U-M Students’ Books to Teach Kids About Steve Jobs, Entrepreneurship

3/13/14Follow @XconomyDET

Sara Abraham and Reda Jaber created a bucket list of things they wanted to do as a couple, and near the top of that list was writing a children’s book. They both attend the University of Michigan; she’s finishing up a bachelor’s degree in Global Health on her way to becoming a teacher, and he’s pursuing a master’s degree in business with a focus on entrepreneurship.

They hit upon visionary entrepreneurs as a topic of a children’s book series because they felt today’s kids have a heightened interest in technology. The couple also admired the way entrepreneurs are confident, creative, and almost playful in their exploration of new ideas.

“I wasn’t exposed to what entrepreneurship is at a young age,” Jaber says. “Entrepreneurship brings out the kid in you.”

“Before we started, we went to the bookstore to see what’s popular,” Abraham adds. “We didn’t see any books about entrepreneurs for kids. That teaches kids that it’s a risky occupation to go into, and we wanted them to have a better understanding of what an entrepreneur is.”

They began writing their first book, titled “Visionary Kids: Steve Jobs,” and found illustrator Joaquin Arias online. Now that the book is finished, Abraham and Jaber have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money needed to publish the book by June. Their goal is $2,500 by March 27; as of press time, they’ve raised almost $2,000.

The book follows the life of Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs. The authors take readers through the struggles Jobs faced as an adopted child who decided to drop out of school and try to build revolutionary technology in his garage. Jaber wrote the overview of Jobs’s life, and Abraham turned the text into rhyming prose.

“A lot of these [entrepreneurs’] stories are basically real-life fairy tales,” Jaber says. “They come from nothing and create things that change the world. One of the major lessons is that entrepreneurs face a lot more failure than success.”

If Jaber and Abraham succeed with their crowdfunding campaign, they’d next like to tackle the story of at least one major entrepreneur with ties to Michigan, such as Google co-founder Larry Page or Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert, as well as an innovative female entrepreneur.

“We’re trying to show kids that if you have a cool hobby, why not see what you can do with it?” Abraham says. “It might be risky, but if it’s something you really believe in, why not go for it? I needed that kind of confidence when I was a kid.”

Sarah Schmid is the editor of Xconomy Detroit. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET

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