Got five cents?

Kids are fascinating, which is why I like to write for them. As they explore the world and begin to interact with it, we get to watch an evolution.

My daughter is learning she can be involved in changing the world. I’m taking notes. It’s good material.

Inspired by the presidential election, she lobbied her friends to vote Obama. She wore a blazer to school because it made her look presidential. (Note: Obama lost her school’s mock election, but she worked it hard.)

Now she has a new cause. I’d like to say she’s fighting for the homeless or concerned about fracking. It’s not that noble. Appalled by the cost of American Girl dolls ($100), she’s started a petition asking the company to lower the price to $25.

And what determination. She’s after 1,000 signatures. (Doesn’t this sound like something Ramona Quimby or Junie B. Jones would do?)

I thought about explaining the concepts of supply and demand and corporate greed. But that’s not learning, that’s lecturing. As a writer, I know kids can’t stand a lecture. They’ll sniff out attempts to turn a story into a “lesson.” And if they smell it, goodbye book.

So, my daughter grasps the concept of petitioning and advocacy. She’s still a little fuzzy about how it works.

But she understands capitalism. Here’s the deal: if you want to sign her petition, you have to pay her five cents. That’s $50 if she gets 1,000 signatures. If the American Girl Doll company lowers the price from $100 to $25, she could buy two dolls.

She’s really, really good at math.

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