Tag Archives: middle-school

KidVenture: Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue by Steve Searfoss (Book Review)

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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.

 
 
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 
Whether you are opening a roadside lemon stand, mowing grass, babysitting, or embarking on a larger-scale business, your child should read KidVenture: Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue (Vol. 1) by Steve Searfoss.

When Steve Searfoss said, “Math is your friend,” he couldn’t have been more correct. In business, you need to understand key terms such as profit and loss, expenses, and venture capitalist. These words and many other words used in KidVenture: Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue (Vol. 1) would be perfect glossary and spelling words for a classroom setting. 
 
Extended Activity: Have your students create a flyer like Addie did and present it to the class. Homeschool students can also partake in this activity! 


Math lesson: Steve Searfoss offers various scenarios in which Chance can make more money by gaining more customers or increasing rates. He also discusses unexpected expenses. It’s broken down in a simple format. Extend the math lesson by importing your own prices and have the students solve the equations.  

 

KidVenture: Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue (KidVenture Vol. 1) also offers numerous discussion questions at the end of each chapter. Example: “How could you get more leverage?” “Would you take on a new partner? Why?”
With all the possibilities for extended learning activities, I encourage ALL households and schools to add and use this book. It’s a great learning tool, plus the story is very entertaining. Even the illustrations are fantastic. 
My score will be a 5, but I wish I could give it more. Outstanding job, Steve Searfoss.  
 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
❤❤ (deserves more) 
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:

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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.

 
Connect with the Author:
 
 

 

 

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Alicia Connected: Tricked with Treats by Derek Fisher (Book Review)

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Halloween is here, and it is Alicia’s favorite time of year. What’s not to like about dressing up in a costume and getting free candy? But there is something even more exciting happening this year. For the first time, Alicia and her friends are throwing a virtual party in TullyTown!

Putting together a party in TullyTown isn’t easy, and Alicia and her friends want to do the best they can to make sure it is enjoyed by plenty of avatars in TullyTown. For one of Alicia’s friends, getting ready to throw a TullyTown party leads to looking for easy treats. But what if it’s a trick?

Alicia has been using her tablet for a while and is getting more used to how to use the technology. However, there is always something new for her and her friends to learn.

 
 
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Online gaming is fun, but kids must learn the dangers they’ll face and how to protect themselves. In Alicia Connected Tricked with Treats, Derek Fisher has Mr. Mark use props to demonstrate the importance of online safety. I won’t detail what he used or how he used them because they are vital parts of the story. However, I will say Mr. Mark emphasizes the importance of securing your phone and tablet with a strong password. Of course, he informed the class never to give it out to strangers online. Hackers do not care what age the victim is — they only want to steal your information and accounts. 


Derek Fisher discussed hot topics that parents should be going over with their children before starting online apps. It’s fun to earn credits, buy items, interact with friends online, but children must be prepared for online dangers just as much as they are for real-life ones. 


On a happier note, I loved Alicia’s robot costume. As a mother of a crafty child, this is something she’d make in a heartbeat. After I pass this book onto her, I’m sure she’ll be running off to the craft room to start the process of making her own robo costume. 🙂

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
 
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Fisher is an award-winning author who has spent decades in the computer engineering field, with the last 10 years in cybersecurity as a leader, speaker, and instructor. His passion has been to take complex security topics and make them simple and easy to understand. He holds several security certifications and teaches cybersecurity at Temple University, where he is also an external advisory board member to the cybersecurity program. Alicia Connected: Tricked With Treats is the first book in the Alicia Connected series. The first book, Alicia Connected: The Big Gift, was a second-place recipient of the prestigious Purple Dragonfly Award in the STEM category.
 

Connect with the Author:  Author’s Website ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

 
 
 
 
 

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Alicia Connected: The Big Gift by Derek Fisher (Book Review)

Alicia has finally entered a new world of technology when her parents give her a tablet for her birthday. She has watched and listened to her friends who have already been enjoying the games and apps in a connected world that Alicia has yet to experience. Until now. But using technology can bring a set of challenges that are new to both Alicia and her parents. Understanding the different apps and games and how to use them properly can be tricky. Will Alicia know how to use it in a way that is fun and allows her to connect with her friends while being safe and secure? Both her and her parents will face the excitement and challenges together as she jumps headfirst into using her new tablet.
 
 
 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Apps, games, and social networking sites can be overwhelming for first-time users. Kids rely on each other a lot to navigate this world. IMHO, online apps/games are a money pit. The dad in Alicia Connected: The Big Gift by Derek Fisher was correct when he stated that the price tags attached in online gaming stores were high. It’s true, you can work to earn merchandise, but Alicia learned pretty fast that it’d take forever to acquire an item on your own. These game developers bank on you, the player, spending real money on fake things. Kids, like adults, shell out a lot to purchase levels and bling. 


Other truths in Alicia Connected: The Big Gift, there are some crazy people on the internet, and you definitely don’t know everyone you are talking to online. I appreciate Derek Fisher discussing safety precautions and stating the parent (his the story) would be monitoring their daughter’s activity on the apps. Derek Fisher also pointed out how kids are becoming more consumed with the number of followers and likes. Heck, adults are the same way. So many people want to be the next internet star/influencer. 


I miss the good old days of atari and rotary phones. 😀


While Alicia Connected: The Big Gift has a lot of beneficial information told in an entertaining way, the best part was the final moments. I won’t say what happened, but it was sweet…and a wee bit funny. 


On a side note: The similarities between my daughter and Alicia were uncanny. She’s addicted to animal videos, making slime, has glow-in-the-dark stickers on her ceiling, and loves to turn trash into treasures. My daughter uses online videos to inspire her next craft project. 🙂


I highly recommend this book to all middle-school students! 


Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

Kindle Purchase LinkPrint Purchase Link 
B&N ~ IndieBound
Author Website

 
 
Meet the Author
Author Derek Fisher
Derek Fisher has spent decades in the computer engineering field with the last decade in cybersecurity as a leader, speaker, and instructor. His passion has been to take complex security topics and make them simple and easy to understand. He holds several security certifications and teaches cybersecurity at Temple University where he is also an external advisory board member to the cybersecurity program.

connect with the author: website facebook goodreads

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The New Enchantress: Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions Book Three by Sunayna Prasad (Book Review)

The New Enchantress (Alyssa McCarthy Magical Missions #3) by Sunayna Prasad

(Ages 9-14)

 
The point of no return has come!


It’s the summer before high school and life is about to change for fourteen-year-old Alyssa McCarthy. A sorcerer hexes her with everlasting powers, requiring her to become an enchantress. If she cannot learn to control her magic pronto, she will forget her loved ones and serve as the warlock’s eternal slave.

In order to control her powers, Alyssa must gain control of her emotions. With the struggles of adolescence and disasters everywhere, catastrophes are bound to happen! It’s only a matter of time before Alyssa’s world changes, for better or worse…

 
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 Kobo ~ Apple
Add to Goodreads
 
 

Alex, Alyssa’s godfather

I received a complimentary copy of this book from 
iRead Book Tours.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
I knew before starting The New Enchantress (Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions, Book 3) by Sunayna Prasad there were going to be some intense scenes and mild language. There was a lot of yelling, fighting, and physical altercations. I know Alyssa did hurt or cause problems with her powers, but no one taught her how to use them properly. I don’t think staying calm is the only answer for this young teen’s magical problems. I felt so bad for her. She was under a great deal of stress, and everyone was either mad or disappointed in her for most of the story. 

People didn’t apologize or 100% support her until the last 1/3 of the book. I’m happy they finally did because I was not thrilled when Sydney (teen) said, “No one forgives anyone for hurting others.” I don’t believe this is true. The kids’ parents (in the story) agreed, “…you shouldn’t blame others for things they can’t control.”


Like with the first two books in the series, there were highs and lows. I’ve mentioned the lows above, so I’d like to point out a few highs. 
 

Highs:
 

Hologram calls were nifty, and I’m sure it’ll become a reality soon enough.

Who wouldn’t love a hovercraft?! My daughter would love one in green. 

Friends will argue, so it was lovely to see friends putting aside their anger, banding together, and becoming friends again. 

The New Enchantress also emphasized the importance of listening to others and teamwork. Plus, yelling at others rarely solves a problem. More often than not, it makes a problem/situation worse. 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Sunayna Prasad
 
Sunayna Prasad enjoys writing fantasy books for children, as well as cooking, creating artwork, watching online videos, and blogging. She has also written The Frights of Fiji, and A Curse of Mayhem. She constantly in creating and brainstorming new ideas.
 
Connect with the Author:   website ~ twitter goodreads
 
 

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A Curse of Mayhem: Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions Book 2 by Sunayna Prasad (Book Review)

A CURSE OF MAYHEM by Sunayna Prasad

Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12),  173 pages


History, like magic, has a habit of repeating itself.


It’s been six months since thirteen-year-old Alyssa McCarthy left magic behind for good. Or so she thought…

Then the enchanted objects that protected her disappear. Now a skeleton named Errol has cursed her with magical powers that keep getting her in trouble. Suddenly strange things are happening with disastrous effects, and if Alyssa can’t remove the magic, she will lose everything she holds dear. In order to get rid of her unwanted wizardry, Alyssa will have to boost her bravery and confidence and determine who Errol really is. But every time Alyssa uses an enchantment, Errol is one step closer to getting his flesh back and becoming alive, and he will do anything to achieve his goals…even if it means destroying Alyssa’s happiness.

Originally published in 2016 as “Wizardry Goes Wild” and “The Unruly Curse” in 2019, “A Curse of Mayhem” is book two in the exciting and suspenseful “Magical Missions” series.

 
BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Kobo
Add to Goodreads
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from 
iRead Book Tours.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 

Since my (pre-teen) daughter gave me such valuable feedback regarding The Frights of Fiji, I enlisted her again in the review for A Curse of Mayhem (Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions, Book 2). 

 

Cover:  She thought the winged person was creepy and didn’t understand who it was supposed to be since she didn’t recall a flying kid in the story. The birdman didn’t bother her; in fact, she thought he looked comical. 

Plot:  We both agreed there were plot holes again. We didn’t understand how Alex, the godfather, forgot about magic and Alyssa’s kidnapping. 
We weren’t sure how mortals could be so confused magic exists when there is a magical zoo in Nebraska. 


Characters:  
She liked the winged unicorn-zebra, and so did I.  

 

Extras:  We both agreed the community service hours for students are a good idea. It teaches young people to take care of our world, and it’s important to take care of your community/people. However, realistically, I don’t think many schools will make it a requirement for school. Maybe for a class, though. 

While there were some hits and misses in this story, it was more enjoyable than The Frights of Fiji. It did represent how I believe a person would react to unwanted powers and the lack of control over them. 

On a final note: My daughter said the ending was “Ahhh, so sweet.”  She’s right; it was adorable. 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤1/2
 
BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Kobo
Add to Goodreads
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Sunayna Prasad
 
Sunayna Prasad enjoys writing fantasy books for children, as well as cooking, creating artwork, watching online videos, and blogging. She has also written The Frights of Fiji, and A Curse of Mayhem. She constantly in creating and brainstorming new ideas.
 
Connect with the Author:   website ~ twitter goodreads
 
 

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