Title: Show Me the Money: How to Make Cents of Economics
Author: Alvin Hall
Publisher: DK Publishing
Concepts: money, barter, banks, supply and demand, competition, allocation and distribution, trade, exchange, producers and consumers, entrepreneurs, stock market
Review: According to most textbook definitions, money serves as a medium of exchange, a store of value, and a unit of account. According to Alvin Hall’s jargon-free explanation, money is used to buy things, it can be saved and used later on, and it shows what items are worth. From this user-friendly beginning, the author continues to carefully make sense of a host of concepts that are crucial to understanding the economic world around us, the operation of financial markets, and the keys to business success.
Examples of interesting lessons abound. Thousands of years before government printing presses and mints across the globe started printing paper money and stamping metal coins, people bartered and used valuable items such as silver ingots and cowrie shells as currency. Today, new methods of payment have replaced cash in many transactions, including credit cards, online banking, loyalty cards, and even radio frequency identification tags. Did you know that the cost of a basket of common consumer goods, including sneakers, toothbrushes, and dish detergent, has gone up about ten times since 1950? Also of note, there are various kinds of companies, including franchises, partnerships, cooperatives, and publicly-owned companies, each of which differ in who gets to keep the profits.
This informative book, which is targeted to middle-grade readers and young adults, serves as a useful resource for clearly explaining what could otherwise be a perplexing set of ideas and lessons. Alvin Hall, a well-known financial educator, has contributed a valuable new tool for empowering young people to learn about money and take some big strides toward gaining financial literacy. Show Me the Money gets a top grade for combining its broad survey of economics with an engaging visual presentation.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children