Blogger Jennifer Schultz

Show Me the Money

I’ve been writing these monthly posts off and on for a number of years, so I’m always on the search for new topics.  Luckily, each month is designated “National  Something-Or-Other Month,” which opens the door to numerous booklist opportunities!  April, as we all know, is National Poetry Month, and what a fantastic opportunity for booklists, displays, and programs.   April is also National Financial Literacy Month; since it’s never too early to teach the importance of saving and spending money wisely, I’ve decided to tell you about some excellent books about personal finances for your young patrons:

“Congratulations! You’ve earned a penny.” With that, Marvelosissimo the Mathematical Magician begins our tour through the worlds of business and finance.  The funny and wacky atmosphere of How Much is a Million is once again on display here, making mundane subjects such as investing, writing checks, and down payments accessible to young audiences.

A multi-ethnic group of children learns the value of different denominations of money, beginning with a penny and finally ending with a hundred dollar bill.  Information about symbols and the people who appear on American money are explained in simple text; the children’s car wash business is illustrated through cartoonish and humorous pictures. Although this may require booktalking in order to get it in the hands of readers, Making Cents is an entertaining overview of financial matters for middle-grade children.

Set during a busy market day, My Rows and Piles of Coins is based upon author Tololwa M. Mollel’s childhood memories of 1960s Tanzania.  Saruni is determined to save enough money to buy a new bicycle so that he can help his mother carry her goods to the market.  Although he experiences setbacks along the way, Saruni is eventually successful.  Although it’s set in a time period and country unfamiliar to many American children, readers will warm to Saruni’s determination and devotion to his family.

I’m a huge DK fan, but I find that some DK books go overboard in their bright colors and busy designs.  Show Me the Money: How to Make CENTS of Economics is packed with the intriguing details and eye-catching designs that have made DK famous, but manages to not overwhelm and overstimulate readers.  This is not just a “how-to” guide for earning, spending, and saving money; readers will learn about the history of money, the true value of discounts, “economy size” items, and basic explanations of supply and demand, the free market, and how ideas are turned into goods.

Do you have any recommendations for books about money matters? Let us know in the comments!

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