Cleo Edison Oliver, Playground Millionaire
Written by Sundee T. Frazier
Illustrated by Jennifer L. Meyer
Budding entrepreneurs will love the unforgettable Cleopatra Edison Oliver in this multiracial, capitalist tale that's equal parts The Lemonade War and Encyclopedia Brown.
Cleopatra Edison Oliver has great ideas and tremendous energy, just like her inspiration, the famous and brilliant businesswoman Fortune A. Davies. For a class project, Cleo comes up with her wildest idea yet: pulling teeth for a cut of her clients’ Tooth Fairy money. With the help of her best friend, Caylee; a Nerf gun; her dad’s tablet; and her patented Persuasion PowerTM, Cleo’s Quick and Painless Tooth Removal Service starts to take off.
But nothing in business (or fifth grade) goes smoothly. A minor barfing incident causes Cleo to lose customers. Cleo spends so much time trying to drum up business that her friendship with Caylee suffers. And when a mean classmate makes fun of Cleo for being adopted, everything comes crashing down. Will she be able to rescue her business, salvage her friendship, and find the true secret of happiness?
With Cleo Edison Oliver, NOTHING is impossible!
“Frazier adds depth to Cleo’s family story by making Cleo and her younger brothers African-American children adopted into a family in which the mother is white, allowing the author to explore some aspects of non-traditional families… Cleo brings a welcome burst of diversity to elementary fiction, and readers will be charmed by this utterly unforgettable character.” -- Booklist, starred review
“Frazier offers a rare, cleareyed view of adoption, understanding that even the best are founded on loss as well as love and that assimilating this bittersweet, difficult truth is a lifelong journey. A funny, compassionate tale.” -- Kirkus Reviews
“Underlying Cleo’s questionable financial schemes are poignant plot lines dealing with the toll that her entrepreneurial obsession takes on her relationship with her best friend, the emotional repercussions of being adopted, and the rewards and potential pitfalls of following one’s dreams.” -- Publishers Weekly
"Cleo is an utterly winning heroine… The multiple strands—entrepreneurism, adoption, friendship—will ensure that this attracts a broad swath of middle-graders." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Cleo is a spunky, energetic, and highly ambitious girl. Always planning a new way to earn money and make her role model proud, Cleo manages to be an inspiration to young entrepreneurs. She and her brothers are adopted and African American, and the supporting cast is diverse as well. The plot is entertaining and relatable, with a happy ending that reminds readers that there are things more important than money." -- School Library Journal
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Middle Grade Novel
ISBN: 978-0-545-82235-0 / 978-0-545-82236-7
Price: $16.99/$20.99 and $6.99/$8.99
Trim Size: 5-1/2" x 8-1/4" and 5-1/4" x 7-5/8"
Page Count: 224
Foreign Rights: Scholastic
Translation Rights: Scholastic
Rights Available? yes