If I had a dollar for every person who has ever asked, “Why didn’t anyone ever teach me how to manage money when I was a kid?!,” I’d be a wealthy woman. If you have kids in your life age 3 and up to young adult, consider these excellent books to get those conversations started—discussions that will begin to open the doors to financial literacy.
Those Shoes, by Maribeth Boelts. This book features a young boy, a pair of shoes and learning the difference between needs and wants. All Jeremy wants is a pair of those shoes, the ones everyone at school seems to be wearing. Though Jeremy’s grandma says they don’t have room for “want,” just “need,” when his old shoes fall apart at school, he is more determined than ever to have those shoes, even a thrift-shop pair that are much too small. But sore feet aren’t much fun, and Jeremy soon sees that the things he has—warm boots, a loving grandma, and the chance to help a friend—are worth more than the things he wants. Ages 5 to 8. About $7.
Fancy Nancy and the Fabulous Fashion Boutique, by Jane O’Connor. Fancy Nancy, a girl who enjoys turning even the most ordinary events into fabulous occasions, figures out how to earn money first then spend. Ages 4 to 7. About $12.
A Chair for My Mother, by Vera B. Williams. After the protagonist’s family loses its home in a fire, the family members decide to save coins to buy a new chair for their home. The mother is a waitress and tries to save all of the money she can to help out the family. The mother and daughter take all of the money they save it in a jar. When the jar is full they go out and buy a beautiful chair for the family to enjoy.A story of love and devotion. Ages 5 to 8. About $7.
The Money We’ll Save, by Brock Cole. When Pa brings a turkey home to fatten for Christmas dinner, he assures Ma that it will be no trouble since it can live in a box by the stove and eat table scraps–and just think of the money we’ll save! But it’s not quite so simple to raise a turkey in a tiny flat in a nineteenth-century New York City tenement. How the family joins together to solve this last difficulty makes for a very funny and satisfying holiday story. Ages 4 to 8. About $16.
Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money, by Emily Jenkins. On a cold winter day, Pauline and her younger brother, John-John, decide to have a lemonade stand. Gathering all their quarters, they buy their supplies and make lemonade, limeade, and lemon-limeade. On their mostly empty street with the snow falling, they attract a few customers. What happens becomes a beautiful tribute to trust and tenderness shared by siblings. This lovely story is an entrepreneurship how-to that celebrates the thrill and realities of free enterprise; a parable about persistence. Ages 3 to 7. About $14.
The Everything Kids’ Money Book, by Brette McWhorter Sember. How to earn it, save it and watch it grow. From saving for a new bike to investing their allowance online, kids get the “cents” they need with this. Kids will also learn how coins and bills are made, hat money can buy—from school supplies to fun and games; how credit cards work, ways to watch money grow from savings to stocks. And more. Non-fiction. Ages 7 to 12. About $8.
National Geographic Kids Everything Money, by Kathy Furgang. A wealth of facts, photos, and fun. Kids will also learn about money around the world from a National Geographic expert, featured in “Explorer’s Corners” throughout the book. Packed with fun facts and amazing photographs, this book gives kids an in-depth look at this fascinating and important topic. Ages 8 to 12. About $9.
The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens: 8 Steps to Having More Money Than Your Parents Ever Dreamed Of, by David Garner. A hip, funny, cynical, opinionated and right-on book geared to teens. Ages 12 and older. About $10.
The Money Class: A Course in Basic Money Management for Teens and Young Adults, by Michael James Minyard. Money Management is a skill the young people of today know very little about. Most young adults leave high school or college faced with debt and not knowing how to make good financial decisions. Their futures depend on knowing the concepts of financial literacy. This book has will open up great conversations about money and responsibility with your teens. Ages 12 and older. About $20.