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The Ultimate Tree House Project: Project Kids Adventure #1 (Project Kids Adventures) (Volume 1) Paperback – March 30, 2013
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'Children are our future it is said, and projects are our business future. In creating the Project Kids, Gary combines these two to provide an entertaining and educational platform for the kids of today (and project managers of tomorrow).' - Peter Taylor, The Lazy Project Manager
'In this book, Gary Nelson gives us a kids-eye view of project management, making Project Management accessible to kids.'
Rich Maltzman, PMP, Co-Author of Green Project Management, PMI Cleland Award for Literature, 2011
From the Author
Although I really enjoyed writing my first book, Gazza's Guide to Practical Project Management, I must say I have had the most fun with The Ultimate Tree House Project.
Both books involve Project Management stories - but being able to follow through an entire project with characters and accessible dialogue in a novel format was a rewarding challenge!
This book has three goals:
1) To get children reading - I have always loved books and my children are no different.
2) To get children outside, playing!
3) To teach children the basics of Project Management, at a simple, manageable level for 10-11 year olds (or mature 8-9 year olds).
Although there are lessons in this book, it is also intended to be a very fun read for children and adults - suitable for the classroom, bedtime or independent reading.
I am also very excited to introduce Mathew Frauenstein, who is the illustrator for this book, and a very talented 15-year old artist (at the time of publication).
Gary Nelson (Gazza)
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Ben declares himself their leader, but he has no plan. When they can't figure out how to make a rope ladder, they decide they don't need one. Amanda is upset that they would not accept her help. She knows how to tie a rope knot. That night she talks to her dad. He suggests that she and her friends, Becky, Alice and Susan build their own tree house. He offers to help but warns Amanda that they will not succeed without a plan! She must first imagine what the tree house will look like and draw pictures.
At their next meeting, Amanda's dad explains there are four major parts of a good plan. You need to have a good idea, a plan, a do phase, and a finish up. You must constantly recheck to see that your steps are working. You must keep lists with the required materials, deadlines, the resources needed and the team skills necessary to complete the job. They make a bubble chart to show when the tasks have to be done and in what order,
Armed with a plan, the girls set out in the forest with a compass to guide them, but they cannot find another tree large enough to support a tree house. The boys have made little progress and reluctantly agree that the girls can build on the other side of their tree. In a short time, the girls have a rope ladder and a system of pulleys to haul up their materials. Meanwhile, the boys run out of nails and James' father discovers they have stolen all his nails without permission so now they must now buy their own.
A series of accidents and natural disasters occur. It seems that the tree house project is doomed. Will the girls and boys find a way to work together to get the job done or will the summer come and go without a tree house?
Nelson was inspired to write this book by his own wife and children. The language is suitable for middle grade students and the competition of boy versus girl will appeal to this age group. A fifteen year old artist drew the illustrations with simple colorful images. There is a bit too much conversation in the text which sometimes interferes with the story flow but does not impede the message. An appendix includes a glossary of technical terms. Nelson aligns the book to educational standards in the United Kingdom, the United States, and New Zealand. Resources and kids projects are promised to be coming soon. Parents and teachers will appreciate the lessons of friendship, team work, planning and cooperation found in this book.
Gary Nelson has written a book on Project Management for adults, which I haven't read (but you may well want to have a look at it - Gazza's Guide to Practical Project Management). Given that my projects aren't great big ones, but personal, this book written for children is probably more along my line. It's also a great read.
The boys discover a fabulous tree and decide to build a tree house. As one of their sisters is having a nosy at it one day early on in their endeavours, she offers assistance in building a rope ladder. The boys are 10 - of course they refuse it! "No girls allowed." But the sister talks about it to her father, who suggests the girls 4 of them, aged 11) build their own. I can't remember the precise order of things here, and I'm not looking at the book right at this moment, but that's the gist of it. Father also offers help, and he's just the right person as he's a Project Manager at his workplace.
The plot is pretty obvious. And there are setbacks, and so on, as should happen in any novel, and nice things that happen. And we learn the how-to's and the how-not-to's. All 8-12-year-olds should read this book. It makes planning and preparing and executing a project fun.