The Short Seller

  • Review
By – June 6, 2014

When Lindy Sachs is home sick with mono­nucleosis, a request from her father to put through a stock trade in his on-line ac­count sparks her inter­est. To help occu­py her time while she recu­per­ates, her father gives her $100 to invest. Lindy research­es stocks and learns more about the lan­guage of trades. Think­ing she has found a guar­an­teed way to make mon­ey for her par­ents, she secret­ly invests more of the account than she should, but the stock does bad­ly. Lindy learns about an impend­ing prob­lem for a con­sumer prod­ucts com­pa­ny and decides that sell­ing short on that company’s stock would be a great way to make back the mon­ey she lost with­out hav­ing to tell her par­ents. What Lindy doesn’t real­ize is that her father has worked for that com­pa­ny, and she and her father soon find them­selves in the mid­dle of an insid­er trad­ing investigation.

Lindy is in sev­enth grade, deal­ing with many of the same issues as oth­er chil­dren her age — stress­es of school, emerg­ing roman­tic rela­tion­ships, typ­i­cal sib­ling rival­ry. Her adven­tures in the world of stock trad­ing, how­ever, are quite unusu­al. The author includes con­sid­er­able detail about trad­ing, which may lead some read­ers to skim those sec­tions. Lindy’s lev­el of under­stand­ing about how to make sophis­ti­cat­ed trades strains cred­i­bil­i­ty, as does the fact that her father — nor­mal­ly on his trad­ing account mul­ti­ple times a day — doesn’t notice Lindy’s unau­tho­rized activ­i­ty. Nonethe­less, Lindy’s sto­ry will appeal to many mid­dle school read­ers, who may find them­selves inter­est­ed in the stock mar­ket, too. Note that the novel’s Juda­ic con­tent is lim­it­ed to pass­ing ref­er­ences to Hebrew school.

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 11 – 14.

Mar­ci Lavine Bloch earned her MLS from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land, a BA from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia and an MA in Eng­lish Lit­er­a­ture from Ford­ham Uni­ver­si­ty. She has worked in syn­a­gogue and day school libraries and is cur­rent­ly fin­ish­ing her term on the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Award Committee.

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