Book Review: Liam Takes a Stand by Troy Wilson, Josh Holinaty

Liam Takes a Stand is written by Troy Wilson and illustrated by Josh Holinaty. It is a children's book about family, business, and doing things your own way. Lister and Lester are identical twins who do identical things. But their constant striving to outdo each other means their little brother, Liam, is always left out. When Lester’s Lemonade Universe and Lister’s Lemonade Multiverse open for business, there’s no role for Liam. He does odd jobs around the neighborhood while Lister and Lester’s competition spirals into overdrive and their lemonade stands get increasingly, outrageously out of hand. But then Liam takes a stand with his own business venture — a simple model based on his observations of what not to do — and gives the twins a run for their money. Illustrated with lively cartoon-style art highlighting the hilarious one-upmanship, this is a spirited underdog story about siblings and strategic thinking.

Liam Takes a Stand was a read that entertained while giving some lessons in business and teamwork. All Liam really wants is to spend time with his brothers, but they are too busy competing to pay him any attention. I like that Liam took steps, working hard to earn his own money, in his own way, and plan for the long run rather than chasing the fast dollar like his brothers. I think that the little brother, using sound and fair business practices, out performs his brothers and gets what he wants in the end- not due to trickery but through working hard. While there is a strong sense of teaching a lesson throughout the book, there is a nice balance of story and wonderful illustrations that keep the story from crossing the line that many books intent on teaching something to kids cross. It stayed fun and enjoyable, and never felt like I was being forcefully taught, which often turns me off with strongly thematic writing.

Liam Takes a Stand is a book that would be great for classes or families wanting to teach children about working hard, work ethic, business, and persistence. I think this would be a great introduction to raising money for a cause, or for programs that help get young people started in any form of business.
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