Title: Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue
Author: Steve Searfoss
Series: KidVenture, book 1
Major Themes: Money, Business, Jobs, Careers, Math
Synopsis: Chance needs money to buy something he wants, and in the process of getting it, he learns a lot about business and people!
Sometimes when I request a book for review, I’m taking a chance because I’ve never read anything by the author, and can’t even preview the book on Amazon. If the book is a children’s book, and looks like it might be good, I often request it anyway. Some of those turn out to be really good—and some don’t. My mom had the chance to read my most recent gamble before I did. What she had to say was quite reassuring—and made me want to read the book myself! She said, “I really liked Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue. It introduces basic business principles in story form—using a 10-year-old entrepreneur—in a sufficiently interesting way to keep me reading! I especially appreciated the involvement of the Dad, and the son’s respect for what he had to say.” Whew! I was relieved to hear this.
Chance’s father asked him to clean the pool at the beginning of summer, for $10. That was a good deal, thought Chance, but he was surprised when it needed to be done the next week! Well, he had already spent the money, so he did the job again. Soon, he decided he wanted to save enough to buy a Midnight Blue bike—but how long would it take to save up enough? Would you believe, his dad made him do the math himself! Chance quickly realized he would have to find more ways of making money if he wanted that bike before school started. Off he set on a new adventure: He needed to learn how to build and run a business.
Before the end of summer, Chance and his little sister had learned how to find customers. They knew how to treat people and how to screen out jobs they really didn’t want. They knew how to design advertising, and how to figure profit and loss. And they were having fun doing it all! They even made some new friends in the process.
I really liked Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue, too. I like the way it clearly explains how businesses work. The importance of treating people nicely and fairly is stressed all the way through. Chance learns the value of honesty. He learns how valuable it is to get along with his sister and listen to his parents. He learns the importance of knowing his math and how math works in real life. He even learns how good it feels to go beyond the call of duty and help someone out! There are a lot of life lessons in this book, beyond just running a business.
All the way through this book, there are pictures of Chance’s calculations and how he worked out what his profits were, and what percentage of his earnings needed to go toward expenses, or what his pay was per hour. Each chapter ends with a dilemma that Chance faced, and a few questions to help children think through what was happening and what Chance should do next. This book is very well-written; I would like my children to read it for themselves! If I have the opportunity to read more books by Steve Searfoss, I will certainly do so!
I received a review copy of this book from CelebrateLit, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, Family Friendly
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15