Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

EconKids Home New Picture Books in 2008 (First Word Q-Z) The Money Savvy Kid$ Club, series / by Susan Beacham and Lynnette Khalfani-Cox

The Money Savvy Kid$ Club, series / by Susan Beacham and Lynnette Khalfani-Cox


Title:  The Money Savvy Kid$ Club, series
Author:  Susan Beacham and Lynnette Khalfani-Cox
Publisher: Money Savvy Generation 
ISBN:  Penny Power (978-0-9842139-3-1)
Putting the "Do" in Donate (978-0-9842139-1-7)
Home Sweet Home (978-0-9842139-2-4)
Garage Sale Riches (978-0-9842139-0-0)

Year:  2008

Concepts:  financial literacy, money, saving, spending

Review:  Money Savvy Generation, an education program that creates and distributes resources on financial literacy for teachers and librarians around the world, includes among its materials a four-book series designed to help children become more money savvy.  The series focuses on a group of friends -- Isaiah, Sandy, Dennis, and Stephanie -- who formed the Money Savvy Kids Club when it became clear that they wanted to make smart choices about money.

The club forms in the first book of the series when the friends organize a garage sale and need to devise a plan for what to do with proceeds.  Isaiah’s mom had said that in exchange for cleaning out the garage and selling what they could, Isaiah and his friends could keep the money. In the second installment of the series, Dennis’s grandfather gives him one hundred dollars tied to two conditions: Dennis should do something good with the money, and he cannot spend it on himself. The club members brainstorm about making a donation with a big impact.

Book three brings an even bigger financial dilemma. The club members need to do some research about home sales and foreclosures for the current events discussion at school. The topic hits a nerve because when Stephanie’s father lost his job, the family fell behind with the mortgage payments. Job loss reappears as a theme in the fourth book when Sandy’s mom loses her job and assures Sandy that thanks to the money she had put away in their savings account and the interest it earned, they would be okay for a while.

The books do a nice job in keeping the focus on four major choices for allocating money wisely and in ways it is not squandered: save, spend, donate, and invest. The visual images and text work together to help readers conceptualize the functions of money in the world around them, thus providing a useful resource for improving the financial literacy of young children.

Review by:  Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

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