Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

Top Five Books on Saving

Click on the title for each book to see book cover and more details.

Title:  Pitching in for Eubie
Author:  Jerdine Nolen
IllustratorE. B. Lewis
Publisher:  Amistad
ISBN:  978-0-688-14917-8
Year: 2007 
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level: 3.1

Concepts:  human resources, saving, services, jobs, entrepreneurs, scarcity

  Mail deliveries containing letters with college admissions decisions can generate a great deal of excitement for families across the country, and the Shorter family is no different.  The special envelope that Eubie received did indeed bring an offer of admission and a merit scholarship.  However, the good news is tempered with a notification that Eubie and her family will need to contribute $3000 toward room and board, an amount that goes beyond their means.  Determined to help Eubie make her dreams come true, the whole family decides to take on extra paid jobs to raise the necessary funds.  Unfortunately, younger sister Lily is too young to hold a regular job, and her entrepreneurial projects fail to take off until a chance encounter generates a unique opportunity for her to earn money and pitch in for Eubie.

Readers will appreciate this story for its encouraging message about family members going to any lengths to support one another as they strive toward their goals.  Underlying this message is a powerful set of economics lessons associated with the costs of education, budget constraints, saving, and work.  E. B. Lewis’s touching illustrations bring these lessons to life and add a rich layer of emotions to the compelling text.  Pitching in for Eubie is a first-rate book that will help children see another view of how families handle economic constraints in a creative and positive way.

Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

How to Get This Book

Title: My Rows and Piles of Coins
Author:  Tololwa Mollel
Illustrator:  E. B. Lewis
Publisher: Clarion Books
ISBN: 0-395-75186-1
Year: 1999
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level:  3.8

Concepts: saving, markets, scarcity

Summary: 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.

Source of Summary: Publisher

How to Get This Book

Title: Beatrice's Goat
Author: Page McBrier
Illustrator:  Lori Lohstoeter
Publisher: Atheneum
ISBN: 0-689-82460-2
Year: 2000
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level:  4.0

Concepts: saving, natural resources, human resources, scarcity

Summary: A young girl's dream of attending school in her small Ugandan village is fulfilled after her family is given an income-producing goat. Based on a true story about the work of Project Heifer.

Source of Summary: Publisher

How to Get This Book

Title: A Chair for My Mother
Author and Illustrator: Vera B. Williams
Publisher: Mulberry Books
ISBN: 0-688-04074-8
Year: 1982
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level:  3.4

Concepts: saving, human resources

Summary: A child, her waitress mother, and her grandmother save dimes to buy a comfortable armchair after all their furniture is lost in a fire.

Source of Summary: Publisher

How to Get This Book

Bikes for Rent!

Author:  Isaac Olaleye
Chris Demarest
Publisher:  Orchard Books
ISBN: 0-531-30290-3
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level:  2.7

Concepts: saving, wants, earning money, human resources 

Summary: Lateef, a poor young boy living in a village in western Nigeria, works hard so he can rent a bicycle and ride with the other boys.

Source of Summary: Publisher