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Pass go and collect $200 : the real story of how Monopoly was invented
2018
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Publishers Weekly Review
Stone (Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream) summarizes the sometimes contentious history of the ever-popular board game Monopoly. Lizzie Magie Phillips developed and patented its precursor, the Landlord's Game, in 1903 to focus attention on rising urban rents charged by monopolistic landlords. A brisk narrative pace propels the story through fact-filled and sometimes lengthy passages, explaining how players modified rules and created homemade versions of the freely shared game. When out-of-work salesman Charles Darrow marketed and sold his version, controversy ensued. Salerno's (Wild Child) lively, mixed-media illustrations carry the action forward. Large Monopoly tokens leap from colorful spreads as turn-of-the-century period dress, close-ups, and caricatures bring the story playfully to life (Darrow, oft-credited as the game's inventor, is shown speeding off in the roadster game token, Monopoly money flying from the car). Backmatter includes a list of trivia (for example: online voting in 2017 retired some tokens and added others, such as a T. rex token), a Monopoly math section, and an author note and source list. Monopoly aficionados should most appreciate this account that gives credit where credit is due and asks readers to ultimately weigh in: "So who wins in this story?" Ages 5-9. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
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 © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Summary
In the late 1800s lived Lizzie Magie, a clever and charismatic woman with a strong sense of justice. Waves of urban migration drew Lizzie's attention to rising financial inequality. Suddenly she had an idea: create a game about the landlord-tenant relationship. But Lizzie's initial game vilified the monopolist. Enter Charles Darrow--a marketer and salesman with a keen eye for what Lizzie's creation could become: an enticing board game, and a staple of family entertainment in households across America. Boldness, imagination, and ruthless competition combine in this riveting story that sets the record straight on the history of Monopoly's origins. A Christy Ottaviano Book
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