The Kids are All Right – LUX BLOX
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The Kids are All Right

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Joey Milik, the Inspiration for the character, Lincoln Tenderly, in the Lux Blox science fiction novel, Mars is for Misfits, is this week’s Feature Focus.

Five years ago,  when Joey Milik was in 3rd grade, Lux Blox Co-Founder, Mike Acerra, knew that he had found a central character for the science fiction movie/video game/comic book that he was thinking of creating.  Now Joey is modeling one of the main characters in the Lux Blox science fiction novel, Mars is for Misfits, being written by Allen Crowely. 

“Joey is a force of nature. His mind goes a mile a minute.  While other nine-year-olds were playing video games, he was thinking about startups and investing in the stock market. So I knew I had to make a character based on him.”

Mike Acerra  

Crowley and Acerra have imagined a future in the mid 21st century that has been greatly influenced by generations of children playing with Lux Blox. This influence of so many young children being exposed to four dimensional thinking ushers in a new era of amazing design, unprecedented innovation, and terrifying danger. And Joey’s character is right in the thick of the action. 

  Joey, what do you think about being the inspiration and model for an illustrated science fiction novel based on a construction toy? Is that like the weirdest thing ever?

  I find the opportunity very cool and I’m honored to do it. I have known Mike since I was in third grade,  (I’m a freshman now),  and I have been interested in his business for a while. Even possibly investing in Lux Blox.

  How did you get involved with this project?

  Mike is a friend of my parents and he’d come over to our house many times and talk to me and my brother about our interests in the business and the entertainment space. We became interested in his project. He then gave me this opportunity to be character, LincolnTenderly,  in the Mars is for Misfits novel.

Lincoln Tenderly with his teacher, Miss Liebenow, scan the inside of the Phage larva’s cell. 

  What would you want other people to know about you?

  I have a large interest in business and economics. I see the entertainment industry as a very good and viable space I may venture in. Innovation is a very cool and important thing for society in my eyes.

  What would you say is your biggest passion? 

  My biggest passions are technology, business, economics, and the entertainment industry.

  What do you think are the most important things kids should know?

  I think most kids my age should know that if you want to succeed, you have to work hard. It should be something you are passionate about. Things don't come to you for free, you have to work for them. If you set your goals and expectations high, it may come as a burden at first but in the end may really pay off.

  What do you think grownups get most wrong and most right about kids?

   I think most people either overestimate or underestimate what they are capable of and I think sometimes kids need to be left to make their own decisions.  Although I think most parents do seem to know or at least want the best for their kid.

  What is something about your generation that many adults may not realize?

  We have a low attention span and our interests change fast. Something that was popular a month ago becomes irrelevant a short time later because we have access to so much stuff.

  What worries you most about the future?

  The possibility of innovation being cracked down on and a system that doesn’t help people achieve their dreams but instead makes everybody behave the same. This worries me. 

  What gives you the most hope about the future? 

  What gives me hope is the fact that we are constantly developing tools to improve our way of life and are constantly finding new solutions to problems.  Hopefully that innovation can continue.

  What is the best financial advice you can give to other kids and adults?

  Spend within your means. It’s as  simple as that. People spend on more than they need and end up paying on that debt for the rest of their lives because they felt like they needed to have that product they could barely afford. Try to work in industries that are booming and try and use other measures to make more money as well.

You need to learn to use the money properly. And when your means of money are low, you should not buy unneeded items to impress others because that’s how you get yourself debt trapped.

  What are the most interesting trends in business and technology on the horizon?

  Automation is a very cool technological trend. It can be either a negative or a positive, but developing these machines may be a booming business and something to really look into investing in. Whether you like it or you don’t, automation is coming. 

  What are your chief hobbies? 

  I like spicy food with bold flavors. I like making stuff that is unique and experimenting with different foods. I have food allergies, so learning how to cook by using substitutes while still trying to make it taste good is challenging and rewarding.


  What are your favorite books, movies, and TV shows? 

  I like watching comedy but also stuff that involves philosophy and has a really defined purpose. I have a wide range of books, from funny ones to books about the purpose of the world and existence. 

  What is your overall go-to advice for kids about anything?

  I would tell kids to work hard and start working on your dreams young, because it's better to start sooner than later. It is their behavior that counts and that they should hold themselves responsible for their actions and try to make themselves the best person they can be.

  What do you wish schools did better?

  I wish schools had more teaching based in real life events and situations and that schools were able to compete because I think that this would possibly lead to a better education.

  What do you wish we had in our country that other countries have? 

  I think our country’s food is filled with chemicals and other stuff that just seems to not be that good for us and that is a problem that I don't see as prevalent in other countries. Their food seems to be a little more natural.

  What is the biggest improvement you would make to your school. To yourself? To the world?

  I would try and make myself a better person by listening to the surroundings and just trying to learn. Once you gain more experience you begin to lead and you find and learn your own ways that you think you can improve what’s around you. 

But you need to improve yourself first before fixing the world. 

 Tell us a little about your family.

  I have an older brother, my 2 parents and my dog. We live in a community in the  suburbs of Chicago IL. I attend the same schools, Barrington Middle school and HIgh School,  that Mike did when he was a kid.

You can read Mars is for Misfits on this blog.  Here is an excerpt from Chapter 4: Dangerous Things:

Sheila and Lincoln listened in on the adults through the air return in the room that had been converted into a lab or office depending on who you asked. After the conversation had died down and Maggie and Dean set Jessup up in the guest quarters, which was a joke name for the pantry, the siblings began to scheme.
“I know what we have to do.” Said Lincoln in as grown up a voice as his squeaky larynx could muster. 
“Really?” Sheila raised an eyebrow, curious that Lincoln threw out the first move.  He was the same in chess. And he almost always lost.
“Seriously. I’ve been thinking about this.”
“Uh huh.” she smiled.
“Stop it!”
“What?” Sheila responded with mock incredulity.
“OK. What’s your plan?”
“So I see it like this. Tomorrow mom, dad and Uncle Jess are going to look for where this thing came from, right?”
“Yeah, I think so too.”
“And where will we be when they’re on this adventure?”
“I suppose school.” She acquiesced.
“So that’s your plan? We go to school while those guys have all the fun?” She exhaled to express her boredom with this exercise.
“What does the school got that mom and dad don’t? And think before you speak.” Lincoln quickly added, shooting up an index finger for emphasis.
Sheila furrowed her brow. Her brother was smart, she knew. But he was also an idiot. And sometimes his plans were more childish fantasies than good thinking. “Well, they have good equipment in the science lab. Better than the junk here.”
“Precisely! Like the MRI imager and 4D Interpolators and best of all..”.
“A Crisper!” Sheila interjected.
“I was going to say ‘time for us to get in without getting noticed’. What’s a ‘Crisper?” A puzzled look crossed his formerly confident face.
“It’s a gene editing tool. School’s got an old one but it could help us get a sample of that thing’s DNA. Even make copies of it.”
“Cool.” Said Lincoln through an ever widening grin.
“But what good’s the equipment without a specimen?”
Lincoln’s grin blossomed into a devious smile.
“Don’t even think about it!”
“I can totally make an exact copy of that sample jar! Trust me! They’ll never notice.”

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  • Seems like a very wise young person. I can understand why he would inspire a fictional character like Lincoln.

    Tabitha Cartwright on
  • The kid’s got wisdom. Probably has good parents too.

    Jason Cratty on
  • Great advice from the mouth of someone so young! I’m sharing this with me seventh grade class.

    Jeannie R on

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