Monday, October 22, 2012

Blog Tour: Toby Gold and The Secret Fortune by Craig R. Everett

I have a really interesting middle grade read to share with you today. It is Toby Gold and the Secret Fortune by Craig R. Everett. I am also a host on the blog tour- so welcome to all!

The Story-
Toby Gold is a seventh grader in Wallingford, Connecticut. Believing himself abandoned as a baby, he has grown up in many foster homes. The only thing that has stayed constant is his love and talent with money.

At his 10th foster home, Toby is allowed some actual freedom, and gets a job walking a neighbor's dogs. Every day after school he heads to the Leonard’s to walk the two dogs, but first he takes a cookie break in the kitchen and watches a little TV- the financial news channel of course. On one of these days he notices something strange in the stock ticker, a secret code, and the message is directed towards him!

Strange things begin to happen. He is awarded a full scholarship to the only private school in the area, and he is assigned to be the personal assistant to the school’s broker, Mr. Leonard. He also keeps getting sent secret messages telling him to do things. The only people he dares to tell about the events are his best friends, Marc and Bidge.

Now, Toby is in a boat load of trouble. He is noticed by the wrong people, and hunted for his ability to understand the stock market. Toby is quickly placed in a life or death situation, stuck between two rival investment companies. The only way out is to use his abilities.

My Thoughts-
At first I took a pass on reviewing this book, kids and finances, it just didn’t seem interesting. But then I took a more detailed look at the synopsis and realized there was a huge potential for an awesome story. Lucky for me, I sent a request to review. The book is great.

The story starts off in the past, with Toby’s mother being chased by the bad guys, and her having to leave the baby in a bathroom on a train. The last we see of her is when she is murdered and her body thrown from the train. This is a great tense opener, plus, there’s a bit of paranormal going on, because the bad guy has the ability to control people’s thoughts and make them forget they saw anything. That intrigued me right away. Too bad we don’t really come back to it, I was hoping for a lot of paranormal. The author does give characters a couple gifts, like telepathy, but I think if there is a book 2, we will see the powers developed fully there

Now for the finance part, I thought it was amazing how the author wove it into the story in a way that is totally understandable. He teaches basic concepts of saving and spending, while building up Toby’s story of financial espionage. The book is exciting enough that kids will inhale the economics parts right along with the adventure.

The characters are detailed and fun. Beyond Toby, we have his best friends. In particular we learn a lot about Bidge. She is the star of the middle school basketball team and has been Toby’s friend forever. Now, Toby is noticing some changes in Bidge. Not just physical, but mental. Bidge seems to be able to read his mind. Like I said earlier, I love added paranormal bits.

I just have to point out one other thing. There are spectacular uses of chocolate pudding throughout the novel. It cracked me up.

This book needs to be on school bookshelves. I can’t think of anything out there like it.

The Author- Craig R. Everett-

"Money is the most dangerous magic."

About the Author: Craig Everett

Craig R. Everett was born and raised in Maine, spending his childhood summers digging along the shores of Bar Harbor for buried pirate treasure.  Fortunately, he was able to remain blissfully unaware that pirates seldom, if ever, ventured that far north.  He received his B.A. in Economics from Tufts University, an MBA from George Mason University, and a Ph.D. in Finance from Purdue University.

Dr. Everett is currently a finance professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, where he teaches corporate and entrepreneurial finance. Dr. Everett also volunteers in public schools teaching financial literacy principles.  

You can learn more about Craig here:

Blog Tour Schedule for Toby Gold and the Secret Fortune by Craig Everett, 2012
04-Oct-2012  Free Money Finance 
11-Oct-2012 Queen of Random  
12-Oct-2012 Why Not? Because I Said So
12-Oct-2012 LDS Women's Book Review
13-Oct-2012 A Storybook World
15-Oct-2012 A Thousand Wrongs
16-Oct-2012 Say This Write
16-Oct-2012 Money and Me for Canadians
16-Oct-2012 Word Spelunking
17-Oct-2012 Couponing with Boys
18-Oct-2012 Book Launch of Toby Gold and the Secret Fortune at the Access to Capital Conference at the LA Westin Bonaventure Hotel.
18-Oct-2012 The Book Bug
18-Oct-2012  I Am a Reader not a Writer
19-Oct-2012 Of Writerly Things
19-Oct-2012  Troop Petrie
22-Oct-2012 Renae's Writespot
22-Oct-2012  The Write Path
23-Oct-2012  Monique's Musings
23-Oct-2012  My Mommy's World
24-Oct-2012  The Things I Love
24-Oct-2012  Adventures of the Mommy Homemaker
25-Oct-2012  Live to Read
26-Oct-2012 Ordinary Happily Ever After
29-Oct-2012  Fire and Ice
01-Nov-2012  Jeffrey Olsen
01-Nov-2012  Bookworm Lisa
05-Nov-2012 Debbie's Inkspectations
07-Nov-2012  With a Side of Thriftiness
10-Nov-2012 A Storybook World

12-Nov-2012 Christy Dorrity's Dearest Dreams
15-Nov-2012  The Non-Reluctant Reader
19-Nov-2012  Taffy's Writings 
Nov 2012-


  1. This sounds like an odd book, but interesting and always a good idea to couch a lesson into fiction, especially one about finance for kids who often don't much about that in their daily lives.

    1. Yes. And wouldn't the world be a better place if kids today knew about finance? Tomorrow would be brighter.

  2. Financial espionage for kids! Amazing -- I'll have to check this one out. You're right: I can't think of another book that takes on financial literacy in any form.

    Besides, as someone who lived a couple years in Wallingford, CT, I think I'll enjoy the setting:-)

    1. Cool, know I know it's a real place. Is there actually a Choate school?

  3. Who knew finances could be thrilling! Sounds like a cool book. Other than The Lemonade War, I can't think of any MG book about money. (And that was more about the sibling rivalry and who could sell the most lemonade; it included those little chapter openers about business terms). But the stock market? No, I've never heard of another MG book about that.

  4. This books sounds so exciting! I love that Toby is from CT! Me, too! The finance aspect of this book sounds intriguing and I definitely want to read this one. What a great cover. I thought it was so interesting that you passed and then changed your mind. How cool!

  5. Thanks for the great review, Dorine! Yes, Choate is a real school. JFK went to high school there.

    Craig Everett