Educators & Adult Readers

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!

~ Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

I have been a principal for 9 years and have never heard kids talking about a book during lunch. The day you left all of the kids were talking about your visit. I can't wait to read the book. Come again.

~ Principal, K-12

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.

~ Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

"The Kid Who Beat Wall Street and Saved Africa" is a wonderful book for adults and 6-8th graders alike to read. The story will take the reader across many academic disciplines, to numerous countries, and into many cultures and viewpoints. This book was taught to a group of 7th and 8th graders at my inner-city public school and many of the students, who do not normally literally rush home to read a book after a full day of school or choose to sit in a quiet spot at lunch to keep reading, chose to do just that and read ahead of their assigned reading because they loved the book so much. This book has turned self-proclaimed "non-readers" into bookworms! Plus, "The Kid Who Beat Wall Street and Saved Africa" is both a novel and a type of textbook (complete with a glossary, vocabulary words, and even a word search!) thus, making this book even more fun and multifaceted for readers of all ages.

~ Syracuse Educator

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!

~ Sarah Westmoreland for Readers' Favorite

Kirkus Review

A debut middle-grade novel about a boy, a blog and a mission. Marco is an excellent role model for kids, and this book shows that one person can indeed make a difference in the lives of others. Marco is pretty rad for a middle schooler. An earnest and sometimes inspiring story of an extraordinary middle schooler.

Phenomenal Read!

The book is enchanting. It is a must for kids and their parents.

A must read...

This is a great story to read and even better now that it is in a complete edition. This book is full of adventure, fun, and compassion that keeps you turning the pages. Great not just for adolescents but also adults as well.

What a fun way to learn about Wall Street!

This book not only well written for 7th graders, it is great for even College level or new investors to read! Home schoolers, this is a must for your library! What a great book!

Engaging read with many positive life lessons!

This is a fun and engaging book with many positive life lessons featuring energetic and inspiring children from around the world working together. The main character, Marco, is 12 years old!

Get your kid involved…

If you want to get your children involved in the world and what is happening in developing countries, as well as in our country, this is an excellent introduction. The book shows the power of one person, a child, to help others. Could be an inspiration for your child.

Teaching the Young

This book is a blockbuster for 12-year olds and older. It teaches them how to invest as well as manage money and use the internet to help less fortunate people in the world. Heller also has an intriguing storyline and dialogue that creates a page turner. I am going to get my grandson a copy.

An Interesting Twist on Wall Street as Exploited by a Kid

Quite a story about a journey filled with action, adventure and insights into the mind of a determined 12 year old. Just shows what is possible when you put your mind to something. Marco has the will and finds an interesting way. It's encouraging that he gives his capital gains to help others.


A charming story about a boy and his adventures, making money, helping others and having a good time. Not a bad combination of things. Young readers will learn a bit about the stock market in an amusing and interesting manner.

What a good time we all had!

We bought this for ourselves and our grandchildren. We also bought Volume 2. What an absolute pleasure to have something in which all of us could be involved and TALK about together? Thank you so much Ginger Heller!

Exciting read!

This is a clever, and, at the same time, serious book, which is also great fun to read. My grandchildren loved it!

Great book for conversations with kids

Ginger Heller has put her heart into this story to engage kids and adults together - a timely story. Look for her interview on the Huffington Post!

Clever story!

I love the characters and the fast-moving plot. The action kept me and my children turning the pages as fast as we could to see what happens next.

Great way to excite kids about the real world!

Bought this for a friend's children - in their words: "Ryan is really into it! He feels like he's reading a grown up book!"

Superb book for junior high level readers

My grandchildren loved it. Easy to identify with the characters. Exposes kids to a world of other children. Inspires them to do good things. Also exposes them in a fun way to financial thinking.

Young Adult Readers

I loved this book sooo much for several reasons. I loved the basic story of the book. It made me know that this isn’t a perfect world, but we can make it better.

~ Caitlin R., age 12

"The book connects to the events all around the world and shows them to us." I liked everything about this book but the best part was about tradeing stocks and the ways that it worked. I didn’t have any difficulties with this book. I thought that It was really good! I am actually being really sincere, this is a great book for readers!

~ Alexander, age 11 1/2

The idea of the website is awesome! This was a great book! My favorite part was the Africa part and Hakim’s life.

~ Riley E., age 11

I enjoyed "The Kid Who beat wall Street" when Hakim tried to save the 2 little babies with measles. I enjoyed this because it was sad how the little children were dieing right there in the middle of the road.

~ Daniel P., age 12

So far I’m enjoying that The Kid… has so much information the best part is your reading a book that’s great while your learning. For example there’s some humer in the "pits" when one person stabs a person with a pencil in the arm by accident and the person who stabbed him gets punched in the nose by the man who was stabbed, but, at the same time your learning real actual facts about trading in the "pits."

~ Ryan A., age 11 1/2

I’m not liking hearing about the kids in Africa who are getting Killed. It makes me smile to hearing that Marco and his friends are helping out I liked the part where marco was talking to a man about how he wanted to get the Xray machine to hakim and then hakim could barter it. This book is so exciting and interesting.

~ Ryan H., age 12

In The Kid…, I am enjoying how the world problems are mentioned. It will give people a clue how lucky they are. Also it goes back and forwards form different countries. This book tells you that Hakim has one pair of shoes that are falling apart. I have more than 15 pairs of shoes and never knew that I am that lucky. Here if we had measles we would immediately be driven to the doctors.

~ Claire C., age 13

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