Title: How Ella Grew an Electric Guitar: A Girl's First Adventure in Business
Author: Orly Sade and Ellen Neuborne
Concepts: saving, entrepreneurship, interest, banks, stocks, bonds, loans, marketing
Review: As the lead singer of the sixth grade's only rock band, Ella wanted just two things to make her experience even better: a date with the drummer and a new electric guitar. Getting the guitar seemed less intimidating, so Ella began with the guitar, even though it cost $229. Her parents, both white collar professionals, refused to just fork over the money, which meant Ella would need to figure out how to multiply her $25 in savings by close to a factor of ten.
Earning interest in a bank savings account would take much too long, investing her savings in the stock market seemed rather risky, and none of the local businesses would hire such a young worker. Ella would need to start her own business, and what better way than to sell lemonade on a warm spring day. Even this approach, however, would entail some tough lessons when Ella initially jumped in too quickly and actually lost money on her first day of sales. Would she ever be able to grow enough money to finance that guitar?
Written by two authors with extensive backgrounds in business and finance, this pleasant story provides a readymade crash course in raising money for a particular goal, in this case the purchase of a relatively expensive consumer good. Conversations in the book between the lead character and her money-savvy family members are the main vehicle for serving up a number of lessons related to interest rates, stocks, bonds, loans, entrepreneurship, and marketing. The book makes a useful resource for teachers and parents seeking to branch out beyond traditional textbooks for teaching these important concepts.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children