Joe Casimir has lived with his grandmother in Willowick ever since his parents died when he was a baby. He's been happy with his life with Gran and has good friends. So, when Joe's grandmother decides they should visit Aunt Myra in Midville when school is out, the 12-year-old is reluctant to spend the summer away from his buddies--but knows that Gran gets what she wants. However, there is a wrench in the plans: Joe's grandmother falls and breaks her leg while preparing for the trip, so he is forced to make the trek to Midville alone. Gran will follow when her leg has healed.
After Joe arrives, a chase after a neighbor's dog results in the chance meeting with one of Midville's wealthiest citizens. Mr. Boulderwall is observing his 71st birthday--and knows the time will come when he must turn over his factory to someone younger. When Joe appears on his property, the elderly gentleman is impressed with the youngster--and, after inviting him and Aunt Myra to their home, makes a decision. He will adopt Joe, educate him, and groom him to be the successor to his manufacturing empire. Now the twelve-year-old has a decision to make. Is life as a millionaire the ticket to happiness? The loving people in Joe's life are affected by Mr. Boulderwall's plan, but do not offer any real guidance. It is up to Joe himself to discover what is really important in life. 160 pages Ages 10 and up
Recommended by: Barbara Karp, Librarian, New York USA