June 19, 2018

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Pass Go and Collect $200 by Tanya Lee Stone | SLJ Review

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redstarStone, Tanya Lee. Pass Go and Collect $200: The Real Story of How Monopoly Was Invented. illus. by Steven Salerno. 40p. bibliog. Holt. Jul. 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781627791687.

Gr 1-4 –Readers are treated to a colorful historical account of a well-known board game, and the socioeconomic factors that affected its development. In the late 1800s dynamo Elizabeth “Lizzie” Magie decided to create a game based on what she viewed as an unfair relationship between heavy-handed landlords and vulnerable renters. Magie patented the Landlord’s Game in 1903, but was unable to secure the interest of large-scale producers. The history of how Magie’s creation became Monopoly is as complex as its rules and variables, but here a potentially complicated narrative is told with great skill and clarity by Stone. Young readers are presented with a coherent and lucid account; any detail not relevant to the furthering of the story is omitted, including complex terminology and the personal details of Magie’s life. Parker Brothers would ultimately pay Magie only $500 for the patent and would not credit her as the inventor as promised, a deal she was vocally unhappy about. Bonus material includes trivia and a math set. Salerno’s vivid illustrations are kinetic and play upon the most exciting elements of the story. Characters move with fluidity, and occasional close-ups at sharp angles add interest to spreads with Charles Darrow and Mr. Monopoly. VERDICT Highly recommended for nonfiction collections.–Lauren Younger, formerly at New York Public Library

This review was published in the School Library Journal June 2018 issue.

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