Sundee Frazier My Books About Me Write Me Home

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My friend, Tasha, was a big inspiration as I wrote Cleo.

To see how Cleo's "quick and nearly painless" tooth-pulling method works, watch this. And if you’re going to try it, get an adult to do it with you!

Cleo Edison Oliver in Persuasion Power
Cleo Edison Oliver in Persuasion Power
Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic Inc., 2017
Illustrations by Jennifer L. Meyer

"My latest business, Cleo's Quick and Painless Tooth Removal Service, had several satisfied customers ... Some unfortunate decisions on my part forced us to have to close down (for now). However, I learned some very valuable lessons from this experience ... One thing I learned is that I need to be more careful about how I use my POWERS of PERSUASION. I've got a lot of these powers, but according to my mom, there's a fine line between persuasion and being pushy. Sometimes I don't know my own strength." – Cleopatra Edison Oliver, in a letter to her entrepreneur idol, Fortune A. Davies

Also See: Order the Book


School Library Journal: "Frazier expertly demonstrates that even the most loving adoption comes with some heartache. Reluctant readers will enjoy the accessible language and even pacing. VERDICT An excellent choice for those seeking upbeat books about cross-cultural adoption." (February 2017)

Kirkus Reviews: "In her latest business venture (creating personalized barrettes), the pint-size entrepreneur harnesses the power of social networking, fifth-grade style ... An opportunity to connect with her birth family feels thrilling—scary, too. No worries—courage is Cleo's strong suit. Frazier sensitively addresses these potential land mines with intelligence and sensitivity. Cleo's an engaging, effervescent original whose story unfolds with humor and insight, probing weighty issues with a light touch." (Dec. 1, 2016)

Booklist: "This energetic, realistic story focuses on family, school, church, and friends in a diverse community. Cleo herself is a bundle of go-getter enthusiasm; her winning spirit shines, no matter how many mistakes she makes." (Dec. 16, 2016)

Cleo Edison Oliver: Playground Millionaire
Cleo Edison Oliver: Playground Millionaire
Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic Inc., 2016
Illustrations by Jennifer L. Meyer

"If I had a dollar for every time my parents said I'd rule the house if they let me, I'd be rich already! But clearly, I am not in charge yet. Today I got in trouble for something, and my mom took away my business for a whole day. Did you ever feel like your parents didn't understand you? What did you do?" – Cleopatra Edison Oliver, in a letter to her entrepreneur idol, Fortune A. Davies

Also See: Behind the Story | Order the Book


Publishers Weekly: ". . .poignant plot lines dealing with the toll that her entrepreneurial obsession takes on her relationship with her best friend, the emotional repercussions of being adopted, and the rewards and potential pitfalls of following one's dreams." (Oct. 26, 2015)

Kirkus Reviews: "Frazier offers a rare, clear-eyed view of adoption, understanding that even the best are founded on loss as well as love and that assimilating this bittersweet, difficult truth is a lifelong journey. A funny, compassionate tale." (Nov. 1, 2015) Read the full review.

 Booklist (starred): "Cleo brings a welcome burst of diversity to elementary fiction, and readers will be charmed by this utterly unforgettable character." (Nov. 15, 2015) Read the full review.

School Library Journal: "Cleo is a spunky, energetic, and highly ambitious girl ... an inspiration to young entrepreneurs. She and her brothers are adopted and African American, and the supporting cast is diverse as well. The plot is entertaining and relatable, with a happy ending that reminds readers that there are things more important than money. VERDICT: A good purchase for libraries serving elementary-aged readers." (January 2016)

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books: "An utterly winning heroine ... Cleo's unabashed enthusiasm for her business enterprises will ring true with kids who've caught the entrepreneurial bug, and her mixed feelings about her adoption and her reluctant realization that she has failed her friend are both credibly and sensitively handled . . . The multiple strands—entrepreneurism, adoption, friendship—will ensure that this attracts a broad swath of middle-graders." (March 2016)

School Library Connection: "Award winning author Sundee Frazier brings us an adopted, spunky, bright little girl with a multiracial identity who is trying to find her place in her school and in her adopted family ... She drags her classmates, BFF, loyal dog, and loving adults into the adventure. Great life lessons are learned and no animals or children are harmed. A good funny, touching read." (April, 2016)


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