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Summary: Tyler Sogno wants to be a sea captain. He draws pictures of boats and spends his day dreaming about sailing. So much so, that his daydreaming is interfering with getting his homework done. Now he's wishing he had a machine to help him with his school work. One evening, an opportunity presents itself and Tyler could reach both his goals. Does he have what it takes to get there? This fantasy takes children on an adventure and introduces them to business concepts.
Type of Reading: family reading, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 12; read yourself: 11 to 14
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a fast, fun read. With abbreviated pages and a couple of drawings tossed in, it took only 90 minutes to read. There are lessons for kids and adults (who will quickly catch some of the cliche names), and some humor, as well.
Pros: This is a story that can be enjoyed in one sitting or over time. Although it has a business theme, the story is broad enough to appeal to any reader who likes riddles, adventure, and fantasy. The short sentences will make it appealing to reluctant and remedial readers.
Cons: We weren't sure of the significance of Tyler being an orphan. At the beginning it seemed to have some relevance, but then it quickly disappeared.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a great handbook on business for kids, and it would be particularly useful in organizations such as 4H and in schools with student-led enterprises.
Educational Themes: This is a story that can be enjoyed for what it is; serve as an overview of how an idea becomes a product and general business concepts; or be used in chapter form to introduce business concepts (complemented by 'real-world' activities). There are plenty of things you can draw on, including research, labor relations, teamwork and collaboration, and understanding the law.
Notes: This book won an iParenting Media Award, The 2007 Excellent Products Call in Children’s Books.