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Estela's Swap

Estela is excited as she travels to the Swap Meet to sell her music box to earn money for dancing lessons. The unexpected happens as a wild wind sweeps away many goods of the vendors – including the paper flowers of a woman who very much likes Estela’s music box. What happens next? Will Estela sell the music box and earn enough money for her dancing lessons? In this story, Estela learns the joy of giving – and receiving.

Interested in using this resource in your classroom? Check out the posters that go along with this book: Price, Market, Supply & Demand, Trade & Money.

Author: Alexis O’Neill
Illustrator: Enrique O. Sanchez
Published: 2002
Reading Level: Gr 2
Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Comprehension Questions

What good was Estela hoping to sell at the Swap Meet? What price was she hoping to receive?

Her prized music box. $10

What other goods were vendors selling at the Swap Meet?

Flowers, hot dogs, chili, popcorn, hub caps, and many other goods not mentioned or seen in the story.

How did people determine the prices for goods sold at the Swap Meet?

People haggled. That is, they bid back and forth until a price was reached. The buyer offered a low price. The seller offered a higher price. The final price – the market price – was a middle, “compromise” price. The market price is ultimately determined by supply and demand.

A Bible verse, Proverbs 20:14, says, “Bad, bad, says the buyer, but when he goes away, then he boasts.” What do you think this means?

When a buyer haggles, he frequently lets on that he has got a bad price, but later he tells his friends what a good price he negotiated!

What price did Estela ask for her music box? Was she successful?

She asked $12, hoping to get $10. She was not yet successful, as buyers seemed to think her price was too high.

What was Estela’s plan for the next time she went to the Swap Meet?

She was going to find other goods to sell – perhaps some old games or stuffed animals.

In markets, when people make a trade or exchange, who benefits?

Both buyer and seller benefit. In the story, Papa got a hubcap, and the seller got $6. The seller wanted a high price, and Papa surely would have liked to pay less, but both ended up satisfied after the transaction. That is, both ended up with something of more value than what they gave up.

In markets, what must sellers do to be successful?

They must produce and sell goods or services that others want at a price high enough to cover their costs. If they can’t cover all their costs at the market price, they must produce some other kind of good or service.