Frazier, Sundee T. Cleo Edison Oliver in Persuasion Power
January 31st 2017 by Arthur A. Levine Books
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
After Cleo Edison Oliver: Playground Millionaire , Cleo is still enamored of television personality and business guru Fortune A. Davies. This time, she is setting up a business with her best friend, Caylee, making personalized hair clips. Oddly, the school allows her to sell them (at least she asks permission), and she is even allowed to stand up in church and give a pitch. Orders are rolling in, and when she finds out that Fortune is sponsoring a clip contest for kidtrepreneurs to send in their advertisements to her web site, Cleo is determined to make the best video ever. Caylee is getting a bit stressed with all of the production, and Cleo wonders about her birth parents and has vague thoughts that maybe Fortune is her birth mother. Cleo enlists the help of her classmates to work on the ad, gets to meet her birth father, and even manages to make peace with her arch nemesis.
Strengths: This had a lot of realistic middle grade topics in it, including best friend struggles, mean girl struggles, and dealing with parents who insist that homework is done, as well as with younger siblings who get into one's stuff. I love that it has diverse characters who are doing interesting things, and that the parents are supportive and ALIVE. Cleo's struggles in school with paying attention and getting assignments done was a great addition. This should fly off the shelf in elementary schools, and does reasonably well in my middle school.
Weaknesses: I don't like Cleo. I don't exactly want to slap her, but her obsession with business is a bit weird. I don't believe that the school would let her collect money with their blessing, but that's just me.
What I really think: I like Frazier's work and will definitely be purchasing a copy.