Morgan wants a new video game. His mother says he has to earn the money
and suggests a paper route. Morgan quickly discovers that he hates
delivering papers and makes a deal with his math-challenged friend
Charlie. If Charlie delivers the papers, Morgan will do Charlie’s math
homework. Meanwhile, Aldeen, “the Godzilla of grade three,” decides
to cash in on her knowledge of Morgan’s schemes by making him do her
homework, too, and by taking a cut of his earnings. Charlie backs out of
the deal when he learns to do the math himself. In the end, Morgan
finagles his way out of the paper business and passes it off to Aldeen,
but that scheme backfires, too.

While the writing is taut and energetic, Staunton’s characters
aren’t so easy to like. All three lie and cheat. Aldeen steals and
extorts. Even Aldeen’s shining moment at the end—when she reveals
some concern for Morgan as a friend—is expressed by correcting
Morgan’s wrong answers on his math test when the teacher isn’t
watching.

Bill Slavin’s expressive full-page black-and-white illustrations
solidify the action of the story and personality of the characters.
There are real moments of humour throughout the book, usually coming
from Morgan’s inner thoughts. Readers will make their way through all
the deal-making in no time flat. They just shouldn’t look for
character-building lessons or model protagonists along the way.
Recommended with reservations.

Citation

Staunton, Ted., “Morgan Makes a Deal,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 15, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/31029.