Simmons, Michael. Pool Boy. Brookfield, CT: Roaring Brook Press, 2003.
I absolutely LOVED this book. It got a starred review from School Library Journal, but, like with the last book, the cover kept me from picking it up until now. I plan to buy several copies and booktalk it next year!
Brett is a rich, spoiled kid who gets everything he wants and has never had to work a day in his life. That is, until his father is convicted of a white collar crime and goes to prison, leaving him and his mother and sister with no money. He hates his father for taking away everything he had and frequently calls him an idiot and is mean to him during visits.
In order to survive, Brett gets a job in a fast food joint, which doesn't last long, due mostly to his bad attitude. He is quickly hired by Alfie, an old eccentric man, who owns a pool cleaning business. During his time with Alfie, Brett learns a lot about life and grows up.
The story is a great one but it is enhanced by the fact that it is told in the first person point of view. Brett is a really sarcastic kid, and he tells it like it is. He is also spoiled which comes out in how he says things. He is also very funny. This point of view really adds to the story and makes it even better.