Eat Bugs (Project Startup, book 1) by Heather Alexander, with Laura D’Asaro and Rose Wang, illustrated by Vanessa Flores

Published by Penguin Workshop

Project Startup #1 (Eat Bugs) - Kindle edition by D'Asaro, Laura, Wang,  Rose, Alexander, Heather, Flores, Vanessa. Children Kindle eBooks @ Amazon .com.

Summary:  When Hallie and Jaye get assigned to be partners in a business class startup project, it doesn’t exactly seem like a match made in heaven.  Hallie is outgoing and doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her outspokenness and unique fashion sense, while Jaye is shy and constantly trying to figure out how to fit in and avoid the spotlight.  After sampling a cricket on a class trip, Hallie wants to start a bugs-as-food business, while Jaye prefers the idea of a social media app that would bring everyone in their school together.  When a pair of boys steals Jaye’s idea, she’s forced to agree to go the insect route.  As the two navigate the terrain of pitches and market testing, they discover traits in each other that they admire, and a friendship is born.  Their business plan isn’t quite enough to snag the top prize at the startups competition, but their partnership is cemented, and the future looks bright for Chirps Chips.  Includes an interview with Laura and Rose, founders of the real-life Chirps Chips.  224 pages; grades 3-6.

Pros:  Told in alternating voices, this breezy illustrated story introduces readers to some of what’s involved in starting a business, emphasizing the be-yourself message for both entrepreneurship and middle school.

Cons:  Flashbacks to The Apprentice.

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