The Kid Who Beat Wall Street and Saved Africa

Complete Edition

Children - Adventure
267 Pages
Reviewed on 05/27/2018
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Author Biography

Ginger Heller has been a stock and commodities trader for over twenty years and at one point had her own commodity- trading firm. Previously she was a teacher of middle school children and now loves to travel having visited six of the seven continents many times. She’s also the writer of children’s books of hope and adventure. Her passion is to introduce her readers to the world-at-large. Her own children are grown, yet she and her husband, along with a twenty-two pound Maine Coon cat, still call Connecticut their home.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

An intercontinental setting, a brilliant kid, and a world torn apart by greed and war, The Kid Who Beat Wall Street and Saved Africa by Ginger Heller begins with a prologue that follows lanky fourteen-year-old Hakim, saving a boy from kidnappers who turn kids into child soldiers and escaping from them, thanks to his ability to run like the wind and his great swimming skills. A powerful image that evokes the beautiful landscapes of Africa and the misery of the people. But then there is Marco in another world, a twelve-year-old boy who makes over $500,000 in gold mining stock from the comfort of his room. The story gets interesting when it involves pen-pals, and the misery lived by children in Africa because of war. Now Marco has a great plan to make life less miserable for his friends across the world. Follow this tale of adventure, courage, and compassion and discover the difference one caring kid can make in the world.

I’ve read many books for kids, but The Kid Who Beat Wall Street and Saved Africa has no competition. It’s a work apart, intelligently plotted and written to reflect our history and geography, as well as the injustices that children suffer in war-torn countries. Marco is a character that kids will adore, deeply human and compassionate. His sense of adventure is strong and it combines with his visionary spirit to create a character that even grown-ups will love. Ginger Heller’s novel is infused with a lot of wisdom and lessons that can change lives. The contrast in setting, the handling of themes, and the pacing are just few of the elements that will keep readers turning the pages. Deeply moving and hugely entertaining, a story that should be turned into a movie. I just loved it!

Jack Magnus

The Kid Who Beat Wall Street and Saved Africa is a social issues-oriented action novel for children, grades 4-6, written by Ginger Heller. Marco Polo Blackberry had somehow managed to make $10,000 in the stock market, and it was a surprisingly effortless accomplishment. His mind grappled with the things he knew he wanted to buy, even as he tried to accept the fact that he had been so successful. It had all started innocently enough; he simply took advantage of the fact that the White and Garrett Brokerage Firm had offered him free trading for four months. They hadn’t really meant to offer it to him; it was his father who they were trying to lure back as a customer, but that typographical error substituting his middle initial had meant the letter went to Marco. He had used his life savings and taken a gamble -- and it had paid off brilliantly. While he pondered the newest tech, ski boards and luxury trips, he was also very much aware that there were people out there in need. The lunchroom supervisor had showed him a picture of a starving four-year-old from Africa and his friend Piper’s pen pal from Albania had shared the hardships her two friends had endured trying to emigrate to Italy.

Ginger Heller’s The Kid Who Beat Wall Street and Saved Africa is an imaginative and upbeat story about kids who are making a difference in the world, and how they manage to do it. I was awed by the power of Marco and his friends’ network and loved seeing how they were able to coordinate and apply their particular skills to situations occurring in other countries. I also enjoyed learning about Commodity Trading, and how contracts are bought and sold. Heller’s story is both fun and educational, and her characters feel like the real kids they are. There’s also a bonus at the end of the book in the form of three Appendices which include: 100 Words of Interest; A Glossary of Foreign Words and Phrases; A Glossary of Trading Terms and the Key to Marco’s Secret Code. Each one is a delight and not to be missed. While most kids and adults will probably not experience Marco’s mind-boggling success with the Stock Market, it’s a grand thing to know how it works, just in case. The Kid Who Beat Wall Street and Saved Africa is most highly recommended.

Sarah Westmoreland

Marco Polo is not your ordinary middle school boy. While his classmates are thinking about games and parties and homework, Marco’s mind is far away, coming up with awesome ideas to solve all of his friends’ problems. Up until now, all of their problems have been pretty small, ordinary things. However, the stakes are quickly getting higher and higher. Beginning with figuring out how to free a friend’s brother who was wrongly imprisoned, Marco starts making a name for himself among his friends. Pretty soon, Roo will bring Marco a new challenge in the form of Hakim’s story. From measles to bandits to war to famine, Hakim and his village are struggling in every sense of the word... But Marco is only a kid, so how can he help a struggling community on the other wide of the world? With some stocks, some corn, some stubbornness, and some good old fashioned ingenuity, that’s how!

The Kid Who Beat Wall Street and Saved Africa is an extremely well written book. Both the main characters and the supporting cast are well rounded, well fleshed out human beings. The descriptions are accurate and detailed enough to give us a good idea where the characters are at and what they’re doing, but there’s not so much detail that it chokes the story. The plot is fast paced and easy to follow, and it grips you right from the first page. Overall, it’s a wonderful story for young readers, and a great example for middle grade students that they too can make a real difference in the world. I highly recommend this book!