Benji Franklin: Kid Zillionaire (Benji Franklin: Kid Zillionaire Series)


After inventing a bestselling excuse-generating app, twelve-year-old Benjamin "Benji" Franklin became the world's youngest and, well, only ZILLIONAIRE. Unlike other fat cats, this tiny tycoon uses his wealth for the greater good instead of selfish gain — because it's not all about the Benjamin!

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Benji Franklin: Kid Zillionaire

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After inventing a bestselling excuse-generating app, twelve-year-old Benjamin "Benji" Franklin became the world's youngest and, well, only ZILLIONAIRE. Unlike other fat cats, this tiny tycoon uses his wealth for the greater good instead of selfish gain — because it's not all about the Benjamin!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
After 12-year-old genius Benji Franklin designs an excuse-generating app to help kids get out of doing chores, he amasses a fast, vast fortune in this upbeat series launch from Bean. In none-too-humble narration, Benji explains that, because of his name, people have always expected greatness from him: “Not to brag, but I didn’t disappoint.... At five, I was able to read in six different languages, including Dolphin (EE-EEEK!).” The story ricochets between outlandish—Benji uses his smarts to capture escaped dinosaurs cloned by paleontologists and helps a British billionaire intercept an asteroid—and (somewhat) down-to-earth, as he tries to use his know-how and wealth “for the greater good.” To that end, the young tycoon arranges for a farm to be donated to sustain a depleted food pantry and masterminds a plan to bring aid to an economically depressed town. Vimislik’s halftone cartoons underpin the madcap aspects of the story, whose high energy, goofy science-fictional elements, and punchy dialogue reinforce its appeal. Ages 7–10. Agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Vicki Foote
Benji is a twelve-year-old who invents a computer app and becomes a "zillionaire." This chapter book follows Benji's adventures as he shares how he almost single handedly solved monumental problems concerning dinosaurs and asteroids. His first discovery involves the computer app, called "Excuse Yourself" that gives possible excuses for students to use to explain things that did not get done. His mom and his teacher do not entirely approve, but he goes on to become not only a millionaire, but a sixth grade zillionaire. He becomes so famous that a scientist calls him to help solve the problem of cloned dinosaurs that escaped into the woods. Benji creates a way to capture them back and along with his dad, they soon have the dinosaurs in place. In part two, he is called upon next to save the earth from an asteroid. He devises a plan using a net to catch the asteroid, takes a ride in a space ship, and helps solve his town's money problems. Black-and-white cartoon illustrations are included throughout the story. Some parts may be interesting to readers, but the overall plot and lack of character development may not hold readers' attention. Reviewer: Vicki Foote
Kirkus Reviews
This book is the best cartoon that Hanna-Barbera never made. Benji has more money than he can count. He may be even wealthier than Richie Rich or Scrooge McDuck, so he can spend all his time searching for lost dinosaurs and flying into space with an eccentric scientist. He earned his fortune by designing an app that generates excuses. ("I'm a kid" works in almost any situation.) As soon as Benji becomes a zillionaire, he buys himself a space station. "[I]t's a great place to keep my zoo," he tells an interviewer. If Benji had had a TV show back in the 1970s, fans would be fighting over his toys right now on eBay. Not a single moment of the story is plausible. Benji's adventures are funnier than anything that happened to Jonny Quest or Josie and the Pussycats. The book wasn't written in the 1970s, so the pace is much faster than Jonny Quest. On one page, the characters are building a chicken coop near an airplane hangar. On another, they're saving the world from an asteroid. Benji looks exactly the way a cartoon character should, in any time period: one part Richie Rich, one part Scott Pilgrim. Vimislik's illustrations are like everything in the book: not at all realistic but very, very funny. It doesn't make a lick of sense, but it's great value per page. (Humorous adventure. 7-10)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Raymond Bean is a dad, a teacher, and the best-selling author of the Sweet Farts and School Is A Nightmare series. His books have ranked #1 in Children’s Humor, Humorous Series, and Fantasy and Adventure. He writes for kids that claim they don’t like reading.

Mr. Bean is a fourth grade teacher with fifteen years of classroom experience. He lives with his wife and two children in New York.

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