Review- KidVenture: Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue by Steve Searfoss

Description

Teach your kids about business and economics in a fun, meaningful way and inspire them to be entrepreneurs. Millions of Americans are small business owners or work at companies, yet there are not many books that explain to kids what business is about, the way there are books for kids about being a firefighter, farmer or astronaut. Beyond basic business concepts, KidVenture shows that character matters in business. The ability to persevere when there are setbacks and being someone who is trustworthy are key ingredients of success.

In Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue, Chance Sterling launches a pool cleaning business over the summer. Join Chance as he looks for new customers, discovers how much to charge them, takes on a business partner, recruits an employee, deals with difficult clients, and figures out how to make a profit. He has twelve weeks to reach his goal. Will he make it? Only if he takes some chances.

KidVenture stories are business adventures where kids figure out how to market their company, understand risk, and negotiate. Each chapter ends with a challenge, including business decisions, ethical dilemmas and interpersonal conflict for young readers to wrestle with. As the story progresses, the characters track revenue, costs, profit margin, and other key metrics which are explained in simple, fun ways that tie into the story.



Review

Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue is the story of Chance, who during his summer break wants to save up to purchase a new bike – ‘Midnight Blue’. We see him start out cleaning his Dad’s pool for a bit of pocket money and then progress into starting his own business venture.

Throughout the book, there are learning points about starting and building a business. We read about decision-making, investments, mathematics, negotiation, teamwork, responsibility, profit margins, competitors, honesty, and learning from your mistakes. All are presented and explained perfectly for children to understand.

There are many humourous moments, and there themes around dynamics within his family, sibling rivalry, and maintaining friendships.

Each chapter ends with a problem or dilemma to overcome, and questions to prompt reflection and further investigation.

I love that this book teaches so much about budgeting and handling money, it is an important skill to obtain for adulthood. So much is taught in school around the ‘traditional’ subjects, but little to do with day-to-day life skills (at least in the UK). This book is informative on these topics whilst remaining fun and enjoyable to read.

All in all, it is a really fun and inspirational summertime story! (It has made me want to start my own business, just need to come up with some ideas first!)

I would highly recommend for children aged 10+.

Thank you so much to Steve Searfoss for sending me the copy to review, I’m intrigued to see where the series will lead next.


Author Biography

I wrote my first KidVenture book after years of making up stories to teach my kids about business and economics. Whenever they’d ask how something works or why things were a certain way, I would say, “Let’s pretend you have a business that sells…” and off we’d go.

What would start as a simple hypothetical to explain a concept would become an adventure spanning several days as my kids would come back with new questions which would spawn more plot twists. Rather than give them quick answers, I tried to create cliffhangers to get them to really think through an idea and make the experience as interactive as possible.

I try to bring that same spirit of fun, curiosity and challenge to each KidVenture book. That’s why every chapter ends with a dilemma and a set of questions. KidVenture books are fun for kids to read alone, and even more fun to read together and discuss. There are plenty of books where kids learn about being doctors and astronauts and firefighters. There are hardly any where they learn what it’s like to run small business. KidVenture is different. The companies the kids start are modest and simple, but the themes are serious and important.

I’m an entrepreneur who has started a half dozen or so businesses and have had my share of failures. My dad was an entrepreneur and as a kid I used to love asking him about his business and learning the ins and outs of what to do and not do. Mistakes make the best stories — and the best lessons. I wanted to write a business book that was realistic, where you get to see the characters stumble and wander and reset, the way entrepreneurs do in real life. Unlike most books and movies where business is portrayed as easy, where all you need is one good idea and the desire to be successful, the characters in KidVenture find that every day brings new problems to solve.

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