The topic of money is undoubtedly a tough concept to tackle. When researching how to teach kids about money and budgeting the general consensus seems to be the sooner the better! For adults managing money, budgets, and investing can be intimidating. Often, these skills aren't introduced until later in life-when they can easily be overwhelming, causing problems and stress. Even before kids learn how to add and subtract they see money being used around them. Teaching good financial habits is often done in the home, so giving parents the resources to help them explain the topic of money is critical. Our feature highlights books designed to assist with this! With a few fiction titles thrown in, these books are recently published books relating to money for young children and teens.

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Contributor: Emily Griffin


Cool Jobs for Super Sales Kids: Ways to Make Money Selling Stuff
Pam Scheunemann

One is never too young to learn entrepreneurial skills. The 'how-to' of coming up with a product to sell, advertising the product and developing a profitable home-based business is not difficult to learn. The benefits of learning to sell something, beyond earning money, is teaching children how to organize, analyze and work successfully with others and will benefit children in many ways not directly related to the business itself. Specific sales ideas are suggested in child-friendly terms, often phrased as questions to encourage children to think about all aspects of the issue. Simple but effective language communicates ideas clearly. The colorful graphics include subtitles set in contrasting colors, sample posters and budgets. Sidebars such as "Pro Tips" give additional information related to the content on the page. Specific projects, such as how to participate in a garage sale and how to sell home-made crafts, illustrate the principles discussed. This book, one in the series "Cool Kid Jobs," concludes with 'Tips for Success,' a glossary, a suggested web site for further information and an index and would be a good addition to a middle school library or class on how to start your own business. 2011, ABDO Publishing Company, Ages 8 to 14, $26.65. Reviewer: Hazel Buys (Children's Literature).
ISBN: 9781616131975

A Dollar Bill's Journey
Suzanne Slade
Illustrated by Susan Swan

Where do dollar bills come from? What happens when you spend one? The "Follow It" series answers these and other questions by taking young readers on an animated trip that follows some familiar objects or organisms through their lifecycles. In this book, a bill with one blue eye and a red mouth introduces kids to paper money and its circulation. It all starts with a piece of steel carved into a printing plate. At the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the bill is impressed with its designs, dried out, checked, and sliced. Then it's on its way (heavily guarded) through the Federal Reserve banks to a local bank. There, kids see a woman getting some bills and stuffing them into a birthday card for a party. The bill's new owner spends it on a carnival ride. After that, it becomes change for a boy who tosses his jeans into the laundry and gets a good washing. From then on, it passes from hand to hand paying for things like a piece of chocolate cake, a movie, an apple, and overdue books. Whew! The exhausted bill gets worn and wrinkled until, finally, it is shredded and recycled-in this case, into note cards headed for another birthday. Swan's amusing, party-bright illustrations help keep the trip lively, while sidebars offer more facts about bills (e.g., the Treasury Department uses a special ink so they can't be counterfeited) and how we recycle them (e.g., bills can become shingles, insulation, stationery, or even art). In case the journey is a bit confusing, a diagram at the end traces it with simple icons. Also helpful are a glossary and a list of two recommended books. The suggested websites are not interesting for younger readers. 2011, Picture Window/Capstone, Ages 4 to 8, $25.99. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft (Children's Literature).
ISBN: 9781404862654

Dollars and Sense: Developing Good Money Habits
John Burstein

This book is part of the Slim Goodbody's Life Skills 101 series by Slim Goodbody, a character of John Burstein, who has been entertaining and educating children on television for over thirty years. Dollars and Sense: Developing Good Money Habits is a great book for children and parents to help kids deal with money issues. The book explains about saving money, earning money, budgeting, giving to charity and many other important issues surrounding money and finances. It talks about shopping smart, figuring out how much to charge for work and even tells about debit cards, credit cards and where to save your money. This book would be very useful to children of all ages, from 5 years to teenagers. There is a glossary in the back of each book in this series to give definitions to some of the words and concepts talked about in the book. They also include an index. 2011, Crabtree Publishing, Ages 10 to 13, $20.76. Reviewer: Katherine Watmough (Resource Links Reviews, February 2011 (Vol. 16, No. 3)).

Earning Money: Jobs
James Fischer

Who would have thought the world of money and investing could be so colorful and exciting? In the Junior Library of Money series, this is certainly true. This multivolume series sets out to educate students and provide a sound foundational understanding of our financial system. In Earning Money: Jobs, teens learn why working is important and how to find the right job, including what steps to take in preparation and what is expected of them once they have a job. In Investing Money, readers learn about the many types of investments that are available, how to get money to invest, and where to begin. This series is stunning, with vivid color illustrations on every page. Each subtopic is covered in a two-page spread that features bold graphics and bright colors. This succinct and visually appealing coverage is sure to fit the attention span of students. Each book follows the same 64-page format, with a glossary, an index, further reading, web resources, and an index. Another great feature is the "Here's What You Need to Remember" section just before the standard nonfiction features. This bulleted list restates the main points of the book. It is a great way to sum up the information covered. In an age of digital multimedia and PowerPoint, this book series holds its own. Although it is not a subject that every teen will pick up for entertainment, those that do will certainly enjoy the colorful art and easy-to-understand language. (Junior Library of Money) 2011, Mason Crest, Ages 12 to 18, $22.95. Reviewer: Dawn Talbott (VOYA, April 2011 (Vol. 34, No. 1)).
ISBN: 9781422217634

Flat Broke
Gary Paulsen

Money makes the world go round for fourteen-year-old Kevin Spencer. That is, it did until his parents put him on the "If-you-Lie-Bad-Things-Will-Happen" program because he duped everyone in his life. Now, Kevin has no income at all. Now, there is no way he will be able to convince Tina Zabinski to go the dance with him because girls are only attracted to rich, successful guys. So Kevin hatches a plan, borrows a little cash from his sister and starts a poker business in his aunt's shop. It doesn't get any easier than this, right? The problem with people who love money is that they usually get greedy. So, Kevin decides to expand the business to include a beauty salon out of his sister's bathroom, cleaning garages and catering snacks to college kids with the munchies. In order to be successful, Kevin "borrows" a golf cart and begins dumping the trash from the garages in the dumpsters outside businesses without asking. No one said he couldn't, so what could go wrong? Will he catch Tina's eye and find the time to ask her to the dance in the middle of all the chaos? Will his businesses be a huge success, or an epic failure? It's not necessary to read the companion book entitled Liar, Liar, but readers will most likely want to know more about the back story of why Kevin is in trouble in Flat Broke. The chapters are short, which will appeal to reluctant readers, and the book is written in a conversational way that will appeal to all readers. 2011, Random House, Ages 12 to 14, $12.99. Reviewer: Heather Welsh (Children's Literature).
ISBN: 9780385740029

Investing Money
Helen Thompson

One of fourteen in the "Jr. Library of $Money" series that introduces middle school students to financial concepts such as inflation, interest rates, credit and stock ownership, institutions such as banks, the stock market, the Federal Reserve, and the FDIC. This title discusses the concept of investing in twenty-five short chapters that utilize bold photographs, illustrations and well-researched text in an appealing layout to introduce basic investing and its importance in the lives of most individuals. Concepts discussed include kinds of investments, the importance of investing, ways to invest, risk diversity, compound interest, CD's, money markets, saving bonds as well as steps for being a good investor, for example. As the introduction states, "everyone needs a basic knowledge of our financial world" and recent developments in our economy illustrate the need for consumers of all ages to be as informed as possible. This series is a great introduction for students, has just the right amount of information and can easily be expanded to hands-on learning by a creative teacher. A glossary of new vocabulary highlighted in the text, sources for further study, an index, picture credits and info about the author and advisor are included. 2011, Mason Crest Publishing, Ages 10 to 14, $22.95 and $9.95. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger, Ph.D. (Children's Literature).
ISBN: 9781422217665

Money and Credit
Sean Connolly

People may have differing opinions about the value of money, but everyone agrees that its' role in the world today cannot be ignored. This book looks at the history of money dating back almost 3,000 years and how it has developed into a vital role in the lives of people and companies around the world. Also highlighted in the book is the role of credit and the problems that can arise when it is too easily obtained. Banking policies, fluctuating interest rates, and government monetary decisions also play a significant role in how lives are affected. Many people believe money is the answer to all of their problems, but readers will see that problems exist for both the rich and the poor. Included in the book are plenty of photographs, firsthand accounts, and thought provoking questions to keep the reader engaged. Other resources include a glossary, index, and suggestions for further reading. This is part of a six book series "World Economy Explained" focuses on different aspects of the world economy. 2010, Amicus Publishing, Ages 10 up, $23.95. Reviewer: Heather Kinard (Children's Literature).
ISBN: 9781607530817

Money for Toys
Mary Elizabeth Salzman

This title in the "Looking Glass Library" collection from Magic Wagon/ABDO publishing group proves that money matters, no matter your age. Here, a young girl-Olivia-gets money from her parents to spend at a toy store. Olivia also has her weekly allowance to add to the fund. Each time, Olivia must figure out how much money she can spend without going over budget. Anything left over goes into her piggybank, which is displayed prominently on the page after each transaction. Each trip to the toy store becomes more complex, as Olivia learns comparison shopping: she weighs the merits of price, quantity and quality in pursuit of value-the ultimate goal of all consumers, young or old. The book teaches math skills (addition and subtraction) along with the numeric values of common coins and paper currency. The pages are crowded with cartoon illustrations, math calculations, and text but it's very child-friendly and easy to read. Parents, teachers and students will like using this combination storybook/workbook. Kids will gain money smarts and math skills that will prove useful every day! Includes a glossary and tips for finding the best value when shopping for toys. 2011, Magic Wagon/ABDO Group, Ages 6 to 10, $25.65. Reviewer: Dianne Ochiltree (Children's Literature).
ISBN: 9781616410322

Pretty Penny Sets Up Shop
Devon Kinch

Pretty Penny has big ideas and lots of enthusiasm. She writes a first novel and hosts a dog fashion show. However, when it's time to spend the summer with her artistic grandmother, Penny is stumped as to how to celebrate Bunny's upcoming birthday. It takes her a while, but she finally realizes that her grandmother, who rents apartments, has an attic stuffed with things at the top of the building. Penny goes to work cleaning and sorting and pricing, and holds a "small mall" sale which is well attended by the tenants. Having earned ten dollars, Penny goes to the bakery, buys ten cupcakes, invites all the residents to join her, and throws an impromptu party for Bunny with the earnings from her sale. Pictures are expressive, cartoon style with primary pinks and yellows featuring Penny (of course) and Iggy the Piggy and Bo the cat. Narrative is in first person, and this cheerful story offers opportunities for talking about money and its uses with young readers. 2011, Random House, Ages 6 to 8, $16.99. Reviewer: Dawna Lisa Buchanan (Children's Literature).
ISBN: 9780375867354

Marsha Arvoy and Dorianne Nardi

When a teacher helps her students prepare for the school fair, she tells them that they do not need exact measurements and numbers, so they can use the principle of rounding to work more quickly. They round to the nearest ten to decide on the number of tickets to order and then to assemble the bottles for the ring toss. Determining the number of prizes needed involves rounding to the nearest hundred. They learn how to round in estimating amounts of money needed to buy snacks. Examples of lining up decimal points when adding or subtracting money amounts are shown. The students count the money earned in the booths and estimate their profit. They discover they have earned about $290 to buy new books for the library. Number lines appear on many of the pages to help readers participate in making estimates and colorful photographs show the children engaged in their activities. Includes a table of contents, a glossary, and an index. Part of the "My Path to Math" series. 2011, Crabtree Publishing Company, Ages 5 to 8, $6.95. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D. (Children's Literature).
ISBN: 9780778767862

Using Money
Gail Fay

One of six in the "Understanding Money" series, this title focuses on how and why money is used in our country. An eye-catching layout, color photos, a question and answer format, and charts and graphs combine to create an interesting introduction to the world of economics for elementary students. The twelve short chapters begin with the history of money and include subjects such as where people get money, how banks work, savings, checking, credit cards, budgets, and so on. Features such as problems to solve, boxed information and helpful hints, a summary section, glossary, index, and sources for further information are included. Although bad credit is mentioned, more emphasis on its avoidance would have been helpful to budding consumers. Fun items such as the origins of the piggy bank help to lighten this subject matter for youngsters. All in all, it is a balanced and appropriate introduction to a subject important to everyone. Some repetition throughout the series reinforces important concepts. 2012, Heineman Library, Ages 8 to 10, $31.43. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger, Ph.D. (Children's Literature).
ISBN: 9781432946340

Updated 2/28/12

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