Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich, is about a journalist who decides to go undercover to find out what it really is like to be poor. From 1998 to 2000, she gives up her upper-middle class life style and attempts to survive on low wage jobs. She experiments in Florida, working two jobs as a waitress and a hotel maid, she finds the work too much physically demanding. However, in Maine, she does better. As a housekeeper server and a s an aide in a nursing home, she is able to keep up with her rents and eat enough. In the last state, Minnesota, she is unsuccessful. Working at Wal-Mart, she is unable to meet ends. She is also unable to find a vacant apartment and is forced to stay at costly hotels. In the end, she summarizes by saying she could maybe survived in the long run but the work was both physically and mentally challenging. This story was very entertaining and enjoyable. A must read and a page turner. It is a true story and therefore gives valuable insight to the conditions of the poor and low-wage workers. I recommend it to everyone looking for something interesting to read.
-Reviewed by Manuk, grade 9.