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Treasurer's L.I.F.E. Reading List (Lessons In Financial Education)

 

Greeting from the Treasurer:

The current state of our Nation's economy shows how critical it is that we teach Kansas youth about finances as early as possible. Children and adults alike must understand that they do have control over their financial future. Stressing basic financial responsibilities is a lesson best learned early in life and reinforced through the years.

The below reading list provides lessons on cost-benefit analysis, barter and exchange, having a job, work and human capital, having and earning money, and saving techniques for kids from preschool through high school. This list is designed to get kids to begin thinking about and engaging in dialog about some basic financial concepts.

As both Kansas State Treasurer, and as a parent myself, I recommend that parents talk to their children about finances early and often. Reading these books to kids is a great way to communicate the message of financial responsibility. I appreciate the important role that parents and caregivers play in shaping our children's future and I thank you for your dedication.

Sincerely,

Jake LaTurner
Kansas State Treasurer

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Preschool Reading List - (Click the book to see a summary.)[back to top]
The Great Pet Sale
With a pocketful of coins, a young boy must choose which animal to purchase at the Everything Must Go pet store sale. A self-marketing rat...he's a bargain at only one cent...conducts a tour for the buyer, who finally exchanges his one hundred cents for all twenty-one critters. Abundant white space, playful watercolors, and large, easy-to-grasp flaps add up to interactive fun.
The Great Pet Sale
By Mick Inkpen
I Shop with my Daddy
A father and his young daughter drive to the supermarket to purchase groceries. While they are there, they go up and down every aisle with their cart, selecting items from father's grocery list. They gather fruits, vegetables, milk, cheeses, and meats. The daughter wants cookies or cake, but they have no room for junk food today. When all items are in the cart, it is time to check out and pay the clerk. The bags are packed and there's one more thing-there is time for a healthy frozen yogurt treat. This story in rhyme is created to make reading fun. Designed for both the child and the parent in mind, suggestions for helping children read the book are provided. One in a series of Hello Reader books that are tested for vocabulary and sentence length, making them excellent book picks for elementary school classrooms. A father and his young daughter drive to the supermarket to purchase groceries. While they are there, they go up and down every aisle with their cart, selecting items from father's grocery list. They gather fruits, vegetables, milk, cheeses, and meats. The daughter wants cookies or cake, but they have no room for junk food today. When all items are in the cart, it is time to check out and pay the clerk. The bags are packed and there's one more thing-there is time for a healthy frozen yogurt treat. This story in rhyme is created to make reading fun. Designed for both the child and the parent in mind, suggestions for helping children read the book are provided. One in a series of Hello Reader books that are tested for vocabulary and sentence length, making them excellent book picks for elementary school classrooms.
I Shop with my Daddy
By Grace Maccarone
Something Good
Tyya's dad won't buy anything good at the store - no ice cream, no candy, no cookies. But when the saleslady puts a price sticker on Tyya's nose, Daddy is finally forced to buy something good.
Something Good
By Robert Munsch
Just Shopping with Mom
In this funny let's-go-shopping picture book, Mercer Mayer's famous Little Critter is having a ton of trouble with his little sister. When the family goes shopping, his sister pulls groceries off the shelves, finds a way to get lost, and cries when she can't have all the candy in the candy aisle. The day is a disaster -- until Little Critter's mother invents a way to put a smile back on everyone's face.
Just Shopping with Mom
By Mercer Mayer
Sheep in a Shop
The lovable muttonheads are off to the store in search of the perfect birthday gift in this latest in the sheep series of rhymed read-alouds.
Sheep in a Shop
By Nancy Shaw
The Painting Gorilla
A gorilla who lives in a zoo and loves to paint becomes rich and famous from her art and asks the other animals what she should do with her money.
The Painting Gorilla
By Michael Rex
Bunny Money
Max and Ruby take the bus downtown to buy a birthday gift for their grandma, but they spend so much money on emergencies that they don't have enough for bus fare home.
Bunny Money
By Rosemary Wells
 
Grade School Reading List - (Click the book to see a summary.)[back to top]
The Great Pet Sale
With a pocketful of coins, a young boy must choose which animal to purchase at the Everything Must Go pet store sale. A self-marketing rat...he's a bargain at only one cent...conducts a tour for the buyer, who finally exchanges his one hundred cents for all twenty-one critters. Abundant white space, playful watercolors, and large, easy-to-grasp flaps add up to interactive fun.
The Great Pet Sale
By Mick Inkpen
Something Good
Tyya's dad won't buy anything good at the store - no ice cream, no candy, no cookies. But when the saleslady puts a price sticker on Tyya's nose, Daddy is finally forced to buy something good.
Something Good
By Robert Munsch
Just Shopping with Mom
In this funny let's-go-shopping picture book, Mercer Mayer's famous Little Critter is having a ton of trouble with his little sister. When the family goes shopping, his sister pulls groceries off the shelves, finds a way to get lost, and cries when she can't have all the candy in the candy aisle. The day is a disaster -- until Little Critter's mother invents a way to put a smile back on everyone's face.
Just Shopping with Mom
By Mercer Mayer
Going to Town
Long, long ago, a little girl named Laura Ingalls lived in a little house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters, Mary and Carrie, and their good old bulldog, Jack. One spring day Pa has a wonderful surprise-he is taking the family on a trip into town! Laura is very excited, for she has never been to a town, and this special visit is everything she imagined and more.
Going to Town
Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Berenstain Bears get the Gimmes
Brother and Sister Bear want everything in sight, and they throw tantrums when they don't get what they want. Wisely Mama and Papa deal with this childhood malady by teaching the cubs about the family budget and the importance of appreciating all that they have already.
The Berenstain Bears get the Gimmes
By Jan & Stan Berenstain
Arthur's TV Trouble
The most recent additions to the Arthur book and tape library--a special treat for Arthur fans, read by author Marc Brown himself! Full color.
Arthur's TV Trouble
By Marc Brown
Sam and the Lucky Money
This year Sam gets to spend his New Year's gift money any way he chooses. Shopping carefully in his favorite Chinatown stores, he is disappointed to find that everything he wants is too expensive. Deciding to forgo a tasty sweet or a new toy for himself, Sam donates his money instead to a barefoot homeless man.
Sam and the Lucky Money
By Karen Chinn
A Bargain for Frances
Frances and Thelma are best friends most of the time. When Frances goes to Thelma's house for a tea party, Mother says, Be careful. When you play with Thelma you always get the worst of it. But Frances isn't careful and her good friend Thelma sells her an old plastic tea set, when Frances really wants a new china one with pretty blue pictures. Worst of all, there are no backsies! But with some clever thinking, Frances ends up getting the best of a bad bargain.
A Bargain for Frances
By Russel Hoban
Glo Goes Shopping
Glo sets out to find the perfect gift for her friend, Nandi. Bright and shiny jewelry isn't right. Neither are go-go boots or skates or a radio with earplugs. Will Glo ever find something that Nandi is sure to like?
Glo Goes Shopping
By Cheryl Willis Hudson
My Little House
The little house stood in the country, with trees and fields around her, and with the birds and flowers and children for company. In the distance twinkled the lights of the big city, and the little house wondered what it would be like to live there. One day steam shovels dug a road in front of the little house, and soon she was surrounded by houses and stores. Then tall skyscrapers rose on either side of her, elevated trains roared past her, and a subway shook the ground under her foundations. She longed for a glimpse of the stars and the scent of apple blossoms, but she was caught by the big city. Then, when she was so old and shabby that nobody wanted to live in her, she had an unexpected chance to escape.
My Little House
By Virgina Lee Burton
How Much is that Doggie in the Window?
A young boy discovers he doesn't have enough money to buy the dog he sees in the pet store window, so, he's off to make some money to buy the dog of his dreams. Misadventures follow and by the end of the week the boy has less money than when he started. An unexpected ending shows that good deeds don't go unnoticed.
How Much is that Doggie in the Window?
By Bob Iza &Merrill Trapani
The Table Where Rich People Sit
As her family attempts to calculate the value of the desert hills, the colors of blooming cactus, and the calls of eagles and great horned owls, a young girl--who has been led astray by the family's lack of material wealth--realizes what really matters. Color illustrations.
The Table Where Rich People Sit
By Byrd Baylor
The Opportunity Cost of a Lifetime
All economic questions and problems arise from scarcity. Economics assumes people do not have the resources do satisfy all of their wants. Therefore, we must make choices about how to allocate those resources. We make decisions about how to spend our money and use our time. This Economics Minute will focus on the central idea of economics- every choice involves a cost.
The Opportunity Cost of a Lifetime
By Council for Econ Ed
Stone Fox
There's just no stopping little Willy. Determined to keep their farm going - and to give his ailing grandfather a reason to live - the ten-year-old boy hitches his dog, Searchlight, to the plow and harvests the whole potato crop. Now little Willy needs five hundred dollars to pay off ten years' back taxes, or the farm will be taken away from them. Dauntless as ever, he stakes everything on one wild hope: that he and Searchlight can outrun the best dogsled racers in the country - including the legendary Indian, Stone Fox. But the huge mountain man is every bit as intent on winning the big prize money as little Willy is. And he and his five beautiful Samoyeds haven't lost a race yet....Based on a Rocky Mountain legend, John Reynolds Gardiner's story - like its hero, little Willy - has all the ingredients of a winner, right down to the unforeseen drama at the finish line.
Stone Fox
By John Reynolds Gardiner
Make Four Million Dollars by Next Thursday
In this sequel to Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days!, Jason Nozzle, young, would-be millionaire, finds a copy of Dr. K. Pinkerton Silverfish's book Make Four Million Dollars by Next Thursday! and follows its recommendations carefully.
Make Four Million Dollars by Next Thursday
By Stephen Manes
Bingo Brown and the Language of Love
Melissa, the girl Bingo loves, has moved to the end of the world: Bixby, Oklahoma. Cici, a big blonde with a big crush, is moving in on Bingo. Billy Worm Brain Wentworth is stuck on Cici - and on getting Bingo to transform him from Rambo to Romeo. Life as a heartbreaker is hard...but leave it to Bingo, the master of the mixed-sex conversation, to translate the language of love.
Bingo Brown and the Language of Love
By Betsy Byars
Tight Times
A small boy, not allowed to have a dog because times are tight, finds a starving kitten in a trash can on the same day his father loses his job.
Tight Times
By Barbara Shook Hazen
Sheep in a Shop
The lovable muttonheads are off to the store in search of the perfect birthday gift in this latest in the sheep series of rhymed read-alouds.
Sheep in a Shop
By Nancy Shaw
The Purse
After spending her money on a purse, Katie is now faced with the problem of getting some money to put into it.
The Purse
By Kathy Caple
A New Coat for Anna
Illus. in full color. A fresh and moving story of a mother's dedication to acquire a coat for her daughter in post-World War II hard times. Anna's mother decides to trade the few valuables she has left for wool and for the services of a spinner, a weaver, and a tailor. Lobel's pictures do a tremendous job of evoking the period. Insightful and informative, this may make children consider how precious the ordinary can become in times of turmoil.-(starred) Booklist.
A New Coat for Anna
By Harriet Ziefert
Matilda the Moocher
Matilda thinks nothing of dropping by her neighbor Libby's house to ride her bike or borrow her socks, but Libby thinks that Matilda is taking advantage of her.
Matilda the Moocher
By Diana Cain Bluthenthal
Fortunately
Good and bad luck accompany Ned from New York to Florida on his way to a surprise party.
Fortunately
By Remy Charlip
One Fine Day
One fine day a fox traveled through the great forest. When he reached the other side he was very thirsty. The jaunty red fox stole milk from an old farm woman, lost his tail under the annoyed woman's knife, and spent the day bargaining to get it back. This humorous retrelling of a favorite Armenian folktale is a story small children will follow and read along with ease.
One Fine Day
By Nonny Hogrogian
Kermit the Hermit
A little boy saves Kermit from disaster, and the once cranky crab works hard to repay him.
Kermit the Hermit
By Bill Peet
Max's Money
Max would love to buy his mom a gold heart-shaped pin for her birthday, but he doesn't have enough money in his piggy bank. Max uses his imagination when he realizes that, no matter what he tries, he can't get enough money together to buy her the pin. Full color.
Max's Money
By Teddy Slater
Four Dollars and Fifty Cents
To avoid paying the Widow Macrae the four dollars and fifty cents he owes her, deadbeat cowboy Shorty Long plays dead and almost gets buried alive.
Four Dollars and Fifty Cents
By Eric A. Kimmel
The Iroquois
The books in the highly praised First Book series provide basic facts on subjects in the social studies, the sciences, sports, and practical and fine arts. An inviting format, lively text, and interesting illustrations make these books especially popular with young readers. Each book is indexed and, where appropriate, includes a glossary, maps, further reading, and bibliography.
The Iroquois
By Craig A. & Kathleen Doherty
The Trading Game
What's So Special About Ace 459? Andy Harris's fabulous baseball card collection, left to him by his father, is the envy of every baseball fan in town. Still, Andy would rather play ball than collect cards. He's got a natural talent for the game, like his grandfather, pro ball player Jim Harris. And Jim Harris, Ace 459, is the one card Andy would give anything to own - he'd even trade his priceless 1952 Micky Mantle card. Then Grandpa comes to town for a visit and offers to coach Andy's ragtag team. For the first time, Andy and his friends really look good, really feel like a team. But Grampa's rules for playing the game contradict everything Andy believes about friendship and good sportsmanship. And Andy begins to wonder if Ace 459 is such a hero after all.
The Trading Game
By Alfred Slote
My First Job
The young reader is introduced to the concept of work and reward while enjoying the rhyming cadence of Julia Allen's 30 word vocabulary. The jobs of washing, cleaning, and setting the table are enhanced by the cheerful illustration of Bob Reese. Five and six year old readers will delight in this beginning reading experience.
My First Job
By Julia Allen
The Berenstain Bears & Mama's New Job
When Mama turns her quilt-making hobby into a business, the Bear family worries that she won't have time for them. But as everyone pitches in to help her, they realize that things aren't so different after all--and they're prouder of Mama than ever!
The Berenstain Bears & Mama's New Job
By Jan & Stan Berenstain
Frank and Ernest Play Ball
With the help of a baseball dictionary so they can learn the necessary language, an elephant and a bear take over the management of a baseball team.
Frank and Ernest Play Ball
By Alexandra Day
Fit for Pigs
No description
Fit for Pigs
By Johanna, Asa & Moller Hammer
Curious George Takes a Job
Curious George runs away from the zoo and after many adventures ends up a movie star.
Curious George Takes a Job
By H.A. Rey
Busiest People Ever
Highly detailed panoramic views of Busytown explore the jobs that people have and what they do to keep things running smoothly.
Busiest People Ever
By Richard Scarry
A Day's Work
Francisco, a young Mexican-American boy, helps his grandfather find work as a gardener, even though the old man cannot speak English and knows nothing about gardening.
A Day's Work
By Eve Bunting
Tops & Bottoms
Hare solves his family's problems by tricking rich and lazy Bear in this funny, energetic version of an old slave story. With roots in American slave tales, Tops & Bottoms celebrates the trickster tradition of using one's wits to overcome hardship. As usual, Stevens' animal characters, bold and colorful, are delightful. . . . It's all wonderful fun, and the book opens, fittingly, from top to bottom instead of from side to side, making it perfect for story-time sharing.-Booklist
Tops & Bottoms
By Janet Stevens
Immigrant Kids
Text and contemporary photographs chronicle the life of immigrant children at home, school, work, and play during the late 1800's and early 1900's
Immigrant Kids
By Russell Freedman
The Store that Mama Built
In 1917 twelve-year-old Birdie and her siblings, the children of Jewish immigrants from Russia, help their recently widowed mother run the family store, picking up where their father left off in his struggle to succeed in America. n 1917 twelve-year-old Birdie and her siblings, the children of Jewish immigrants from Russia, help their recently widowed mother run the family store, picking up where their father left off in his struggle to succeed in America.
The Store that Mama Built
By Robert Lehrman
Arthur's Pet Business
Arthur's determination to prove he is responsible enough to have a puppy brings him a menagerie of animals to care for.
Arthur's Pet Business
By March Brown
Ox-Cart Man
Thus begins a lyrical journey through the days and weeks, the months, and the changing seasons in the life of one New Englander and his family. The oxcart man packs his goods - the wool from his sheep, the shawl his wife made, the mittens his daughter knitted, and the linen they wove. He packs the birch brooms his son carved, and even a bag of goose feathers from the barnyard geese. He travels over hills, through valleys, by streams, past farms and villages. At Portsmouth Market he sells his goods, one by one - even his beloved ox. Then, with his pockets full of coins, he wanders through the market, buying provisions for his family, and returns to his home. And the cycle begins again. Donald Hall has created a gentle story, evoking a quiet time in American life that is irrevocably past. Using a special method which resembles the early American technique of painting on wood, Barbara Cooney has captured the sense of peace of early nineteenth-century New England and the bustle of Portsmouth Market.
Ox-Cart Man
By Donald Hall
Max Malone Makes a Million
Max and his sidekick, Gordy, try various get-rich-quick schemes only to be outdone each time by smart-aleck Austin Healy. Peppy dialogue and a fast-moving plot make this easy chapter book a reassuring choice for newly independent readers.
Max Malone Makes a Million
By Charlotte Herman
Beatrice's Goat
More than anything, Beatrice longs to be a schoolgirl. But in her small African village, only children who can afford uniforms and books can go to school. Beatrice knows that with six children to care for, her family is much too poor. But then Beatrice receives a wonderful gift from some people far away - a goat! Fat and sleek as a ripe mango, Mugisa (which means luck) gives milk that Beatrice can sell. With Mugisa's help, it looks as if Beatrice's dream may come true after all. Page McBrier and Lori Lohstoeter beautifully recount this true story about how one child, given the right tools, is able to lift her family out of poverty. Thanks to Heifer Project International - a charitable organization that donates livestock to poor communities around the world - other families like Beatrice's will also have a chance to change their lives.
Beatrice's Goat
By Page McBrier
Picking Peas for a Penny
A black girl describes the hard work and the rewards involved in growing up on a farm during the Depression of the 1930s.
Picking Peas for a Penny
By Angela Shelf Medearis
A Basket of Bangles: How a Business Begins
No description
A Basket of Bangles: How a Business Begins
By Ginger Howard
The Shoeshine Girl
The last thing Sarah Ida wants to do is spend the summer with her Aunt Claudia. But when her parents send her away because of problems at home, that is exactly what she has to do! With no allowance and no fun to be had, Sarah Ida decides to look for a job. The only person who will hire her is Al, the man who runs the shoeshine stand, and soon she is knee-deep in shoe polish. Then something happens and it looks like the shoeshine stand will have to close forever. If Sarah Ida wants to keep it open, she'll have to learn a few lessons about growing up along the way... Ten-year-old Sarah Ida'hostile and uncooperative at home, and heading for trouble'becomes less self-centered and more self-reliant after a summer job at her aunt's.
The Shoeshine Girl
By Clyde Robert Bulla
The Toothpaste Millionaire
Likable, clever, and inventive sixth-graders Rufus Mayflower and Kate Mackinstrey develop and sell toothpaste to become millionaires in just one year! This fun, breezy story includes many real-life mathematical problems which the characters must solve to succeed in their budding business.
The Toothpaste Millionaire
By Jean Merrill
Uncle Jed's Barbershop
Sarah Jean's Uncle Jed was the only black barber in the county. He had a kind heart and a warm smile. And he had a dream. Living in the segregated South of the 1920's, where most people were sharecroppers. Uncle Jed had to travel all over the county to cut his customers' hair. He lived for the day when he could open his very own barbershop. But it was a long time, and many setbacks, from five-year-old Sarah Jean's emergency operation to the bank failures of the Great Depression, before the joyful day when Uncle Jed opened his shiny new shop - and twirled a now grown-up Sarah Jean around in the barber chair.
Uncle Jed's Barbershop
By Margaret King Mitchell
A Gift for Mama
As soon as Sara sees the beautiful black satin slippers in the shoe store window, she knows they're the perfect Mother's Day gift for Mama. Sara has always made gifts for her family on special occasions, but this time she's determined to give a store-bought present- just like grown ups do. But grown-ups have spending money, and Sara does not. Until she makes a plan...
A Gift for Mama
By Esther Hautzig
Dear Mr. Henshaw
In his letters to his favorite author, ten-year-old Leigh reveals his problems in coping with his parents' divorce, being the new boy in school, and generally finding his own place in the world.
Dear Mr. Henshaw
By Beverly Cleary
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil
When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn't just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere - to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing that her younger brother Jamie has money and thus can help her with a serious cash-flow problem, she invites him along. Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at auction for a bargain price of $225. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master, Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn't it? Claudia is determined to find out. Her quest leads her to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue, and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil
By E.L. Konigsburg
My Side of the Mountain
Terribly unhappy in his family's crowded New York City apartment, Sam Gribley runs away to the solitude-and danger-of the mountains, where he finds a side of himself he never knew.
My Side of the Mountain
By Jean Craighead George
The Grasshopper and the Ant
Retells the fable about a colony of industrious ants which busily prepares for the approaching winter while a grasshopper makes no plans for the cold weather to come.
The Grasshopper and the Ant
By Council for Econ Ed
Jeff's Big Decision
No description
Jeff's Big Decision
By Council for Econ Ed
Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday
Although Alexander and his money are quickly parted, he comes to realize all the things that can be done with a dollar.
Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday
By Judit Viorst
The Berenstain Bears' Trouble with Money
To earn coins for the Astro Bear video game, Brother and Sister Bear find ways to work for money. How they find the middle ground between being spendthrifts and little misers makes for a funny, realistic story.
The Berenstain Bears' Trouble with Money
By Jan & Stan Berenstain
Lucky the Golden Goose
John Wrenn integrates his knowledge of investment, his artistic gifts, and his love for children in this creative book that is certain to make learning fun. The story-line is a fun and memorable one that emphasizes the importance of saving and preparing for the future. The illustrations are stimulating and complement the story well. The book also serves as an important reminder to adults of the need to live financially responsible lives, that good examples would be set for future generations.
Lucky the Golden Goose
By John D. Wrenn
Doggone Lemonade Stand!
When Life Gives You Lemons...Make Lemonade!Christopher is opening his own lemonade stand. Can he earn a fraction of what he needs to buy ice cream and stay in business? Can he keep Roofus the dog away from the lemonade pitcher? One thing's for sure; Christopher will discover there's a sweet and a sour side to businessNincluding making a new friend. Endearing, hapless Christopher is the star in this wonderful series of beautifully illustrated concept books. Each engaging, humorous tale teaches children that math is all around us. Also included is a Discoveries Page, which suggests simple math exercises connected with the illustrations. Each title in the Christopher Counts series is developmentally appropriate for ages 5-7, and conforms to the curriculum standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Doggone Lemonade Stand!
By Judy Bradbury
Just a Piggy Bank
Little Critter learns the importance of saving money in this charming addition to Mercer Mayer's best-selling line of picture books.
Just a Piggy Bank
By Mercer Mayer
Something Special for Me
The money jar that Rosa, Mama, and Grandma filled with their coins will be emptied to buy Rosa whatever she wants for her birthday. But what can Rosa choose that special enough-unless it's a gift they can all enjoy!
Something Special for Me
By Vera B. Williams
My Rows and Piles of Coins
A Tanzanian boy saves his coins to buy a bicycle so that he can help his parents carry goods to market, but then he discovers that in spite of all he has saved, he still does not have enough money.
My Rows and Piles of Coins
By Tololwa M. Mollel
Meet Molly, An American Girl
World War Two turns Molly's family upside down. While her father is away, war threatens to break out on the McIntires' home front, too.
Meet Molly, An American Girl
By Valerie Tripp
Tarantula Shoes
After moving from Arizona to Kentucky with his parents, his five-year-old twin brother and sister, and his pet tarantula, Fang, an eleven-year-old works creatively to earn the money for a special pair of basketball shoes that will help him feel accepted.
Tarantula Shoes
By Tom Birdseye
The Gift of the Magi
It's Christmas Eve and Della has only $1.85 to buy her beloved husband a Christmas present. She has nothing to sell except her only treasure, her long, glorious hair. This warm story of love, sacrifice, and generosity is a perfect addition to any Christmas collection--for adults or children. 32 pp.
The Gift of the Magi
By O. Henry
The Painting Gorilla
A gorilla who lives in a zoo and loves to paint becomes rich and famous from her art and asks the other animals what she should do with her money.
The Painting Gorilla
By Michael Rex
Bunny Money
Max and Ruby take the bus downtown to buy a birthday gift for their grandma, but they spend so much money on emergencies that they don't have enough for bus fare home.
Bunny Money
By Rosemary Wells
Round and Round the Money Goes - What Money is and How We Use It
Children are introduced to the basics of money. The text provides brief descriptions of the history of money, how coins and dollar bills are made, circulated, and destroyed. Full color throughout.
Round and Round the Money Goes - What Money is and How We Use It
By Melvin & Gilda Berger
Follow the Money!
A clever look at money and where it might travel throughout its life. Mostly we follow a quarter as it gets minted, sent to a bank, then travels throughout a city (from a grocery store to a parking meter to a garden center) and finally back to the bank.
Follow the Money!
By Loreen Leedy
Pigs will be Pigs
The hungry Pig family learns about money and buying power as they turn the house upside down looking for enough money to buy dinner at the local restaurant.
Pigs will be Pigs
By Amy Axelrod
The Go-Around Dollar
Every dollar travels from person to person in a different way. Matt finds a dollar on his way home from school and uses it to buy shoelaces from Eric. Eric spends the dollar on bubble gum at the corner store. Jennifer, who happens to be the next customer, receives the dollar as part of her change. A dollar bill is something we all see and use every day of our lives. But do we know how it's made? The meaning of the symbols that are shown on the front and back of the dollar? How long the average dollar stays in circulation? In this fascinating and informative book, Barbara Johnston Adams weaves together a fictional narrative about the travels of a single dollar with facts and anecdotes that are sure to delight young readers.
The Go-Around Dollar
By Barbara Johnston Adams
The story of Jack and the Bank Stalk
Fairy tales have always been used to give lessons about life. The story of Jack and the Bean Stalk is a good lesson about the importance of knowing about money and banks.
The story of Jack and the Bank Stalk
By Council for Econ Ed
The Hundred Penny Box
Michael loves his great-great-aunt Dew, even if she can't always remember his name. He especially loves to spend time with her and her beloved hundred penny box, listening to stories about each of the hundred years of her life. Michael's mother wants to throw out the battered old box that holds the pennies, but Michael understands that the box itself is as important to Aunt Dew as the memories it contains. Winner of a Newbery Honor, this beautiful story will be available in a collector's edition featuring heavy interior stock embossing and silver ink on the cover, and a thread-sewn binding for added durability. A timeless story of the relationship between a boy and his elderly relative, this new edition is one that families young and old will treasure for years to come.
The Hundred Penny Box
By Sharon Bell Mathis
The Emperor's New Clothes
Two rascally weavers convince the emperor they are making him beautiful new clothes, visible only to those fit for their posts, but when he wears them during a royal procession, a child recognizes that the emperor has nothing on.
The Emperor's New Clothes
By Christian Andersen Hans
If you Made a Million
Have you ever wanted to make a million dollars? Marvelosissimo the Mathematical Magician is ready, willing, and able to explain the nuts and bolts - as well as the mystery and wonder - of earning money, investing it, accruing dividends and interest, and watching savings grow. Hey, you never know!
If you Made a Million
By David M. Schwartz
The Case of the Shrunken Allowance
Mike and his friends try to figure out why the money in his allowance jar appears to be shrinking. Includes related math activities.
The Case of the Shrunken Allowance
By Joanne Rocklin
   
Middle School Reading List - (Click the book to see a summary.)[back to top]
The Opportunity Cost of a Lifetime
All economic questions and problems arise from scarcity. Economics assumes people do not have the resources do satisfy all of their wants. Therefore, we must make choices about how to allocate those resources. We make decisions about how to spend our money and use our time. This Economics Minute will focus on the central idea of economics- every choice involves a cost.
The Opportunity Cost of a Lifetime
By Council for Econ Ed
Make Four Million Dollars by Next Thursday
In this sequel to Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days!, Jason Nozzle, young, would-be millionaire, finds a copy of Dr. K. Pinkerton Silverfish's book Make Four Million Dollars by Next Thursday! and follows its recommendations carefully.
Make Four Million Dollars by Next Thursday
By Stephen Manes
Bingo Brown and the Language of Love
Melissa, the girl Bingo loves, has moved to the end of the world: Bixby, Oklahoma. Cici, a big blonde with a big crush, is moving in on Bingo. Billy Worm Brain Wentworth is stuck on Cici - and on getting Bingo to transform him from Rambo to Romeo. Life as a heartbreaker is hard...but leave it to Bingo, the master of the mixed-sex conversation, to translate the language of love.
Bingo Brown and the Language of Love
By Betsy Byars
Tight Times
A small boy, not allowed to have a dog because times are tight, finds a starving kitten in a trash can on the same day his father loses his job.
Tight Times
By Barbara Shook Hazen
The Trading Game
What's So Special About Ace 459? Andy Harris's fabulous baseball card collection, left to him by his father, is the envy of every baseball fan in town. Still, Andy would rather play ball than collect cards. He's got a natural talent for the game, like his grandfather, pro ball player Jim Harris. And Jim Harris, Ace 459, is the one card Andy would give anything to own - he'd even trade his priceless 1952 Micky Mantle card. Then Grandpa comes to town for a visit and offers to coach Andy's ragtag team. For the first time, Andy and his friends really look good, really feel like a team. But Grampa's rules for playing the game contradict everything Andy believes about friendship and good sportsmanship. And Andy begins to wonder if Ace 459 is such a hero after all.
The Trading Game
By Alfred Slote
Immigrant Kids
Text and contemporary photographs chronicle the life of immigrant children at home, school, work, and play during the late 1800's and early 1900's
Immigrant Kids
By Russell Freedman
The Store that Mama Built
In 1917 twelve-year-old Birdie and her siblings, the children of Jewish immigrants from Russia, help their recently widowed mother run the family store, picking up where their father left off in his struggle to succeed in America. n 1917 twelve-year-old Birdie and her siblings, the children of Jewish immigrants from Russia, help their recently widowed mother run the family store, picking up where their father left off in his struggle to succeed in America.
The Store that Mama Built
By Robert Lehrman
A Gift for Mama
As soon as Sara sees the beautiful black satin slippers in the shoe store window, she knows they're the perfect Mother's Day gift for Mama. Sara has always made gifts for her family on special occasions, but this time she's determined to give a store-bought present- just like grown ups do. But grown-ups have spending money, and Sara does not. Until she makes a plan.
A Gift for Mama
By Esther Hautzig
Dear Mr. Henshaw
In his letters to his favorite author, ten-year-old Leigh reveals his problems in coping with his parents' divorce, being the new boy in school, and generally finding his own place in the world.
Dear Mr. Henshaw
By Beverly Cleary
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil
When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn't just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere - to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing that her younger brother Jamie has money and thus can help her with a serious cash-flow problem, she invites him along. Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at auction for a bargain price of $225. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master, Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn't it? Claudia is determined to find out. Her quest leads her to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue, and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil
By E.L. Konigsburg
My Side of the Mountain
Terribly unhappy in his family's crowded New York City apartment, Sam Gribley runs away to the solitude-and danger-of the mountains, where he finds a side of himself he never knew.
My Side of the Mountain
By Jean Craighead
Not for a Billion Gazillion Dollars
Eleven-year-old Matthew, trying desperately to earn enough to buy a coveted computer program, learns the importance of money and eventually starts his own business. Sequel to Earth to Matthew.
Not for a Billion Gazillion Dollars
By Paula Danziger
Meet Molly, An American Girl
World War Two turns Molly's family upside down. While her father is away, war threatens to break out on the McIntires' home front, too.
Meet Molly, An American Girl
By Valerie Tripp
Tarantula Shoes
After moving from Arizona to Kentucky with his parents, his five-year-old twin brother and sister, and his pet tarantula, Fang, an eleven-year-old works creatively to earn the money for a special pair of basketball shoes that will help him feel accepted.
Tarantula Shoes
By Tom Birdseye
Where the Red Fern Grows
A young boy living in the Ozarks achieves his heart's desire when he becomes the owner of two redbone hounds and teaches them to be champion hunters.
Where the Red Fern Grows
By Wilson Rawls
The Gift of the Magi
It's Christmas Eve and Della has only $1.85 to buy her beloved husband a Christmas present. She has nothing to sell except her only treasure, her long, glorious hair. This warm story of love, sacrifice, and generosity is a perfect addition to any Christmas collection--for adults or children.
The Gift of the Magi
By O. Henry
If you Made a Million
Have you ever wanted to make a million dollars? Marvelosissimo the Mathematical Magician is ready, willing, and able to explain the nuts and bolts - as well as the mystery and wonder - of earning money, investing it, accruing dividends and interest, and watching savings grow. Hey, you never know!
If you Made a Million
By David M. Schwartz
The Case of the Shrunken Allowance
Mike and his friends try to figure out why the money in his allowance jar appears to be shrinking. Includes related math activities.
The Case of the Shrunken Allowance
By Joanne Rocklin
Money/Eyewitness Book Series / 2000
Examines, in text and photographs, the symbolic and material meaning of money, from shekels, shells, and beads to gold, silver, checks, and credit cards. Also discusses how coins and banknotes are made, the value of money during wartime, and how to collect coins.
Money/Eyewitness Book Series / 2000
By Joe Cribb
How to Make a Million
Another How To guide, part of the successful series that tells children everything they need to know about the hottest topics in the world today. How to Make a Million is a complete guide to money - what it is, how it has changed over the centuries, and different ways to create, save or spend money. Children can find out about the richest people ever, why a L50 note costs only 3 pence, and where you can find a million-pound note. The booksuggests four ways to make a million pounds, as well as looking at ways that people could have made a million in the past. Rowland Morgan is a journalist and scriptwriter. He writes books, newspaper articles and TV scripts. He also scripted the 'Environment Zone' in the Millennium Dome. Barbara Taylor is an award-winning author of children's books on biological sciences. She won the 1998 American Institute of Physics science writing prize for her book Earth Explained, and her 1996 book Make it Work! Geography won the Geographical Association Gold Award.
How to Make a Million
By Rowland Morgan
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
The story of one African American family fighting to stay together and strong in the face of brutal racist attacks, illness, poverty, and betrayal in the Deep South of the 1930s.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
By Mildred D. Taylor
     
High School Reading List - (Click the book to see a summary.)[back to top]
Where the Red Fern Grows
A young boy living in the Ozarks achieves his heart's desire when he becomes the owner of two redbone hounds and teaches them to be champion hunters.
Where the Red Fern Grows
By Wilson Rawls
Out of the Dust
Like the Oklahoma dust bowl from which she came, 14-year-old narrator Billie Jo writes in sparse, free-floating verse. In this compelling, immediate journal, Billie Jo reveals the grim domestic realities of living during the years of constant dust storms during the Depression: That hopes--like the crops--blow away in the night like skittering tumbleweeds. That trucks, tractors, even Billie Jo's beloved piano, can suddenly be buried beneath drifts of dust. Perhaps swallowing all that grit is what gives Billie Jo--our strong, endearing, rough-cut heroine--the stoic courage to face the death of her mother after a hideous accident that also leaves her piano-playing hands in pain and permanently scarred. Meanwhile, Billie Jo's silent, windblown father is literally decaying with grief and skin cancer before her very eyes. When she decides to flee the lingering ghosts and dust of her homestead and jump a train west, she discovers a simple but profound truth about herself and her plight. There are no tight, sentimental endings here--just a steady ember of hope that brightens Karen Hesse's exquisitely written and mournful tale. Hesse won the 1998 Newbery Award for this elegantly crafted, gut-wrenching novel. This is available at the library.
Out of the Dust
By Karne Hesse
Blue Willow
A little girl, who wants most of all to have a real home and to go to a regular school, hopes that the valley her family has come to, which so resembles the pattern on her treasured blue willow plate, will be their permanent home. This is available at the library.
Blue Willow
By Doris Gates
No Promises in the Wind
In 1932, America was in the depths of a deep depression. A job, food to fill you, a place to sleep, and shoes without holes--for millions of people, these simple needs were nothing more than dreams. At 15 years of age, Josh had to make his own way through a country of angry, frightened people. This is the story of a young man's struggle to find a life for himself in the turbulent 1930s. This book is only available through interlibrary loan.
No Promises in the Wind
By Irene Hunt
Saving Grace
When Grace's family is evicted from their Washington D.C. apartment just before Christmas 1932 and she and her younger brothers are sent to the Mission, Grace wonders what will become of her sick older brother her pregnant mother and her out-of-work father. This is available at the library and it is a children's book but I put it on the list.
Saving Grace
By Priscilla Cummings
Cat Running
Play Day is approaching, but Cat Kinsey, the fastest runner at school, won't be participating in the races because her old-fashioned, bull-headed father won't allow her to wear pants even while playing sports. Cat is so busy being angry at her family that she doesn't have time to think about bigger problems-the Depression, for instance-until circumstances involve her with a family of Okies who work on a nearby farm. Cat's gripes seem small compared with the obstacles facing the Perkins's, which have lost both their land and their house to dust storms. Now, camping out in an old Studebaker, the Perkins's work long hours just to make enough money for food. Cat can offer the family little besides sympathy until the youngest Perkins, Samantha, catches pneumonia and Cat, running the most important race of her life, fetches a doctor in the nick of time. This is available at the library and it is also a children's book but I have included it on the list.
Cat Running
By Ziplha Snyder
The Grapes of Wrath
Set during the Great Depression, it traces the migration of an Oklahoma Dust Bowl family to California and their subsequent hardships as migrant farm workers. It won a Pulitzer Prize in 1940. The work did much to publicize the injustices of migrant labor. The narrative, interrupted by prose-poem interludes, chronicles the struggles of the Joad family's life on a failing Oklahoma farm, their difficult journey to California, and their disillusionment once they arrive there and fall prey to a parasitic economic system. This is considered a classic and is available at the library.
The Grapes of Wrath
By John Steinbeck
The Summer of the Crow
In the summer of 1935 thirteen-year-old Brady and his little sister are sent to live with their grandfather in Kansas. By the end of the summer, Brady will understand the true meaning of family. We do have this book at the library but it is not available for check-out.
The Summer of the Crow
By Eunice Bovine
The Storyteller's Daughter
Everyone loves Quinn's father. His charming stories and knack for helping people and making them feel good about themselves has made him the Pied Piper of his neighborhood. However, like others during the Depression in 1933, Beau John is down on his luck. Having lost his job as a bookkeeper, the only work he can find is as a dock laborer in a town north of Seattle, which means he is only home on the weekends. When he doesn't arrive one Saturday, a string of connections point to Beau John as a bootlegger. Fifteen-year-old Quinn can't believe her wonderful father could be less than perfect. Determined to find him and the truth, she confronts shady situations with the help of the mute old man who lives next door with the elderly Dallas sisters; their nephew Justin; and Betty, a tartish teenage neighbor. This is available at the library.
The Storyteller's Daughter
By Jean Thesman
A Room of my Own
Wrapped up in dreams of boys and marriage, 13-year-old Virginia Eide is brought back to a harsh reality when her uncle loses his job and his whole family is forced to move in with the Eides. Slightly resentful, Virginia doesn't fully understand why Jim can't just get another job. Visits to Soo City, a housing camp for the homeless on the edge of their town, open Virginia's eyes. Along with her doctor father, Virginia helps care for the homeless. Virginia also begins to realize that God may not only have a place in her day-to-day life but has plans for her entire lifetime. Tatlock's first novel brings the Depression era to life, especially in its depiction of the of Soo City residents. This is available at the library.
A Room of my Own
By Ann Tatlock
Nowhere to Call Home
Despite the ongoing Depression, 12-year-old Frances leads a life that's comfortable, orderly, and a little dull--until the night her father puts a bullet in his head. Suddenly she must pack a bag and travel by train to her aunt in Chicago. Instead, Frances, who has heard a little about hoboes riding the trains from one of the servants, cashes in her ticket, buys some boys' clothes, cuts her hair, and sneaks aboard a boxcar. Frances, who now calls herself Frankie, quickly realizes that hoboes live in a completely different society with its own rules, routines, and language. Fortunately, she finds a friend to guide her--Stewpot, a 15-year-old boy. De Felice's historical novel is so real that every bump of the train can be felt. The smooth, vivid writing makes us experience the unfolding events and the nitty-gritty details right along with the characters, so as Frankie becomes increasingly horrified by the squalor and inhumanity she sees along her journey, we get a powerful sense of history. The ending is at once optimistic and poignant: Frankie will appreciate the comfort and security of her life even as she remembers the grim conditions she witnessed. This is available at the library.
Nowhere to Call Home
By Cnythia DeFelice
Her Father's Daughter
During the Depression era of the 1930's, Maggie grows up in logging camps and small towns of Oregon while living in the midst of a troubled family with an abusive father.
Her Father's Daughter
By Mollie Poupeney
Bud not Buddy
Bud, not Buddy, is an unforgettable character. The tale of a young boy who doesn't let the circumstances of being black during the Depression keep him down is as pertinent today as it was then. Its message is if you have a dream & are willing to work to make it happen, you can rise above even the most humble beginnings and it's told with humor and hope. This also won the Newbery Award in 2000 and is available at the library.
Bud not Buddy
By Christopher Paul Curtis
Rose's Journal-the story of a girl in the Great Depression
This is about a girl named Rose who keeps a journal during the Great Depression while living on a farm in Kansas. While it is juvenile fiction, I am putting it on this list.
Rose's Journal-the story of a girl in the Great Depression
By Marissa Moss
Children of the Dust Bowl: The true story of the school at Weedpatch Camp
Stanley has crafted a well-researched, highly readable portrait of the ``Okies'' driven to California by the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s and the formidable hardships they faced. After first detailing the desperation of their lives in the Midwest, he follows them on their trek across the western United States to the promise of work in California, where their hopes were dashed. After providing this thorough, sympathetic context of their plight, he zeroes in on the residents of Weedpatch Camp, one of several farm-labor camps built by the federal government. The remainder of the book is devoted to educator Leo Hart and the role he played in creating a ``federal emergency school.'' Interviews with Hart and the school's former teachers and pupils make Children of the Dust Bowl useful to students of oral history, as well as of the Depression. A thorough index enhances the research value of the book, although it is interesting enough to enjoy for itself. The book is lavishly illustrated with period black-and-white photographs. An informative and inspirational bit of American history. This is available through interlibrary loan.
Children of the Dust Bowl: The true story of the school at Weedpatch Camp
By Jerry Stanley
 

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