Willis Wilbur Series
Willis Wilbur didn’t go out there to find his destiny–his destiny found him. And Willis’s destiny is to be the first nine-year-old life coach specializing in kid problems. Like bullying! And homework! And color coordination! Hire Willis Wilbur today and we promise–he’ll make all of your (and his) dreams come true. (For a small fee.)
With illustrations by Daniel Duncan, the Willis Wilbur series is funny, heartfelt, and overwhelmingly endearing. Perfect fun for elementary age readers. And their parents. And Oprah (Call Wills’s people! He’d love to do lunch).
“Nine-year-old Willis Wilbur’s summer plans are upended when his best friend, Shelley, finds out her family is spending the entire summer in Hawaii. In need of what his mother calls a Plan B for the summer, Willis, who is white, sets his sights on winning a scholarship for entrepreneurs from the Business Owner’s Organization. When his first idea of being a decorator ends in a sprained wrist, he decides to become a life coach. Despite being bullied and having an anxious guinea pig as his first customer, Willis’s determination wins over new clients as his business picks up steam. As Willis befriends Margo, who hurt his feelings in first grade, he begins to realize that he can exist independently from Shelley and thrive while doing so. Leavitt has created an endearing, plucky hero, whose wit and self-confidence will charm and amuse readers. A cast of likable secondary characters rounds out a plot line that embodies children’s imaginations perfectly. VERDICT A perfectly fun addition to summer reading lists for middle grade readers; a recommended purchase.” —Amy McInerney
“This stand-alone story perfectly captures tween self-absorption . . . this is a quick read with great tips for readers about friendship, the pitfalls of jealousy, and developing insight and confidence. Amusing black-and-white spot art enhances the narrative . . . Humorously over-the-top fare that will make a positive impact and inspire readers.” —Kirkus Reviews
Willis Wilbur Wows the World
Willis Wilbur has the entire summer in front of him. So it’s time to fulfill his destiny: becoming the neighborhood life coach.
Nine-year-old Willis Wilbur had his summer figured out. He and his best friend, Shelley, were going to Band Camp, and he was going to learn how to play the sousaphone. Easy. Simple. A done deal. But when Shelley is whisked off to Hawaii for a summer with her family, Willis is left staring down the long, boring road of an empty summer. Or even worse—eight long weeks of Day Camp. So Willis decides to try something new. He’s going to MAKE A DATE WITH DESTINY. And after spotting a flyer for a local business competition, he finds exactly what his true calling really is: becoming the Neighborhood Life Coach. A kid helping other kids with kids’ problems. His niche, he discovers. And he was going to be great at it. The best at it. So good, that he was going to become wildly, ridiculously famous. All he needed were some clients…
With gumption, tenacity, and many other buzzwords he finds in self-help business magazines, Willis dives bowtie-first into the entrepreneurial waters. But starting a business alone, especially without his best friend by his side, is tough work. And with neighborhood bullies getting in his way, a guinea pig client who’s actually a guinea pig, and an annoyingly competent little sister asking for a raise, Willis has his work cut out for him.
Willis Wilbur Meets His Match
In this standalone sequel to Willis Wilbur Wows the World, Willis wants to be the best life coach his school has ever seen. And he knows exactly how to make that happen: by creating the first-ever life-coaching app.
Nine-year-old Willis Wilbur is beyond excited to go back to school. Now that he has discovered his destiny as a life coach, he’s looking forward to signing on more clients (preferably human ones, not just guinea pigs).
So when Willis and his classmates are tasked with creating a passion project — an opportunity to present an idea they love and share it with the whole school — Willis knows exactly what he’s going to do. He enlists his very smart friend, Margo, and his number one best friend, Shelley, who is finally back from a family vacation in Hawaii. Together, they are going to make the Willis Wilbur App, also known as the first-EVER life-coaching app. Willis is confident he’s going to become a millionaire. Soon, he can probably buy, like, a bunch of tacos.
Except Willis has one teensy problem. He doesn’t know anything about technology. Or worse yet, coding. And then he discovers something even more horrific: Shelley wants to do her own passion project on horse therapy with her new, extremely weird, absolutely awful friend, Colt. In a tough spot with his life-coaching dreams and his best friend, Willis must learn hard but rewarding lessons about jealousy, realistic goal setting, and putting your pride aside to ask for help.