Published by Kids Can Press
Summary: Five important things about the narrator (from Chapter 0): 1. Her name is Wednesday August Wilson. 2. She has two moms and is mixed race. 3. She has a little brother named Mister. 4. Her best friend is Charlie Lopez. 5. She is going to be an entrepreneur. When Wednesday tells two of her mean girl classmates that her new invention is called the Secret Keeper, she has to come up with an actual product. With the help of Charlie, Mister, and a new friend named Amina, her invention sweeps the third grade. The downside is that she destroys some library books in the process and winds up with half the field trip money in her desk. But Wednesday is clearly a girl who doesn’t give up easily, and the final page indicates there will be more big business ideas (and books about them) in the future. 144 pages; grades 2-4.
Pros: A promising early chapter book series opener with an interesting heroine, a diverse cast of characters, and an introduction to the world of entrepreneurship (words like overhead and negotiation are marked with an asterisk and defined at the bottom of the page). Lots of illustrations and a fast-paced story make this a great chapter book for those just venturing into the genre.
Cons: I’ve been noticing lately how many early chapter books feature either a shy girl who finds her voice or a spunky girl whose well-intentioned actions are misunderstood. While I appreciate both of these types of books, I’d love to see more early chapter books with boy main characters.