Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Daryl Bernstein
Publisher: Aladdin/Beyond Words
Aspiring kid entrepreneurs need look no further because the how-to book Better Than a Lemonade Stand! Small Business Ideas for Kids by Daryl Bernstein offers creative and simple business ideas that kids can make their own. Readers begin by getting trained on the skills they’ll need to succeed, such as funding, branding, customer service, and their work/school balance. Next, readers take a quiz called “Which Business Is Right for You?” to see which of the 55 businesses could fit their interests, from the common car washer, tutor, snow shoveler, or face painter to the more unique babysitting broker, recycler, new-product assembler, or tech teacher. With 2–4-page descriptions of each idea—including sections on supplies, time needed, suggested prices, advertising, and other hints—kids can start to put their money-making dreams into action.
I appreciated all the practical advice that Bernstein offers, realistically explaining how to be an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur as a kid himself, Bernstein explains skills such as convincing potential customers by making the first product or service free; advertising by wearing a shirt or putting up a sign during the service; using funding and supplies kids have access to already; and always being courteous, punctual, and reliable. I also liked that Bernstein includes the insights and experiences of current kid entrepreneurs, who can serve as role models to readers. The variety of business ideas is another strength of the book, as it caters to most interests that kids may have. Although some of the business ideas seemed they might be less attractive to customers—such as the silver polisher, rock painter, and wake-up caller—most of the ideas excited me and would inspire kids. In a society in which kids are often passive consumers, I would love to see more kids taking an active role in their communities, using this book as a springboard to launch their own entrepreneurial pursuits.