Arizona teen earns success by the book

November 10, 1993|By Bill Goodykoontz | Bill Goodykoontz,Arizona Republic

There sat Daryl Bernstein after school at a table in a buzzing McDonald's in Scottsdale, Ariz. Fairly normal stuff for a high school senior -- except that, instead of girls or sports, the 17-year-old was discussing publication of his second book.

That's often how it is with Daryl: The setting's normal, as if you're talking to an everyday teen-ager, but it doesn't take long to realize you've got a successful author and businessman on your hands as well.

The subject at hand is "Kids Can Succeed! 51 Tips for Real Life from One Kid to Another," recently released by Bob Adams Publishers.

Sample tip titles: "Don't do homework in the sandbox! Separate work from play"; " 'I can't' is the wrong slant! Overestimate yourself"; and "Okay, the dog DIDN'T eat my homework! Admit your mistakes."

"I got the original idea for it during the whole promotional tour for the first book, because I was meeting all these hundreds of kids at various places around the country," Daryl said.

The "first book" he refers to is "Better Than a Lemonade Stand! Small Business Ideas for Kids," published in May 1992. It has sold more than 25,000 copies.

During his travels, he noticed that the kids he met weren't all troublemakers.

"I sort of felt that not every kid is like that," he said, "especially some of the kids I was meeting. I set out to see what makes those kids successful."

This led to an unusual format for the book. Each of the 51 tips has three parts. They begin with a subject and are followed by an interview with a kid, which serves as an example of the tip in use. Finally, kids get a chance to see how well they have learned the tips with a short quiz.

The interviews are real, not the product of Daryl's imagination.

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