Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue by Steve Searfoss

Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue by Steve Searfoss
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Contemporary, Middle Grade (8 – 12 y.o.), Young Adult (14 – 18 y.o.), Economics, Business
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Snowdrop

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.

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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.

The synopsis of this book tells you much of what this book might be about. However, I think I can tell you what this book seemed like to a “grown-up”. One like me I suppose. I think this is reading for a 10- to 14-year-old depending on their reading skills. Although there is a theme of learning to manage and understand money, there is also a story here. Making it flow. Making it read like a story about a boy and his family and friends. This is not a textbook. It might accomplish more than a textbook, but it doesn’t have that somewhat dry academic type of flow. The POV is always from Chance, the kid who wants a new bike and wants to find a way to buy it. I think this kid’s perspective is what it needs to hold the attention of middle grade or young YA readers.

While this is well-written and easy to read, there is something it accomplishes much more than merely learning about money, or math, or business. It provides numerous opportunities for conversation between parents and children. Short sentences like “What would you do?” “What would be the benefits?” leave open doors for discussion. What is a short 128 page book, can be shaped in many ways.

No wonder Steve Searfoss is such a successful entrepreneur. It takes the ability to communicate on many subjects to many ages, and he seems to be able to do so. I hope more KidVenture books are forthcoming.

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