Book Spotlight: Cleo Edison Oliver, Playground Millionaire

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Posted: March 2, 2018

Category: Staff Picks

A book cover showing a girl jumping up out of a dollar billCleo is a business genius.  She’s sold everything from decorative decals for pet leashes to avocados from the tree in her family’s yard.  She’s also the world’s biggest fan of Fortune Davies, a famous entrepreneur.

When her teacher Mr. Boring (yes, that’s really his name) tells his class they’ll be working on passion projects, Cleo is immediately excited.  What better passion project than starting a new business?  After all, there’s an opportunity staring Cleo right in the face.

Many of Cleo’s classmates have loose teeth, but they’re afraid of the pain involved in pulling them.  What if they could be pulled quickly and nearly pain-free?  What if the process of pulling the teeth was innovative and cool?  Cleo briefly considers using her mother’s electric mixer, but while playing with her brothers she comes up with a better idea.

Enter Cleo’s Extractor Extraordinaire™ (also known as her brother’s Nerf gun).  With a piece of floss attaching the Nerf dart to the loose tooth, a quick pull on the trigger should tug the tooth free quickly and easily.

When Cleo tests her theory on her brother, it works exactly as planned.  As an added bonus, she was able to film it and upload the video to YouTube.

Cleo has identified a need, figured out a way to capitalize on it, and even produced a video to market it.  But there are still obstacles ahead.  Toy guns aren’t allowed at Cleo’s school, her brother is demanding that she pay to borrow his Nerf gun, and Cleo still hasn’t told her parents about her plans.

Will Cleo’s parents allow her to try this business?  How will she get around the school’s rules regarding toy guns?  Will her passion project be a success?

Cleo Edison Oliver, Playground Millionaire and its sequel Cleo Edison Oliver in Persuasion Power, by Sundee T. Frazier, are shelved upstairs in the juvenile fiction section of the Children’s Department.

If you enjoy Cleo Edison Oliver, Playground Millionaire, you may also enjoy Lunch Money by Andrew Clements.  Greg likes making money, and starts selling small things at school.  When he runs into trouble selling candy and toys, he switches to a new idea:  selling his own original mini-comics.  In the process, he butts heads with his eternal rival plus the principal’s belief that he shouldn’t be selling things at school.  Lunch Money is also shelved in the juvenile fiction section.

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