The Last Mall Rat

by Erik Esckilsen

Mitch Grant just wanted a job, and maybe a little respect, but at fifteen, he found both just beyond his reach. Too young to be legally employed, he knew that the only cash likely to come his way would have to pass “under the table”—through some discreet, off-the-books business arrangement. And that meant talking to the Chair, a shoe salesman at the mall famous for his skill in getting customers from “just looking” to the cash register. The Chair had hired Mitch once before for a temporary assignment—too temporary for the cash-strapped Mitch. When he goes to see the Chair this time, however, it’s the super-slick salesman who desperately needs help. The Chair is finally cracking under the strain of all that service with a smile. So Mitch proposes a deal—a way for the Chair, and other beleaguered mall workers, to combat the endless humiliation they suffer at the feet of their customers, while helping Mitch with his cash shortage. The Chair agrees to the terms, and soon Mitch has recruited his friends Page, Marcus, and Jimmy to “staff” a bold—and brash—new venture. Demand for their services skyrockets and along with it, the authorities’ alarm. Words like gang, Mall Mafia, and even terrorist start to fly. Mitch soon realizes that his small business has spiraled out of control—big time!

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN-13/ EAN: 9780544107076
  • ISBN-10: 0544107071
  • Pages: 192
  • Publication Date: 09/25/2012
  • Carton Quantity: 1

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About the Book
About the Author
Reviews
  • About the Book
    Mitch Grant just wanted a job, and maybe a little respect, but at fifteen, he found both just beyond his reach. Too young to be legally employed, he knew that the only cash likely to come his way would have to pass “under the table”—through some discreet, off-the-books business arrangement. And that meant talking to the Chair, a shoe salesman at the mall famous for his skill in getting customers from “just looking” to the cash register. The Chair had hired Mitch once before for a temporary assignment—too temporary for the cash-strapped Mitch. When he goes to see the Chair this time, however, it’s the super-slick salesman who desperately needs help. The Chair is finally cracking under the strain of all that service with a smile. So Mitch proposes a deal—a way for the Chair, and other beleaguered mall workers, to combat the endless humiliation they suffer at the feet of their customers, while helping Mitch with his cash shortage. The Chair agrees to the terms, and soon Mitch has recruited his friends Page, Marcus, and Jimmy to “staff” a bold—and brash—new venture. Demand for their services skyrockets and along with it, the authorities’ alarm. Words like gang, Mall Mafia, and even terrorist start to fly. Mitch soon realizes that his small business has spiraled out of control—big time!

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  • About the Author
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  • Reviews
    “…this clever, believable first novel captures teem boredom and frustration, while never evading the moral issues.” Booklist, ALA

    “…this may be a good fit for readers who like their novels on the dark and quirky side.” Publishers Weekly

    “This is a thoughtful exploration of the mistakes even ordinary teens can make.” School Library Journal

    “Young people will identify with why the money-making venture of Mitch and his friends has so much appeal.” VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

    “Reader’s will recognize more than a grain of truth in Esckilsen’s depiction of mall culture.” The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

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