Essentially this is about a kid who gave himself a two-year long "homework assignment"; by writing a book, because he had so many questions about life. And in my book, he earns extra credit.
It all began one day with a cold glass of lemonade….
When Demario Anderson’s grandmother announced to the family she got laid off from her job, about two years ago, he got her a cold glass of lemonade to help her relax. Soon, they settled into a deep discussion about the economy, how everything is connected. They talked about how bad decisions and get rich quick gimmicks make everyone suffer. They talked about how families are the true support system, how that translates into a strong and giving community, and how consumerism isn’t just about spending and buying, but it’s also about informed strategic planning.
That discussion set Demario on a nearly two-year odyssey of his own: to write a book: Young Economist: Simple Ideas to Help a Financially Hurting Country From a 12 Year Old; published 2010; $19.99 Paradise – MC, Memphis, TN. at Rhino's Nation or Amazon.
With the help and mentoring of his father, Dean Anderson, the book’s co-author, Demario, now a 14-year-old marine magnet middle school student in Fort Lauderdale, interviewed family,
friends, scoured news, community sources; and shared his own experiences to provide a kid’s eye-view commentary on the economy and his world.
What I read, was a book about a father and son, written from the heart.
Imagine as you read: it’s in the voice of 12-year old Demario hungering for knowledge, answers, justification. Like the constant tugging on one’s shirttail for attention, the questions are ceaseless. Picture a father and son on a walk and the son looks up to his father –but at the same time they’re side-by-side as they try to unravel why things are the way they are in the world.
“My dad is my friend and role model,” said Demario in a recent interview. “When I’m learning stuff, he’s always there to help me. He’s very patient.”
Together, the father/son duo take "field trips" to the library, grocery store and community centers. To get answers and perspective, they talked with local religious leaders and church members. They listened to the stories of their neighbors and family elders.
Chapter by chapter, Demario’s little-boy-dismay-over-misbehaving-adults is evident as he recounts a 2009 Time magazine article on how Hedge Fund players “took advantage of people’s lack of knowledge,” He’s incredulous over the human capacity for greed and uses Bernie Madoff as a prime example. He’s intolerant over the lack of common sense behaviors: that if people drove safer, acted more responsibly, that could ultimately mean reducing the cost of healthcare, utility bills, education; and in communities.
In the book, Demario’s youthful optimism voices throughout with solutions: save, learn: become informed; help out neighbors and in the community.
Families should eat their meals together to forge stronger bonds, writes Demario. Prevent domestic abuse by keeping the lines of communication open. Build entrepreneurial spirit: as a matter of course, challenge students to work together on outside-the-box creative ideas. Plan ahead: choose when to invest in home repairs over vacations or a night out on the town; Demario and his dad provide economical meal and snack ideas.
In closing, Demario’s poignant message is a call to action for all: walk arm-in-arm-to the finish line: as a family and as a community.
But the story doesn’t end there says Dean Anderson, who feels it was his absolute duty to support his son's journey.
“Each generation comes and goes,” Anderson said. “And if you want the world to change, you better be there for your kids. Sit down and listen, answer questions and talk to your sons and daughters."
UPDATE: Dean and Demario sent a YouTube link promoting the book.
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