Daisy in the Doghouse
by Joe Barrett
Black Rose Writing

"'You don’t hate the people, Jack,' she calls from the other room. 'You hate the system. The people are just collateral damage.'"

Daisy Sullivan is a 12-year-old girl with a popular blog, Daisy in the Doghouse. Her “social experiments” that she subjects her parents to are the source for much entertainment until they catch wise to what Daisy’s been up to. In need of a new angle, Daisy’s father Jack sees an opportunity to tell her audience about a financial system that he feels is corrupt and which he has experienced and exploited firsthand. Almost overnight, Daisy’s blog explodes into a full-blown social movement, bent on empowering those who try to help others every day and shame those that make a living by exploiting a broken system and the labor of others. Now an overnight celebrity, Daisy as well as her family must figure out the best way to continue the message and try to keep their lives normal even as they manage to change the world around them.

A truly modern tale of Internet celebrity and instant fame, what makes this story so eminently enjoyable is the depth and dimension of each of its characters. The Sullivan family is dynamic in a way that rings wholly authentic, most preeminently in Daisy’s preteen blend of disappointment in the world and belief that things can be fixed if people just apply themselves. While approaching the narrative humorously and fictitiously, it’s hard not to read about the societal change created by Daisy and her movement and think that it would solve many ills in our real world as well. It would have been an easy storytelling crutch to lean on the establishment as an antagonist to the Sullivan family’s plans, but wisely this is largely eschewed, creating a read that is uplifting, inspiring, and sure to put a smile on the faces of its readers (unless they’re investment bankers, maybe).

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