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!
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.
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-
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- http://www.queenoftheclan.com/