Pennywise: 9 Books that Can Encourage Financial Responsibility for your Middle Schooler

It’s never too early to learn about money. Here are some great picture and early reader books to help out.

To ensure our kids understand the value of money without obsessing, worrying, or underestimating its importance, it can be helpful to introduce them to fundamentals early. Assigning value, earning, saving, and spending are things we do everyday, but if we don’t explain it to them, they think we disappear from 9-5 everyday to take naps and read comic books, and that all the stuff in the house is free.

As with most things early education, books are a fabulous way to start exploring these basics for kids. There are tons of titles out there in the world, but this list is geared specifically for kids in elementary school.   While you are reading these fun and fact-filled books to your little saver, it might also be a good time to introduce the piggy bank, an allowance, and some simple chores that will immediately put these ideas into action.

  1. Bunny Money by Rosemary Wells is part of this author’s famous Max and Ruby series for ages 5-8. Wells excels at cute characters with simple dilemmas about money, and she shows how they solve their problems responsibly.
  1. If You Made a Million by David Schwartz and illustrated by Steven Kellogg has a delightful way of introducing financial concepts appropriate for older kids around the ages of 8-11. Beautifully drawn and clever with language, kids can learn about earning, checking, interest, and savings.
  1. A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams won recognition from Caldecott and American Library Association for its touching storyline about a family who loses their home in a fire. Little Rosa diligently saves money to buy her mother a special gift.
  1. The Go-Around Dollar by Barbara Adams & Joyce Zairns is an inventive little tale of a day in the life of a dollar bill. This explores the larger notion of currency, as the agreed upon method of trading goods and services.
  1. A Dollar for Penny by Julie Glass. Ah, the proverbial lemonade stand, often a child’s first experience with the triumphs and tribulations of commerce. This one is charming and covers early math using coins.
  1. The Berenstain Bears Dollars and Sense by Jan and Stan Berenstain is a classic that is so familiar to kids, they will slip right into this one. Brother and Sister Berenstain are careless with money, acting like it grows on trees, but when they learn how to make money, they go overboard in the other direction. In this sweet story, kids learn how to spend wisely, save and how to be generous.
  1. M Is For Money – Book 1: The Little Piggy Bank – What is Money? byTeresa Cascioli is part of a series that charts the financial adventures of twins Tessa and Benji as they learn the finer points of money. If you start at the beginning, these kids understand the value of work and the ups and downs of going into business for themselves.
  1. National Geographic Kids Everything Money can be counted on (no pun intended!) to show the most fascinating side of any subject, and this edition is no different. It shows gorgeous photos of money from around the world and qualifies as an ELA Common Core resource.
  1. Let’s Chat About Economics!: Basic principles through everyday scenarios  by Michelle A. Balconi Arthur Laffer, and Mary Kinsora (Illustrator). This very effective book on economics digs into business and commerce principles like scarcity, supply demand, even diminishing returns.,160_&refRID=06CJHYYNZ5FWP8SVTC6X

We all think about financial concerns both global and personal everyday, and one of the ways that we can minimize our children’s future stress is to demystify the concept of exchange and how we put value to things. The time kids start counting and understanding basic math is a great opportunity for them to see numbers in action. And guess what also does that? Great books!

About Susie Almaneih

Susie Almaneih spent several years during her young adulthood teaching children dance at her church group, as well as other cultural-based activities. Susie now spends as much time as she can giving back to the families in her community. Over the years, this love for community has evolved into a deeper love for delivering positive and creative content and awareness to families of all ages.

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