About this project
So who is the Author?
Hi, my name is Craig Everett. I am a finance professor in the MBA program at a private university in Southern California. I have been married for 19 years and have five awesome children. My passion for financial literacy is both professional and personal -- I believe that this project can make a real difference in the world.
Why This Book is Important
Toby Gold and the Secret Fortune is the first in a series of middle-grade/young adult financial adventure thrillers that aim to introduce simple financial literacy concepts in a fun and compelling way. This is a book that is sorely needed.
Many causes contributed to the financial crisis of 2008. Most agree, though, that the financial crisis would not have occurred (or would have been less severe) if the individual sub-prime mortgage borrowers had been more sophisticated in their knowledge of basic personal finance principles. So, since 2008 there has been a worldwide push to increase the level of financial literacy.
The best place to start is with children. Many states have implemented mandatory financial literacy curriculum requirements in the public schools. This certainly helps, but it is not enough.
The purpose of the Toby Gold series is to embed basic financial principles into a page-turning adventure story. Thus, the kids who read it will have a head start in learning the concepts about money that they will need in order to function in an increasingly complex world of everyday finance.
An infant is discovered one night on a commuter train from New York City during a stop in the sleepy town of Wallingford, Connecticut. The local police are summoned, but are unable to locate the boy’s parents, despite painstakingly questioning each person on the train. For some strange reason, none of the passengers can remember seeing his mother falling from the train – after falling victim to an assassin’s bullet.
Assigned the name “Toby Gold” by social services, the mysterious child grows up in Wallingford, moving from foster home to foster home, not knowing who his real parents are - or why he was born with such freakish skills with math and money.
Now a teenager, Toby’s money skills are noticed by the wrong people, and thus he is unwittingly sucked into a high-stakes financial conspiracy that puts his life, and the lives of his two closest friends, in great peril. Ultimately, Toby solves the crime, saves his friends, and even saves his school—all in one harrowing afternoon.
Status of the Project
The first book is almost ready for publication. There are some additional interior illustrations that must still be commissioned, and then the entire work must be copy edited prior to final interior design and typesetting.
Despite positive feedback about the manuscript from several large NYC publishers, none of them willing to take on the project. They weren't sure how to market the book. Fortunately, there were three small, independent presses (two regional, and one national) that expressed interest. I ultimately chose the one that shared my vision for the long-term benefits that this series will provide to young people.
So why Kickstarter? We need to raise funds in order to complete additional interior illustrations (critical for a middle-grade novel). If we raise enough, we will also be able to do publicity to get media attention for this newsworthy project. Financial literacy is a hot topic, so many news outlets should be interested, but realistically we won't be able to get the word out effectively without some assistance from a professional publicist.
We won't go ahead with the project unless we can raise enough money on Kickstarter to finish the interior illustrations. I'd rather not do it at all if it can't be done right. If we end up raising more funds than expected, there are related financial literacy materials that we would like to produce. For example, publishing a companion "Toby Gold" workbook would allow more effective use of the novel in junior high or high school classrooms.
Please help us with this critically important project! Join our team by pledging today, and together we can do something great in the fight for youth financial literacy.
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