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Ernie is a twelve-year-old tycoon, always on the lookout for a fast buck. He rents skateboards, he sells used homework, he underwrites booger insurance. At the start of the book, Ernie's just watched another business venture go belly-up: (Read the last paragraph on page 1 until ".Ernie landed in the principal's office.") After the cheeseburger catastrophe, Ernie thinks up his best idea yet: pet funerals. He hires Dusty to decorate the burial boxes and Tony to dig the holes, but his prize find is Swimming Pool, a tomboy who delivers a crying jag not to be missed. But just when things are looking good, disaster strikes. Are Ernie's dreams of wealth dead and buried?
- Ernie is always dreaming up get-rich-quick schemes. Have you ever started a business? What was your idea and how did it turn out?
- Ernie's surprised to learn that funerals cost money. Did it surprise you to find out that people make money by giving funerals? What do you think about that?
- What makes Ernie's funerals a success? Is any one person - Ernie, Dusty, Tony or Swimming Pool - responsible for the success?
- Cat Lady gets angry at Ernie the first time she meets him, but later we learn she kept his advertisement for pet funerals. Why?
- Why does Swimming Pool decide to take the job as crier?
- How does she try to make herself cry during the Chester Playboy Bunny's funeral? What finally works?
- Swimming Pool and Dusty think up an elaborate way to give money to Rick. What do they do? Why? Is this a good solution?
- Does Ernie take advantage of people?
- Did Ernie make a good business decision when he refused to give Swimming Pool the raise?
- Which character are you most like in the book? Why?
- What happens at the end of the book? What does Ernie learn?
If you like this book, try
- The Confe$$ion$ and $ecret$ of Howard J. Fingerhut by Esther Hershenhorn
- I Know Who Likes You by Doug Cooney
- Double Fudge by Judy Blume
- Amelia Works It Out by Marissa Moss
- Owen Foote, Money Man by Stephanie Greene
Ben & Jerry's ice cream
Created in part with funds granted by the Oregon State Library under the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Oregon State Library.