Payback on Poplar Lane Review

Disclosure: Penguin Kids sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Do you ever have an idea for a business? Well the sixth graders on Poplar Lane have gone beyond the lemonade stand ideas to more. Of course there is much more to business than just the idea of what to sell. In Payback on Poplar Lane by Margaret Mincks, Peter is trying to make money for several things--private school, his parent's mortgage, and to have a great business. 

Book Description (from publisher): 

ABC's Shark Tank meets The Terrible Two when a pair of sixth grade entrepreneurs compete to become top mogul on their block.

Twelve-year-old Peter Gronkowski prides himself on being a professional businessman. Tired of the clich├ęd lemonade stands that line his block, he decides to start a better business with the help of an intern. But his intern of choice, the quiet and writerly Rachel Chambers, turns out to be more than he bargained for. Rachel is innovative, resourceful, driven--and when she's had enough of Peter's overbearing management style, she decides to start a competing empire next door. As their rivalry and sabotage tactics become more outrageous--Slander! Espionage! Lemonade threats!--Peter and Rachel ultimately learn the hard way that "nothing gold can stay" and that friendship is more important than money.

Alternating perspectives reveal what really motivates each character to win. And Peter's memos and "business tips" as well as excerpts from Rachel's melodramatic novel-in-progress generate fresh hilarity and tension at every page turn. Payback on Poplar Lane is a pitch-perfect comedy with heart, reminiscent of your favorite classic middle-grade series.

My Review:

This book draws the reader in. As an adult I cannot believe there is a kid like Peter who is so driven, but I know there must be since characters with similar traits show up in television shows and other books. However the book is entertaining and the characters are well developed. There is humor and competition throughout it. I can see this book engaging a middle grade reader. There are so many parts to find fun as well as interesting. It touches on the elements of a tween's life: relationships, friendships, desires and more. I hope you will check it out.

About the Author:

Margaret Mincks grew up the second oldest of eight kids. When she wasn't swimming, acting, making up slightly disturbing songs, or filming B-movie parodies with siblings and friends, she was writing and illustrating stories. After graduating from the University of Virginia, she moved to Chicago to perform improvisational comedy with the iO Theater. She later worked at Spider, a literary magazine for six- to nine-year-olds, as an editor. Margaret has also written for children's nonfiction series like Ripley's Believe It or Not. She now lives in Florida with her husband, young daughter, and her Staffordshire bull terrier named Reesie.