What Children’s Literature Teaches Us About Money: Susan S. Adler’s ‘Meet Samantha’
Nicole Dieker
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It’s been so long since I’ve read these books. I’d put a plug for Changes for Samantha, since that one has some interesting money angles as well (mostly around the adoption plot; I’ve always wondered what Cornelia and Gard’s thought process was). I’d love to read the Samantha books from Jessie’s perspective (and it would be interesting to have other series from other perspectives as well, like Kirsten from her teacher’s perspective, Josefina from her aunt, Molly from her mom, etc.).

Samantha is clearly incredibly privileged, and she was always meant to be read that way. She’s more the fantasy princess doll than any of the others (from a story perspective; obviously all the dolls are very expensive). That said, I wonder what we are supposed to make of her. For example, did the author and company realize how concerning the Jessie/Lincoln plot is or did they not realize the potential danger Samantha puts them in? It’s interesting, because on the one hand Samantha has a number of social justice interests and vaguely good intentions throughout the books, but she does damage without even realizing it. It’s a useful lesson, but I’m not sure it was intended.

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