Penny to a Million is a truly great book for younger readers (with two boys of my own currently ages 9 and 13, I would recommend it for ages 10-16). IPenny to a Million is a truly great book for younger readers (with two boys of my own currently ages 9 and 13, I would recommend it for ages 10-16). It begins with, and is mostly, the story of how one boy explores several different ways to make money, ranging from a mini store in a backpack, to an afterschool study center for kids, to your more usual car wash and booth at a fair ideas. Because so many different categories of small businesses are covered in fairly good detail (yet still at a level young readers can easily follow and enjoy reading about), it gives a good, broad range of ideas. This increases the story's chances of giving every reader at least one entrepreneurial example they can get excited about as well. It also shows that entrepreneurs can try lots of varying businesses, instead of only a few. It then wraps up with a nonfiction section on the basics of entrepreneurship for readers who want to know more outside of a fictional story setting.
As a "serial entrepreneur" myself with two children as previously stated, I found so many things to love about this story. The first is how the author did not talk down to his readers, but rather spoke to them as if they were adults with limited financial training. My kids can smell a patronizing tone a mile away, and they really liked the tone of this book because it respected their intelligence without demanding they have a lot of financial knowledge already. On the other hand, while he briefly touched on some fairly complex topics (such as dealing with the realization that your financial views are much different from your parents', and whether to give money to the poor or try to teach them how to earn more on their own), the author didn't dive so deep in these areas as to alienate younger readers like other financial thinking books might.
Having read a good chunk of entrepreneurial and financial intelligence books, including Rich Dad Poor Dad and Rich Dad Poor Dad for Teens, I would say this is the perfect first book to teach kids how to get started thinking as entrepreneurs. At times (especially when the young hero chatted with his grandfather and got a lot of tough love advice—and occasionally a lack of advice as another form of tough love to force the hero to figure things out on his own), Penny to a Million strongly reminded me of Rich Dad Poor Dad for Teens. But Penny to a Million is a better starter book for younger readers, IMHO, because it doesn't get so wrapped up in choosing an area of a financial grid to be in or more advanced financial stuff. Also, Rich Dad Poor Dad for Teens had only one or two examples of businesses that kids can start and run on their own and didn't go into a lot of detail on them, while Penny to a Million has several and makes detailing the hero's journey and discoveries with them the main focus of the book. Plus, the hero in Penny to a Million even takes your more mundane ideas such as a car wash or booth at a fair and adds to them, showing readers how they can take these ideas to a higher level (such as hiring employees or diversifying your product selection) and get creative with such basic opportunities to make even more income for themselves.
Penny to a Million is a great inspiration that gets (at least my two boys) excited about finding ways to make your own money without relying on your parents to give you an allowance to supply all your income. I would definitely recommend it to any young reader interested in finding ways to achieve their own financial freedom. ...more
Loved it! Every chapter had something that made me laugh.
Not a fan of the cover, though, which (on the ebook version I got from Amazon) was obviouslyLoved it! Every chapter had something that made me laugh.
Not a fan of the cover, though, which (on the ebook version I got from Amazon) was obviously just some images slapped together. I actually was horrified to see on the copyright page that a cover design company was credited for this design...it would have been forgivable if the author had cut and pasted it together herself. But the sales description on Ebookbub hooked me, the longer summary at Amazon reeled me in, and the story itself was good enough to make me speed read through it in two days on top of my own crazy writing schedule.
I really loved the initial premise of a mother of three also working secretly as an assassin. And I dearly loved the little "handbook tips" that introduce each chapter that took an already great story concept and excellent title and expanded on it. Really great device, and almost every single one of these "tips" made me either smile or outright laugh.
I wasn't as thrilled when the relationship between the heroine and substitute hubby devolved into a very Mr and Mrs Smith knockoff type of thing, as I thought the heroine really ought to grow up a bit and act more mature and professional rather than throwing cleavers and raw meat at the guy (not to mention a supposedly experienced assassin who claims to be big on planning really ought to have a little bit better impulse control). For me, these scenes came across as pretty darn contrived for drama and action's sake and earned more than a few eye rolls from me. I also groaned out loud when the ten year old son said they should see a marriage counselor, as this did not sound at all like anything either of my boys (ages 13 and 8) would ever say to me. But maybe this kind of dialogue is authentic for kids who grow up in a rich suburbia as described in this story? Having never grown up in a place like that nor raised my kids there, I wouldn't know.
However, I appreciated the twists that the author tried to work into the plot, even if they weren't hidden very well and were immediately obvious to me (that could be my writer mind's fault and due to my inability to "shut off the machine" when I read). And though the general ending was also expected, along with the cliffhanger hook to help sell the next book, the writing style and emotional detail made up for it by making it feel a bit more real even if the ending could be seen a mile away. I could tell the author put a lot of effort into trying to make the less than imaginative plot feel as authentic as possible with a lot of emotional depth that most spy thrillers don't even bother to try to show. Also, two very enthusiastic thumbs up and a big reader thank you to the author for taking the effort to include the million and one spy gadgets, spy protocol, and fashion tidbits throughout this story! These details made the story a lot of fun to read and helped me remember to suspend my disbelief and just have fun reading it.
So although the plot didn't surprise me in any way, I still thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it to others who are looking for a spy thriller from a female character's point of view with lots of action and romance and emotional depth (and of course anyone who liked the movie Mr and Mrs Smith!). And I've already got this author's Totlandia loaded on my tablet and all cued up for reading next....more