Payback on Poplar Lane
\When a friendly cul-de-sac business competition turns into a ruthless rivalry, two neighborhood kids learn that getting mad and getting even aren't mutually exclusive.

Payback on Poplar Lane Details

TitlePayback on Poplar Lane
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 6th, 2018
PublisherViking
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Contemporary

Payback on Poplar Lane Review

  • michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to @kidlitexchange and Viking Books for the preview copy of Payback on Poplar Lane. All opinions are my own.I’m giving the book a 4 star review because it was well written and I think that kids will love it. That said, this isn’t the style of book that I would personally gravitate towards. Just putting that out there.This book was told in alternate 1st person voices between Peter Gronkowski and Rachel Chambers. Peter is an entrepreneur at heart and always out to find a new business tha Thank you to @kidlitexchange and Viking Books for the preview copy of Payback on Poplar Lane. All opinions are my own.I’m giving the book a 4 star review because it was well written and I think that kids will love it. That said, this isn’t the style of book that I would personally gravitate towards. Just putting that out there.This book was told in alternate 1st person voices between Peter Gronkowski and Rachel Chambers. Peter is an entrepreneur at heart and always out to find a new business that will make him the most amount of money, especially after his father loses his job. Rachel is a shy, bookish girl who people often fail to notice and who has the unfortunate nickname of “puppet” because others always talk for her, especially after a moment of stage-fright. Rachel decides to apply for the job of Peter’s intern and after a short stint, realizes that she is doing all of the work and getting no credit or payment. As the book shifts to being a war between the two business-people, the real meat of the story comes out.The story alternates between the two characters and allows the reader to get a better sense of why they behave the way that they do. We see their inner workings and watch them change as the battle between businesses progresses. I took an immediate dislike to Peter, which I think is the author’s intent. Peter is completely focused on making money, regardless of who he steps on in order to succeed. Part of his drive to make something of himself comes from his frustration with the fact that his family is not quite as well off as those around him, especially after his father stops working. He is both put off by and embarrassed by generic brands and wants desperately to go to the private school that some of his friends go to.At the same time, we also learn about Rachel. A shy girl who identifies with turtles and Cyrano de Bergerac (minus the big nose), she feels like a side-kick and afterthought to her best friend and decides to step up to be Peter’s intern. Rachel’s transformation starts much earlier then Peter’s, and perhaps that is why she seems more human. While working for Peter she realizes that she wants to matter and wants to be acknowledged, something that resounded with me. She gets swept up in the battle to stand out and be noticed and turns into a person she doesn’t like, willing to lie just to make a sale and be noticed.There were times where I felt like I was getting emotional whiplash from the alternating voices, but I think that younger readers will feel less of that. While we seem to have fewer “neighborhoods” like the one described in the story, the cul-de-sac microcosm completely worked for this tale. Fans of The Lemonade War and The Candymakers will probably enjoy this comical story of kids trying to make a name for themselves and maybe some money at the same time.
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  • Akoss
    January 1, 1970
    *I received a copy of this book from the Kidlitexchange network in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*Peter’s financial anxiety after his father lost his job turned him into a brilliant and ruthless entrepreneur who took in shy and socially awkward Rachel as an unpaid intern. Unfortunately, Peter’s drive to make profit at all costs ended up costing him his intern who in turn realized she was treated way too poorly and set out to get revenge on her former employer.The range o *I received a copy of this book from the Kidlitexchange network in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*Peter’s financial anxiety after his father lost his job turned him into a brilliant and ruthless entrepreneur who took in shy and socially awkward Rachel as an unpaid intern. Unfortunately, Peter’s drive to make profit at all costs ended up costing him his intern who in turn realized she was treated way too poorly and set out to get revenge on her former employer.The range of emotions this book put me trough left me mentally exhausted by the time I was done reading it. I could smell Peter’s selfishness and greediness from page one and had to wait patiently for Rachel to become the unsuspecting victim, the sheep on which Wolf-Peter was about to feast. I was anxious and upset. When Rachel started on her revenge plan it felt great until things got out of hand and the avalanche of humiliation and embarrassment swept over me.Going into this book I expected something along the lines of Lemonade Wars but I got more than I bargained for. Everything about the events in the book felt starkly real. I forgot I was reading a middle grade book. There was more to Peter’s drive to make money and there was more to Rachel’s desire to not be invisible anymore. Life is messy and the author did an incredible job muddying the lines between good and bad, wrong and right.
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  • Stacie Boren
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to #kidlitexchange for sharing this ARC for review. Payback on Poplar Lane by Margaret Mincks. All opinions are my own. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟Rachel a shy middle schooler lives next door to Peter Gronkowski a self proclaimed entrepreneur. Peter uses Rachel as an intern without paying her when his father becomes unemployed. However that blows up and Rachel soon becomes his competitor. Both children are discovering themselves as well as good from bad and the value of family and friendships while they try su Thanks to #kidlitexchange for sharing this ARC for review. Payback on Poplar Lane by Margaret Mincks. All opinions are my own. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟Rachel a shy middle schooler lives next door to Peter Gronkowski a self proclaimed entrepreneur. Peter uses Rachel as an intern without paying her when his father becomes unemployed. However that blows up and Rachel soon becomes his competitor. Both children are discovering themselves as well as good from bad and the value of family and friendships while they try survive life in a cul de sac and middle school. This book is written from a child's perspective and sometimes the moments of realization seem nonchalant. But it is a great read for ages 9 and up. A way to take business to a whole new level. Review also posted on Instagram @jasonnstacie, Library Thing, Go Read, Amazon, and my blog at readsbystacie.com
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  • Greg Jones
    January 1, 1970
    Really funny and engaging. One of the best books of 2018. You will love it.
  • Harker
    January 1, 1970
    Remember when you were a kid and started your own business? Even if you didn't, the image of a kid's lemonade stand should be easily imaginable and what happens in Payback on Poplar Lane goes far beyond a simple drink stand.While there was a lot of humor in the book, there were also a lot of scenes that made me equal parts sad and frustrated. Peter is overbearing in his business practices and recitations of "business tips", but when it's his turn to tell the story, you get insight into why he is Remember when you were a kid and started your own business? Even if you didn't, the image of a kid's lemonade stand should be easily imaginable and what happens in Payback on Poplar Lane goes far beyond a simple drink stand.While there was a lot of humor in the book, there were also a lot of scenes that made me equal parts sad and frustrated. Peter is overbearing in his business practices and recitations of "business tips", but when it's his turn to tell the story, you get insight into why he is the way he is. His father was laid off and this spurned in Peter the need to be successful, to help his family, and I think he took it a little far and forgot to be a kid, but I understood the feeling. Peter's family might not be as poor as some, but the changes they had to make, such as drinking non-name brands and not having dinner out anymore, would certainly be a shock to a kid's system, their sense of continuity. Peter is so preoccupied with protecting himself, with "stepping up as breadwinner of the family", that he takes on far too much for a child and forgets to experience life as a kid while he still can.I didn't like Peter at all because he tended to be too harsh and critical, particularly of his father, but I understood where he was coming from.Where he and Rachel had some similarities was in their worry about how others regarded them. For Peter it was how much money his family had, how they had leftover nights and he couldn't go to the Poplar Prep school. For Rachel, it was in regards to her quite nature and the desire to blend in.As Payback on Poplar Lane begins, Rachel is really withdrawn, both with her contemporaries and with her best friend. It affects her in relationships, such as the unfortunate one she develops when she becomes Peter's intern. However, her strength starts to shine when she realizes that she wants to matter and it's not just about mattering to others. It's about standing up for herself, for her ideas, and the hard work she puts into what she's involved in, whether a fortune telling business or an interactive "gold" digging adventure.The kids, from the two main characters to the wide cast of side characters, were fun and modern. They were a pleasure to read about because I didn't get bored or bogged down with any of them. The adults as side characters were not a big part of the story in action, but their presence was felt: Peter's father and his job struggles, Rachel's deceased mother, etc. Everyone had a reason for being on the page and I liked that.Payback on Poplar Lane was a fun middle grade read that will appeal to a wide readership.I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to @kidlitexchange and Viking Books for the preview copy of Payback on Poplar Lane. All opinions are my own.✨Peter is twelve years old and is the business whiz of Poplar Lane. You may think that means he runs a lemonade stand, but Peter would NEVER stoop that low. That’s for amateurs! Instead he sells maps of Poplar Lane. At least he did, until he decided to launch a new business, Fabulous Fortunes and this time around he’s going to employ an unpaid intern to do most of the work. And t Thank you to @kidlitexchange and Viking Books for the preview copy of Payback on Poplar Lane. All opinions are my own.✨Peter is twelve years old and is the business whiz of Poplar Lane. You may think that means he runs a lemonade stand, but Peter would NEVER stoop that low. That’s for amateurs! Instead he sells maps of Poplar Lane. At least he did, until he decided to launch a new business, Fabulous Fortunes and this time around he’s going to employ an unpaid intern to do most of the work. And that intern, is his next door neighbor, Rachel. Rachel’s nickname is puppet, because Rachel’s best friend Clover always speaks for Rachel or tells Rachel what to do and say, but Rachel loves to write and yearns to be noticed by her neighbors and classmates. She’s hopeful this internship just might lead to those around her actually seeing and hearing her for a change!This story is told in the first person by the alternating voices of Peter and Rachel. Very early on in the story I found myself rooting for Rachel and really disliking Peter. I didn’t appreciate Peter’s rush to become a business whiz, and as a result was both thoughtless, and at times even ruthless with Rachel and his customers. He even drives his best friend away! I identified with Rachel’s craving to have people notice her, and I admired her creativity as she developed her own business. I did admire both Peter’s and Rachel’s parents and how they handled the escalating neighborhood competition as their kids tried to create the best business and make the most money. With their guidance and understanding, both Peter and Rachel were able to find the courage to admit their mistakes, and to apologize to their friends for taking advantage of them, and to realize that friendship and kindness is more important than making money.I would recommend this book to those in grades 4 - 7 who are looking for a funny story about some quirky middle school kids. If you like Payback, you’ll be happy to know that the kids of Poplar Lane will be returning in 2019 in the next book of the series.
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  • Ariel Hess
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Penguin Young Readers as a part of Viking Publishing #partner in exchange for my honest review. The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copy used in this review is an uncorrected copy from the publisher, some quotes may have been changed prior to publishing. Overall, I thought this book was adorable. I have heard about this book before its release. The idea of a Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Penguin Young Readers as a part of Viking Publishing #partner in exchange for my honest review. The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copy used in this review is an uncorrected copy from the publisher, some quotes may have been changed prior to publishing. Overall, I thought this book was adorable. I have heard about this book before its release. The idea of a young boy trying to support his family is a greats storyline. I enjoyed reading how Peter learned to build his own business and how he learned what is important in life, relationships. Peter provides these business tips throughout the novel to the readers. The author used this to connect with the reader, and I felt like Peter was giving me business tips this entire book. I felt that Clover and Peter’s supplemental friends could have been developed more, but that did not take away from the overall message. I liked how Rachel struggle with finding her voice throughout the novel. The author did a great job of showcasing the fact that people fail but you have to learn from your mistakes. Peter and Rachel both fail a lot in this novel, but each time they pick themselves up and try again. This is a great message to emphasize with any age group. The strategically placed business tips also added to the overall delivery of the clear message. Also, kuddos to the author for making Rachel’s dad a librarian. That was a fantastic idea of enforcing the idea they could go to the library to get information.If you would like to view the full review head over to my blog at Librariel Book Reviews
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  • Christina
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to the @kidlitexchangeprogram- for a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.Two kids that are total opposites have a rivalry. It all begins when Rachel a shy girl that feels like an outcast, becomes an unpaid intern for Peter; a boy thats an obsessive entrepreneur. Rachel wants revenge when Peter starts using her ideas and not giving her any credit for them.I think both stories are touching. While they are both focused on competing with each other and seeing who is better, they Thanks to the @kidlitexchangeprogram- for a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.Two kids that are total opposites have a rivalry. It all begins when Rachel a shy girl that feels like an outcast, becomes an unpaid intern for Peter; a boy thats an obsessive entrepreneur. Rachel wants revenge when Peter starts using her ideas and not giving her any credit for them.I think both stories are touching. While they are both focused on competing with each other and seeing who is better, they struggle with something that at the beginning they dont see. But in the end Peter learns that money isn't everything and he finds the value in friends and family. And Rachel after some trial and error, fixes her mistakes and finds her own voice.I like that Rachel talks about turtles and how she feels she resembles one. Hiding in her own shell, that was also me when I was in middle school. I think that's one of the reasons why I really like her character. The book is both amusing and entertaining. A great book for young minds overcoming their fears and being a good friend.
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  • Darla
    January 1, 1970
    There is a business war on Poplar Lane. It's Peter vs Rachel and they are in it to win it. This story is told from both Peter (with plenty of business tips inserted) and Rachel (with her ongoing saga Tulip and Cyrano). Peter is all about making money and selects next door neighbor Rachel to be his intern. Rachel is a very quiet girl (her self-portrait was a turtle), but she does her best to improve Peter's business. Peter does not appreciate Rachel's efforts and "lets her go" and that is when Ra There is a business war on Poplar Lane. It's Peter vs Rachel and they are in it to win it. This story is told from both Peter (with plenty of business tips inserted) and Rachel (with her ongoing saga Tulip and Cyrano). Peter is all about making money and selects next door neighbor Rachel to be his intern. Rachel is a very quiet girl (her self-portrait was a turtle), but she does her best to improve Peter's business. Peter does not appreciate Rachel's efforts and "lets her go" and that is when Rachel sets out to teach Peter a lesson and tried to beat him at his own game. The questions this book presents and answers in a comical way are these: I true success only tied to your income? Is revenge really sweet?Recommended!
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  • Kristen Picone
    January 1, 1970
    A fun book that explores some important topics! Peter is obsessed with business. Rachel is working hard to come out of her shell and let her voice be heard. A short stint as Peter’s intern inspires Rachel to start a business of her own. And then the cut-throat competition begins...Peter learns important lessons about the real meaning of success, while Rachel learns that finding her voice should not involve hurting others. Both learn lessons in friendship and forgiveness. From what I can see from A fun book that explores some important topics! Peter is obsessed with business. Rachel is working hard to come out of her shell and let her voice be heard. A short stint as Peter’s intern inspires Rachel to start a business of her own. And then the cut-throat competition begins...Peter learns important lessons about the real meaning of success, while Rachel learns that finding her voice should not involve hurting others. Both learn lessons in friendship and forgiveness. From what I can see from the ARC, it looks like the Poplar Lane kids will be back in a sequel.
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  • Clarissa
    January 1, 1970
    A fun middle grade read about business and friendship. Peter Gronkowski cares about business and success. Rachel Chambers is shy, and has trouble speaking up. Peter hires her as his intern, but he is a lousy boss, and the result is that Rachel decides to outdo him at business. This is a funny story about revenge and business competition getting out of hand. There are lies, and gold, and cream pies.
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  • Diane Magras
    January 1, 1970
    In this day and age where money and business seem to have a huge influence on the world and American society, this sweet MG dives right in, and shows that friendship is far more important than competition. I loved the alternate chapters, and how vulnerable Peter ended up being. I felt sorry for him, even as he was behaving horribly, and I admire the author's ability to prompt that emotion. A lovely, engaging read.
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  • Melanie Dulaney
    January 1, 1970
    54 pages was all I could read. Peter attempts to be a sixth grade business success seemed forced and uninteresting and Rachel’s Cyrano story was childish-sounding and while it is supposed to be a tale written by a child, it likely would not appeal to my 4th and 5th grade library patrons. Thanks, Eidelweiss Plus, for the digital ARC, but this will not be one that I purchase for my two school libraries.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    This book is so charming! If you're missing the wacky cul-de-sac neighborhood of Ivy and Bean, this book is for you. Hilarious and delightful, it follows two neighbors as they navigate competing businesses, family, and friendships. I love the two points of view and the funny attempts at problem solving.
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  • Shoshana
    January 1, 1970
    While not entirely to my personal tastes, Poplar Lane was cute and funny - a solid middle-grade read that fans of Lemonade War and the Stuart Gibbs books will probably enjoy. The children, particularly Peter, lacked depth to me, and his moment of realization was a little too clean, but for a kids book it works, and isn't so bad that it felt like it was talking down to the reader.
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  • Sean
    January 1, 1970
    Completely hilarious book about the dark side of lemonade stand economics. Great message in there too about the real value of money and integrity. Full review TK, but I'm going to have to have to go eat a Success Snack and scribble down some business tips from my mentor Ms. Margaret Mincks first. Priorities!
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  • Brandi Nyborg
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book through a giveaway. Payback on Poplar Lane is a funny look into the competitive side of kid entrepreneurs. I enjoyed watching Rachel grow and find her voice, finally standing up for herself. This book is on the younger side of middle grade, and I think it will have many kids in stitches.
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  • SandraLee Smith
    January 1, 1970
    This is a great read for the younger 8 - 13 range both boys and girls. All of the main characters in the book each learn something about themselves and a very valuable lesson along the way. They also learn what it is to be a true friend.
  • Melanie Sumrow
    January 1, 1970
    PAYBACK is a sweet and humorous book that will appeal to even the most reluctant middle grade reader. I found myself giggling throughout the book. And, with the important life lesson that money isn't everything, it's a book with heart.
  • Pam Flynn
    January 1, 1970
    Readers are going to have a fun ride with this new book by Margaret Mincks. Neighborhood rivalry reaches the height of competition & hilarity as the characters strive to see just who is the best.
  • Diane Fogel
    January 1, 1970
    Great book for the Entrepreneur in all of us. A wonderful lesson on being a friend and being yourself. Cute and funny, a good book for children and the child in all of us. Looking forward to the sequel.
  • ~ Harlee ~
    January 1, 1970
    My first read in 2018!!Thank you to Goodreads, I won this book through a Goodreads Giveaway.Although I rated this three stars I probably will never read this book again. It was very cute and all, but it's a book geared towards middle schoolers. I loved the lessons that we're brought into this book about business, friendship and being honest. Overall, Payback on Poplar Lane was a great book and very cute.
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  • Seth Allen
    January 1, 1970
    A laugh out loud story about the dangers of economics. Mincks incorporates humor into the theme of the story giving it a lighter atmosphere. I don't know how many times I was laughing hysterically about this book. The characters are extremely relatable especially for aspiring young authors. Can't wait to get my hands on the next book in the series.
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  • Portia
    January 1, 1970
    I have to admit, I was nervous going into this book.  I've read some middle grade children's books lately that have had some questionable messages in them and having "payback" in the title made me worried.  But this book was great.  It's a story about how to be a good person, how to treat other people, as well as teaching kids to use their creativity to their advantage.  Minck's flips between two different characters, creating unique and silly  voices for each one.  I found myself giggling out l I have to admit, I was nervous going into this book.  I've read some middle grade children's books lately that have had some questionable messages in them and having "payback" in the title made me worried.  But this book was great.  It's a story about how to be a good person, how to treat other people, as well as teaching kids to use their creativity to their advantage.  Minck's flips between two different characters, creating unique and silly  voices for each one.  I found myself giggling out loud.
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