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The Startup Squad #1

The Startup Squad

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Girls mean business in a brand-new series about friendship and entrepreneurship that Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medal-winning author of The One and Only Ivan , calls “A great read!”

All the great leaders had to start somewhere. And Teresa (“Resa” for short) is starting with the lemonade stand competition her teacher assigned to the class―but making it a success is going to be a lot harder than Resa thinks.

The line-skipping tickets to Adventure Central. The Val, Resa's middle school nemesis. And the biggest obstacle to Resa's own teammates. Harriet is the class clown, Amelia is the new girl who thinks she knows best, and Didi is Resa's steadfast friend―who doesn't know the first thing about making or selling lemonade. The four of them quickly realize that the recipe for success is tough to perfect―but listening to each other is the first step. And making new friends might be the most important one...

The back of each book in this middle-grade series features tips from the Startup Squad and an inspirational profile of a girl entrepreneur!

An Imprint Book

"An inspiring story about entrepreneurial girls. I loved this story of girls finding their way in the world of entrepreneurship." ―Ann M. Martin, author of the Baby-Sitters Club series and Newbery Honor winner A Corner of the Universe

“ The Startup Squad encourages girls to dream big, work hard, and rely on each other to make good things happen. It teaches them how to succeed―and reminds all of us that girls mean business!”―Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org

“A great read that is fast-paced, fun, and empowering. The Startup Squad comes complete with a treasure trove of tips for starting a business.” ―Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medal-winning author of The One and Only Ivan

This title has common core connections.

176 pages, Hardcover

First published May 7, 2019

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About the author

Brian Weisfeld

7 books44 followers
Brian Weisfeld has been building businesses his entire life. In elementary school, he bought 95 pounds of gummy bears and hired his friends to sell them. As a teen, he made and sold mixtapes (ask your parents what those are), sorted baseball cards (he got paid in cards), babysat four days a week after school, and sold nuts and dried fruit (and more gummy bears) in a neighborhood store. As an adult, Brian helped build a number of well-known billion-dollar companies including IMAX Corporation and Coupons.com. Brian is the Founder and Chief Squad Officer of The Startup Squad, an initiative dedicated to empowering girls to realize their potential, whatever their passions. Brian lives in Silicon Valley and can often be found eating gummy bears with his wife while watching his two daughters sell lemonade from the end of their driveway.

Visit www.thestartupsquad.com to watch videos of over 80 amazing girl CEOs, get activities and guides for the series, and see tips and resources for your child's first business.

Learn more about The Startup Squad at @thestartupsquad on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok and more!

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5 stars
55 (40%)
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51 (37%)
3 stars
24 (17%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 50 reviews
Profile Image for Gigi.
406 reviews20 followers
May 14, 2019
This was a fun read. It gave me The Babysitters Club vibes! I think it's a book that should be included in the classroom for grades 3-6 to help inspire young entrepreneurs, especially young girls, while teaching the importance of working as a team.

The inner kid in me wished there were pictures to go along with the story.
Profile Image for Lorie Barber.
557 reviews36 followers
March 17, 2019
Thank you to the publisher for this ARC of The StartUp Squad to share with my reading group in exchange for an honest review.
Although I loved the main character’s realizations and change as she and her team made mistakes and learned from them, I had a bit of trouble with the stereotyping of girls infighting and being bossy. Had Resa been a male character, would she have been painted as a leader and not as bossy? So while I do like that Resa learned to listen to the ideas of others - an important skill when working with others - she was also portrayed as a singularly prickly character. In 5th grade, students read characters that are complex and multidimensional, and these four girls seemed to fit more singular stories, and that can be troublesome.
The book did have the squad learn some lessons that kids really need: failure is how you learn to succeed, be resilient when you take a hit, friendship is more important than winning. These lessons are central in being able to work through troubles in life, both personally and with other people, and it was great to see the squad coming together to figure those things out.
Have to sit with this one for a bit, and decide whether the lessons learned outweigh the stereotypes.
7,495 reviews28 followers
October 27, 2020
First in a series that encourages girls to work through difficulties and become entrepreneurs. Resa and Didi are best friends who are put in a group with Harriet and the new girl, Amelia. Their class has to sell lemonade as a fundraiser and the winning group gets the special prize from the big field trip to the amusement park. Through trials, arguments and then working together, these four figure out what is really important and how to work as a team. Though they lose the contest, they gain a better understanding about what is important.
Profile Image for Nicole M. M..
Author 1 book290 followers
June 3, 2021
This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

This series is a super fun way for kids to learn about starting a business. The story in this first book follows Resa, whose super-competitive nature kicks into overdrive during a class competition for the best lemonade stand. Resa is excited that her best friend Didi is on her team, but she's not so sure about scatterbrained Harriet or stuffy new-girl Amanda. Resa has to learn that she can't call all the shots, which is a hard lesson for her. The book highlights how everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and for a business to thrive it has to take advantage of everyone's strengths. Friendship and teamwork are key themes.

Each book in the series ends with a section with entrepreneurial tips and a spotlight on a real-life girl entrepreneur for inspiration! Kids can learn a lot from this back matter, and it’s presented in an easy-to-digest matter so they won’t skip it.

***Disclosure: I received these books from the publisher via Media Masters Publicity for review purposes. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
Profile Image for Naomi Milliner.
Author 2 books72 followers
June 24, 2019
This book will not only be enjoyed; it will be inspiring. Young readers (especially girls) are sure to relate to at least one, if not all, of the four heroines. There is plenty of humor, a page-turning plot, and helpful tips about marking, sales, location (location! location!) and merchandising. "The only true failure is not trying."
Profile Image for Sophia.
5 reviews
January 11, 2021
the startup Squad is a classic book about entrepreneurship. I read it because I was going to make a business at the children's business Fair Mechanicsburg on november 7 2020. three girls make a lemonade business for school. they're in a contest, trying to compete against another group. but sadly, the other group wins. one of the team members Brothers form a band. their band helps them make some money. it does not get them a lot, but it gets them more than nothing. that is the good part.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
22 reviews1 follower
March 2, 2021
I LOVED this book!!
So many great messages, a diverse range of characters, relationships, and an overall wonderful story.
I especially liked the super helpful and practical tips for kids at the end who might want to start their own business, as well as the spotlight feature on a young girl who has her own business & her advice and tips for other kids!
This story has been a real inspiration to my own writing. It’s a book that inspires me to write more, write well and make a difference!
Can you tell how much I loved it? Read this book!!!
Profile Image for Alvina.
729 reviews18 followers
August 10, 2021
I read this with my daughter. She enjoyed it and it was really relatable and very entertaining for her and me. Great read for ages 8-12.
Profile Image for Olivia.
3,139 reviews81 followers
June 17, 2019
See my full review here: http://www.yabookscentral.com/kidsfic...

THE STARTUP SQUAD follows primarily Theresa (Resa) as she and a group of three other girls compete in a contest to make money for the sixth grade trip. The sixth grade trip this year is to a theme park, and so fundraising is in order! This year, the students have been selected into groups and will compete with lemonade stands. Of course, there are rules to follow, but the group who makes the most money will get VIP tickets to the theme park with souvenirs and fast passes.

Resa badly wants to win, but she is not happy about two of the girls on her team. Luckily, her BFF Didi is there also. Resa has a lot to learn about being a leader and running a business, and the journey won’t be easy. Can they pull it off and sell the most lemonade?

What I loved: It’s always fun to read about girls who take charge and who learn how to run a business. There are some cool pointers scattered throughout the book on how to make a successful business as well as how it works with profits and expenses. The diversity of the main characters was also great, featuring several ethnicities/races.

What left me wanting more: There is a lot of arguing between the girls, and this seemed a bit over the top at times. I think a couple pointed discussions could have gotten the same message across. A large part of the book was arguments. It also would have been nice to have a girl show strong leadership from the get-go, as some of the personalities felt a bit stereotypical, but this is learned during the book.

Final verdict: With some great lessons about running a business, THE STARTUP SQUAD is a fun introduction to what it takes. The pointers at the end of the book are also a great addition! I would recommend for readers who enjoy BABYSITTERS CLUB and other similar books with relationship dynamics and a common goal.
Profile Image for Kelly.
460 reviews2 followers
September 8, 2019
@kidlitexchange # partner - In a very cool, interactive book-website-contest initiative, entrepreneur Brian Weisfeld and acclaimed children’s author Nicole C. Kear have teamed up to create THE STARTUP SQUAD.
Type A Teresa (Resa) Lopez has been conditioned since embryohood to be an entrepreneur and is sure she can crush archnemesis Val in the class lemonade stand competition.
She’s excited to team up BFF Indira (Didi) but struggles to work with unknown quantities fellow know-it-all Type A new girl Amelia and artsy, loud, poster-child-for-ADHD Harriet.
The team’s struggles to agree on strategy take up most of the book, and those parts drag a bit until the reader more than gets the : messageteamwork, consensus, and learning to pivot after mistakes are key to success in business. However, the over-the-top descriptions of the rival lemonade stands (all run by dream teams of overachievers... I want to move to this town!) and their antics carry the story.

To note, at least the Squad are of diverse ethnic backgrounds; last names don’t seem to be mentioned for other characters. That said, race/ethnicity seem to be a non-issue in their idyllic and presumably affluent community.

I love the delivery of the larger program, and STARTUP SQUAD is a fun read in that context.
I just wish they’d make a series like this to teach entrepreneurship to boys! But that’s discussion.

THE STARTUP SQUAD is out now from Imprint books, and Brian's TED talks on his inspiration for the series come highly recommended by yours truly.

Profile Image for Valerie McEnroe.
1,540 reviews48 followers
September 28, 2019
I have to admit, this book was a slow start for me. The topic is great, entrepreneurship, but I wasn't thrilled with the lemonade stand concept. Lemonade stands are quite outdated, especially for 6th graders.

Resa, Didi, Harriet, and Amelia are grouped together for the class competition to see who can make the most money selling lemonade. Resa and Didi are already best friends, but Harriet is annoying, and Amelia is the new girl, so Resa is worried. She really wants to win the VIP tickets on the class trip, so she has a hard time listening to other ideas. She thinks she has all the answers. Disaster upon disaster continues to occur. The lemon squeezer breaks. The location isn't working out. The pitcher spills. The group can't agree on anything. Everyone's mad at Resa for being so bossy. In a nutshell, the team is losing big time. Finally, Resa takes some advice from someone with experience and it pays off.

Definitely a timely book. Everyone is into entrepreneurship these days. A great little book for 4th graders to learn about the ups and downs of starting a business. There's a useful addendum with business tips at the end. I'm looking forward to finding out what their next business venture will be.
Profile Image for Kristi Bernard.
1,407 reviews18 followers
September 2, 2021
Theresa, who prefers to go by Resa, is ambitious and studious. Her teacher Mrs. Davis’s is taking the class on a field trip to Adventure Central. But the field trip would be expensive, and the class must take part in a fund raiser contest selling lemonade. The winning team will win a great bunch of prizes, but the best is four QuickTix which puts a person at the front of the line on the rides. The drawback is the teacher has picked the teams. Resa and her best friend Didi are together along with Amelia who Resa thinks is snotty and Harriet who is always late and very silly.

When it’s time for the team to start planning and setting up the Lickin Lips lemonade stand the girls personalities clash, there are mix-ups with supplies and it’s raining. Tensions run high and two of the team members quit and Resa and Didi’s friendship is on the rocks. Harriet comes up with a plan to get the team back together and they move forward with a plan. The question remains if they will be good enough to beat the other teams and win the prize.

Starting a business isn’t easy and the stakes will always be high. With perseverance and a solid plan, it can be done. This fun read shares the upside and downside. The back pages share wonderful tips on how kids can startup a business of their own.
Profile Image for Barbara.
13.2k reviews277 followers
July 8, 2019
Once sixth grader Resa Lopez learns what the prize for winning the lemonade competition is announced, she is determined to come in first place. But her teacher, Ms. Davis, believes in mixing things up, and Resa is not thrilled with her team. While it's true that her best friend, Didi, is on that team, so are two girls that she's sure will be dead-weight on the team: new girl Amelia and Harriet, who is always late for everything. There's no doubt that Resa has good leadership potential, but how can she pull this squad together in time to make and sell enough lemonade to take first place? Middle graders and those a wee bit younger may find some tips to success in starting and running their own business in this book's pages, and they will surely realize that doing everything and not delegating tasks or allowing others to have input isn't the way to succeed in any endeavor. There are plenty of humorous and relatable moments as these four girls try to make lemonade out of lemons. Along the way, Resa and her squad realize that each of them has something to offer to the project.
Profile Image for Lorie.
637 reviews9 followers
February 27, 2020
Resa and her friends have been assigned to make and sell lemonade for a school based entrepreneur lesson that will win them VIP tickets to the local theme park. Along the way, the girls make every mistake that a small business can make- they squabble, make the wrong location choices, and run out of ingredients before they should. Will they get it together in time to have a chance at winning?

This is the first book in the series and the goal is to empower middle grade girls to explore financial knowledge and business experiences. The story would be an excellent addition to financial literacy curriculum. The girls are all very different and the story also promotes how to work (or not work) as a team. A companion website (www.thestartupsquad.com) offers additional support and resources for readers with more interest or questions about the topic. I would recommend this book for purchase by any school or public library.

This book was provided by the publisher for professional review by SWON Libraries.
Profile Image for Allison Turkish.
303 reviews1 follower
July 11, 2023
I will round up my 4.5 stars to 5. There were a few passages in the book that I didn't like but overall it's just such a WONDERFUL book for kids to read to learn about business, entrepreneurship, and the lesson of failing but bouncing back.

The author chose diverse characters and gave them strong personalities. The characters are a little cliché but I suppose that is fine for an early chapter book series.

I liked that the social studies teacher is no nonsense but likeable and yet was willing to bend the rules a little to help the students in her class. A contest to see which group could earn the most money from a lemonade stand is a great idea! So much collaboration was necessary to make it work and the author included a lot of believable problems.

At the end of the book, there are tips on how to start your own business and encouragement from the author to be bold and start one. Great for all kids but also for all my junior-level Girl Scouts to read!
Author 1 book12 followers
November 30, 2018
Wow. I received an ARC of this on Saturday and finished the book on Tuesday. Such a fun, quick read! Think THE LEMONADE WAR with a dose of SHARK TANK. Lol.

Up for grabs are free passes to a theme park to the group that sells the most lemonade over a period of two weekends. The teacher divides the class into teams, and Resa is, well, less than thrilled with her teammates. Not surprisingly, by the end they learn to work together, but it's the path they take to reach that moment that works really well. Each of the girls has her own quirks and is given her own personality, and even the rival team is full of developed characters. Readers were certainly pick up some entrepreneurial tips along the way, and there are some extra tips by the author at the end. Overall, this is a promising start to a planned series. Can't wait to read book 2!
Profile Image for CR.
3,065 reviews31 followers
February 8, 2019
My Review: Sorry guys no video from Anarece this time around she is fighting a fever of 102 and will not be doing videos right now.

This was such a cute little story that I had a fun time reading. I did have to ask my mom a few times about words I didn't know but I did really well with this one. I think it would work great for girls who are in Girl Scouts since this one had a paper with it about selling cookies. As well as the book had a lot about selling it in. I really enjoyed it and loved Resa and her friends. This is my first ever middle-grade novel and I found out that it is tech. above my reading level since I am only in 2nd grade. Which I thought was really cool!

Go Into This One Knowing: Great for Girl Scouts, Friendship
Profile Image for Erin Buhr.
Author 5 books35 followers
May 19, 2020
An energetic story about being a team, friendship, and entrepreneurship. When a group of girls is put together for a lemonade stand school contest it seems like one of those awful group projects doomed to fail. The four girls have completely different ideas and vibrant personalities that don’t quite fit together. As they work through how to be a team and how to run a successful business it turns out their team might just be perfect. I can see what this has been called a modern babysitters club. Fans of BSC will definitely enjoy this group of diverse girls and their real life situations, insecurities and problem solving. I look forward to reading more of this series.
Profile Image for Sarah.
3,368 reviews
May 28, 2020
Four girls team up on a lemonade stand for a school project and run into every possible problem.

Interesting concept, but the story fell flat for me. It felt like the author was trying too hard, the writing was more telling than showing, and the plot was too cut and dry- everything working out too neatly and predictably. Not realistic at all. I also felt that there was way too much conflict making the characters annoying and too much failure making the learning curve not believable.

I do like that there are marketing tips in the back. And I think the target audience (middle grade) will like it.
Profile Image for Kristin Thorsness.
Author 1 book22 followers
March 20, 2019
What a fun story! The Startup Squad follows a group of middle school girls through a class fundraising project. Over the course of the story they learn the importance of planning ahead, listening to everyone’s ideas, and how to maintain friendships even when the going gets tough. The back of the book also includes a guide for entrepreneurial kids on how to start their own business—it would make a great class project!

As a former 5th and 6th grade teacher, I highly recommend this book for classroom libraries, or book club activities.
Profile Image for Aimee Lucido.
Author 4 books60 followers
June 3, 2019
This book is so much fun! I remember just *devouring* books like this one as a kid, and I can just picture myself being inspired to open up my own lemonade stand (which I did multiple times anyway) after reading this book. The characters are vibrant and endearing, and they make mistakes that anyone would make, but they learn from them in a way that readers will be able to empathize with. And the business tips in the back of the book are such a stellar touch. I can't wait for more kids to read this book and be inspired!
Profile Image for Chris Baron.
Author 9 books129 followers
March 7, 2019
I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of this book, and as it came through the door, my 11YO daughter wanted to read it immediately. An inspiring story about friendship and making even the youngest entrepreneurial dreams a reality, The Startup Squad is the right kind of inspiration for creative kids to learn about teamwork, fairness, and what it takes to put a plan into action! We loved it!
Profile Image for Caity.
1,136 reviews11 followers
July 9, 2019
This is a really cool book. The characters are well written and easy to relate to, pretty much everyone has been stuck with a dysfunctional group for a school project before so seeing how the girls work through their problems was inspirational. Overall the book has tons of great advice for kids looking to start their own business or learning how to operate in a group without becoming preachy. The story is fun and funny throughout keeping the reader engaged.
415 reviews27 followers
July 20, 2020
What a positive book. I love it, and so do my students. Their great review is the best I can provide. It really made them think about what could be possible in their own futures. I highly recommend this novel for middle school students. I have multiple copies that I shared with students during remote learning. We all look forward to more from Brian and Nicole. Thanks to Goodreads First Reads for my first copy of The Startup Squad.
Profile Image for Ivy.
270 reviews5 followers
May 26, 2021
I got this book for free from Goodreads Giveaways in return for an honest review.

I am looking for books for my Little Free Library so was over joyed when this one came in the mail. I of course had to read it first, so that is what I did.

I loved the way Resa and her friends learned to get together, to work as a team and listen to each other.

This book was very well written. Kept me wanting to turn the page and not put it down to go to work or bed at night.

22 reviews
May 26, 2021
I liked all the characters in this. All of them learn a different lesson while working together during the contest. The first thing they learn is not getting along/working together causes problems. As with any business they also learn about marketing, sales, location & merchandizing. I also like the 6th grade setting and the glimpse into what happens in school. I will be sharing this by placing it into my Little Free Library.
54 reviews9 followers
June 28, 2021
I won my copy from a Goodreads giveaway. I have put it in my school's library for my students.
I thought the lesson of this book was good. Learning to have faith and trust with our group to do their part in the project.
Resa had a hard time letting go of control. She didn't like some people in her group and didn't want to give them a chance. She learned that other people have good ideas and value, only then were they able to be successful.
Profile Image for Lisa Schmid.
Author 4 books19 followers
January 30, 2019
I. Love. This. Book. I love everything about it. I love the story. I love the message. I love the characters. I read it with my eleven-year-old son and now he wants to start his own business using the tips and tricks he read about in The StartUp Squad. This book belongs in the hands of every middle grade reader-boy or girl.
Profile Image for SJ Barakony.
120 reviews3 followers
March 2, 2019
What a joy! Really and truly enjoyed this 120 odd page read by the co authors

We are beyond blessed as a culture & society when we create more entrepreneurial thinking & free enterprise.

This book's characters have much potential to inspire our GenZers - Resa... Harriet ... Amelia ... Didi ... 😆 lol

Read it - you'll love your time investment
Displaying 1 - 30 of 50 reviews

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