Have you ever dreamed of starting your own company? How would you like to be a millionaire before finishing sixth grade? With some ingenuity and the help of his friends, twelve year old Rufus works hard and does just that. Soon he becomes The Toothpaste Millionaire.
Come along on the journey as they work together and discover the pitfalls of starting your own company. You will be amazed at the possibilities you can achieve when you put your mind to it.
The Toothpaste Millionaire
Author: Jean Merrill
Age Range: 10 – 12
Grade Level: 5 – 7
Paperback: 144 pages
The story begins when Kate moves from Connecticut to Cleveland, Ohio. In a new school and new town, she has no friends. And her little brother who cares only for model cars is not fun at all. Excited the meet some girls her age down the street, they seem to ignore her. Then one day, she meets a boy named Rufus when her books spill out all over the street. He offers to sew her a new book bag if she buys the supplies. Their friendship takes off like they’ve been friends their whole life.
On a trip to the store, Rufus complains about paying seventy nine cents for a tube of toothpaste. That is simply too much money. Convinced he can make it himself for less, he refuses to buy it. Soon, he is in the kitchen trying different recipes for toothpaste. Kate is excited to jump in as his assistant. When he realizes that it only costs him two cents to make the same amount of toothpaste, he decides to go into business selling it around the neighborhood.
Kate helps him every day after school. As more orders come in, they setup a factory in the laundry room of Kate’s house. Recycling old baby food jars for containers, soon they have a bunch of kids helping out and selling them for three cents a jar. When Rufus goes on a local television show, his sales go through the roof. Without money to pay everyone, he instead offers stock to his company to each of the kids working. This leads to fun growing pains as the company expands. But when competing toothpaste companies take notice of their success, it leads to an all out price war with devasating consequences.
This is an absolutely wonderful, educational book. It will inspire young readers with visions of starting their own business. I especially loved how the kids worked through multiple math problems in the book to figure out things. This was twice as fun as they solved the problems by writing them on notes and passed them around class until the math teacher confiscated the notes to read aloud.
I highly recommend this book for all young readers new to middle grade books. It will captive their attention and teach them many valuable lessons.