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Major moral flaw in the book (Spoiler)
on February 18, 2014
Just read this book as leader of my son's 2nd grade book club. The kid enters the contest by submitting his friend's poem as his own, yet this is never addressed morally in the book. This is fraud, and should have disqualified his entry into the contest, whether the friend gave him permission or not. It definitely came across to me that everyone, aside from the main character, the poem writer and their families, assumed the main character had written the poem.
To quote the book, page 20, "All you had to do to enter the contest was send in ten Finkle box tops and an original poem about Finkles. The kid with the best poem would be chosen to shoot the million dollar shot."
I know the book does not mention the specific rules for the contest, other than it's not open to employees of the company or their family members, but most of us know that, in a real life contest such as this, it is implied, if not outright stated, that the contest applicant is required to be the writer of the poem. Technically, you could say this book doesn't mention that so we can't assume it, but I still have a problem with how it is portrayed in the story. To me, the friend is the one who should have submitted that poem and taken the basketball shot.
This is not something I want my son being taught as "OK," and it is the main point of the whole book that I will always remember--which is sad.