The second book in the new Startup Squad series has our group of entrepreneurial friends working to promote a band. The series is all about the adventures of four friends – Harriet, Resa, Amelia, and Didi – who take matters into their own hands, learning how to earn money by creating their own businesses! In the first Startup Squad adventure, the girls worked to get a lemonade stand business up and running for a class assignment and grand prize. Here, Harriet’s brothers are in a band called the Radical Skinks; they’re kind of on hiatus because Harriet accidentally broker her brother’s guitar. A Battle of the Bands is on the horizon, where the winner would get a spot on the huge talent show hit, American Supahstars! The Startup Squad jumps into action with a plan to sell t-shirts, raising enough money to get a new guitar for Harriet’s brother, Larry, in time for the show… but Harriet tends to be a little overenthusiastic, and doesn’t think things quite through, which cause a lot of tangles for the girls: and the band. Can the Startup Squad get it together in time to help the Skinks get back on their feet?
This is a fun, comprehensive series that embraces entrepreneurship and shows kids that everyone can start a business with the right information and drive. The multicultural group of girls each has different strengths and skills, and get some solid information and encouragement from friends and family members on the way. They make believable mistakes to illustrate the pitfalls of going into a business without a fully sketched out plan, and how to correct those mistakes the next time. Back matter includes a section on what principles the girls learned in this adventure, a breakdown of the terms and how to put them to use, with tips and emphasis on customer service, negotiating, and revenue vs. profit; there’s also a profile on a real-life tween entrepreneur. Brian Weisfeld is the founder of The Startup Squad; he was inspired after being disappointed in the lack of entrepreneurial books available for girls. Author Nicole Kear is also the author of The Fix-It Friends series, where a group of friend solve problems together.
The Startup Squad website has a wealth of information for young entrepreneurs, including free, downloadable parent and teacher guides; activity kits; business tips, and book recommendations. Add these to your collections and booktalk/display with books like The Babysitter’s Club (the original chapter book series and the newer graphic novels) and Jessie Janowitz’s novels The Doughnut Fix and The Doughnut King. The Startup Squad and The Fix-It Friends are great for those readers that are moving out of intermediate chapter books and moving toward longer fiction.