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Learning money young: A reading list

Marketplace Staff Oct 22, 2009

Jump to:
Ages 9-12
Ages 13+

Ages 4-8:

Berenstain Bears Trouble with Money

By Stan and Jan Berenstain.

Brother and sister bear find ways to work for the money needed to buy the Astro Bear video game.

One Hen

By Katie Smith Milway.

After his father dies, Kojo quits school to help his mother. There is little money or food. With the help of a small loan, Kojo buys a hen, slowly building the largest poultry farm in West Africa.

Kumon’s My Book of Money

Kumon Publishing has a series for kids on money: “My Book of Money: Dollars and Cents” and “My First Book of Money: Counting Coins,” among others.

Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich on Sunday

By Judith Viorst

When Alexander’s grandparents gave him a dollar, he thought he was rich. But then the money began to disappear.

Bargain for Frances

By Russell Hoban and Lillian Hoban

Thelma tricks Frances into buying her tea set. But with some thinking, Frances gets the best out of the bad deal.

Table Where Rich People Sit

By Byrd Baylor and Peter Parnall

Baylor and Parnall tell the story of Mountain Girl, “who begins to see the wealth in her family’s simple lifestyle.”

You and Me and Home Sweet Home

By George Ella Lyon

Lyon tells the story of a whole community coming together to build a house.

Ages 9-12:

Everything Kids Money Book

By Diane Mayr and Brette McWhorter Sember

A series on kids and money: “The Everything Kids’ Money Book: Earn it, save it, and watch it grow!” and “The Everything Kids’ Money Book: From Saving to Spending to Investing — Learn All About Money!”

Ramona & Her Father

By Beverly Cleary

When Ramona’s father loses his job, she practices TV commercials in hopes of earning a million dollars.

When You Reach Me

By Rebecca Stead

Set in New York City in 1979, the book follows sixth-grader Miranda as she begins to negotiate friendship, family, class and identity.

Million Dollar Throw

By Mike Lupica

Nate’s father has lost his job and his family is losing their home. Then Nate wins the chance to throw a pass at a Patriots game for $1 million.


by Frank Cottrel Boyce

A bag crammed with cash comes tumbling out of the air and lands right at Damian’s feet. Suddenly the Cunningham brothers are rich. They can buy anything they want. There’s just one problem: They have only 17 days to spend all the money before it becomes worthless.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

by Roald Dahl

The gates of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory are opening at last, and only five children will be allowed inside.

Lemonade War

by Jacqueline Davies

As the final days of summer heat up, so does a sibling showdown over a high-stakes lemonade stand business. Jessie and Evan Treski compete to see who will make $100 first off of their respective lemonade stands.

Ages 13+:

Lock & Key

by Sarah Dessen

Ruby finds herself with a luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future. But why is she such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive?

The Hunger Games

by Suzanne Collins

A post-apocalyptic tale about teenagers who fight to the death to help feed their families.

Money Hungry by Flake

by Sharon Flake

Thirteen-year-old Raspberry Hill is starved for money, and will do just about anything legal to get her hands on it. But even money can’t answer the questions that keep her awake at night. Will she and Momma ever move out of the projects?

Make Lemonade

by Virginia Euwe Wolff

Fourteen-year-old LaVaughn is determined to go to college — she just needs the money to get there. Then she meets Jolly, a 17-year-old single mother with two kids by different fathers. Helping Jolly make the most out of life teaches LaVaughn lessons outside of the classroom.

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