Learning the Value of a Dollar:
12 Books to Teach Kids About Money
by Laura Lambert
( readbrightly.com )
Laura Lambert is a writer, editor, mother of two and flailing book club member living in Los Angeles.
When I was young, once or twice a year my father would empty out the large wooden box where he threw his spare change every day, and together we would roll pennies, dimes, nickels, and quarters into neat, uniform cylinders and take them to the bank. I was always astonished at how much money the discarded change would add up to — it was a great, childhood example of a penny saved is a penny earned. When I thought I might do the same now that my kids are school age, I realized there’s just not much change to count. Almost every financial transaction I make is virtual — debit cards, Venmo, Apple Pay. I found myself wondering how on earth will they learn the value — or the weight, in coins — of a dollar?
These days, parents can put allowance on a child's debit card with just a couple taps on a smartphone — no cash necessary. Easy, right? But how do we teach kids about money and all that it represents? These 12 books can help.
by Mary E. Reid
Experts say that core money habits are formed by age seven — so let’s hope Curious About Money isn’t your first foray into the value of a dollar. This book is all about the various types of currency used throughout history, from seashells to bitcoin. (For more literary lessons about money, for the younger set, check out Money Talks: Literary Lessons on Money, Gratitude, and Responsibility for Little Ones.)
(Ages 6 – 8)
by Alvin Hall
Alvin Hall grew up in severe poverty in the Florida panhandle — then became a world-renowned financial trainer, expert, and author. In Show Me the Money, Hall shares his no-nonsense approach to money matters, including how the financial, business, and economic sectors of our society work.
(Ages 8 – 12)
by Gail Karlitz and Debbie Honig
Are 8-year-olds too young to understand investing? Hardly, according to Gail Karlitz and Debbie Honig. This book breaks down the basics of bonds, stocks, mutual funds, and more, so that middle grade readers can grasp the principles of investing. Mom or dad might learn a thing or two as well.
(Ages 8 – 12)
by Kathy Furgang
As the subtitle promises, this book is full of facts, photos, and fun. Money matters are broken down into bite-size, easily digestible pieces, and the topics range from the history of various currency to how to fold a dollar bill into an origami butterfly.
(Ages 8 – 12)
by Elaine Scott, illustrated by David Clark
Kirkus calls Dollars & Sense “a sporty guide to the wide, weird world of money.” Indeed, this book covers basic economic concepts like supply and demand and inflation as well as the circumstance that led to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
(Ages 8 – 12)
by Joe Cribb
This one’s about money itself — the various coins and banknotes from countries around the world, and throughout history. Author Joe Cribb is what they call a numismatist, or a currency expert, and was the former “Keeper of Coins and Medals” at the British Museum.
(Ages 8 – 12)
by James McKenna, Jeannine Glista, and Matt Fontaine
The title says it all — the key to turning some money into a lot of money is to make it, save it, and grow it. This book, by the creators of “Bill Nye the Science Guy” and “Biz Kid$,” is meant to be an easy-to-read, engaging, informative, and comprehensive guide to creating wealth, from basic saving to the magic of compound interest — and it even includes content about resumes, getting a job, and working. The set-up is pretty straightforward: “Making money is a game,” they write, “and we’re going to teach you the basic rules.”
(Ages 10 – 14)
For older teens with a basic understanding of money matters — how and why to save, the difference between wants and needs — there’s Heads Up Money. This book goes beyond “What is money?” to more prescient and timely questions like “What is the wage gap?” and discusses economic theories. It’s a big-picture view of money and its role in our modern world, rather than a personal finance how-to.
For the visual learner who is interested in complex financial information, How Money Works will be indispensable. Facts and stats pepper the entire book — part of the How Things Work series — and help break down complex topics, like asset allocation and diversification (which I’ve never really understood).
by Scott Gamm
This is Money Management 101 for those who have recently left the nest, written by someone in their shoes. But not just anyone. At just 17, Scott Gamm created HelpSaveMyDollars.com — and quickly became a financial news commentator. He wrote this book in 2013 while he was still at the New York University Stern School of Business.
by Beth Kobliner
- Beth Kobliner is the author of the bestselling personal finance book Get a Financial Life, aimed at those in their 20s and 30s — which is to say, she knows more than a thing or two about the subject of money. This book is aimed at the parents of those just below that target demographic, from preschoolers to college students, and every age in between. Understanding money, it turns out, isn’t so much about math, but about values — and that’s something that’s part and parcel of parenting. One of Kobliner’s top money lessons? As she told The Washington Post, “Waiting and being able to delay gratification is one of the most important lessons kids can learn about money and in life.”
- by Ron Lieber
As the “Your Money” writer for the New York Times, Ron Lieber taught me a lot about kids and money, one column at a time. He’s a personal finance expert and a parent, so the tone and content of The Opposite of Spoiled are informative and relatable — it covers allowances, the tooth fairy, summer jobs, overindulgent grandparents, and more — as well as inspiring.
I hope you found this article and list of book regarding money and how to manage it helpful. Thank you to Laura Lambert and www.readbrightly.com for the wonderful work that they do to inspire both parents and kids to read, to learn , and to love doing both. Have a wonderful weekend everyone. Please come and join me next week as I continue to share amazing kid's books and albums with you. You can also connect with me on:*Instagram: Storywraps*Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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