Parents often think about smart ways to talk about money with their kids and reading books on the subject is an easy way to get the ball rolling. We have made a selection for you below and boy, oh boy you will be spoilt for choice! I have tried to look for books which cover all ages and which are not just informative but also fun and engaging.
These books should be easily available at your local library, book-store or Amazon. Age recommendations are given in bold but as a simple thumb-rule, we go by chronically – so we start with preschooler stuff and progress to teens.
If you are wondering which money-concepts should be discussed at which age you can find a handy info-graphic here. And if you are not a book-owl at all, you can play around with an art-craft project here.
1. Just Shopping with Mom : Mercer Mayer
“We went shopping. My little sister grabbed a big bag of candy. Mom said “Not today”. But she ate it. I think mom was mad.”
An old classic which will never run out of fashion – Mom goes shopping with three kids and the scenes which follow are something all parents run through. A great book to educate kids about choices to make, and spur pretend-play. And at this age, each picture is worth a 1000 words. Age recommendation: 3-6 years.
2. One Cent, Two cents, Old cent, New Cent
“I am the cat in the hat, and you know something funny? We are going to have fun, learning all about money!”
Dr Seuss and the Cat in the Hat: what’s a better way to jump right into all a pre-schooler would ever want to know about money? Right from the barter system to uses of money, it’s all in here – along with puzzles, rhymes and maths. Age Recommendation : 4-6 years
3. A chair for my mother By Vera B Williams:
Rosa has a fire at her house and works hard with her mum and grand-mum to save for a new chair. The book is filled with beautiful illustrations and can be a bit over-whelming initially. But it grows on you, page-by-page and by the time it ends, you are in love with this book and with Rosa. A heart-warming read. Age recommendation : 5-8 years
4. “Its not what you got”: Dr Wayne W Wyer.
“Some people think you are what you got and that your toys, clothes and cars matter a lot; these things are all fun, there’s no denying its true- but the things that you own have nothing to do with you. If you took them away, what would there be? All the great things about you that is hard to see.”
Wow, forget kids, adults could do a lot by reading this book! The fabulous illustrations and rhymes come together to talk about money and abundance in a positive way. There are thoughtful questions for the young readers which will certainly give opportunity to reflect. Age recommendation: 7-10 years
5. Money Matters: Nancy Loewen
I was pleased to see an award-winning author pen a series of books each of which address different economic concepts- all aided by Smarty the Pig. Cash, credit cards or cheques for example talks about ATMS, debit vs credit cards while Save, spend or donate talks about allowances- it’s a very handy series for curious students to browse through. The language used is simple and engaging. Age recommendation: 6-10 years
6. Escape the rat race : Robert Kiyosaki
The “Rich dad, Poor dad” author takes us to an adventure with Tim, Red and Tina. The comic style presentation, simple explanation of concepts and ethical lessons makes this book stand out from others. A great read for teens and tweens to learn about basics of money, investing and more. There are other books in this series “Cash flow” as well as games on the web-site which are worth checking out Age recommendation: 8+
7. Ultimate Kids Money Book : Neale S Godfrey;s
Neale is a well-known financial expert and her work has won many literary awards. She was among the first to develop a financial curriculum for kids. This book is a comprehensive guide- it covers bartering to investing and pretty much everything in between! ATMS, stocks, bonds, entrepreneurship – you name it, she got it! Colorful illustrations, trivia, activities, word-bank all come together to create a great money gift- book for kids. Age recommendation: 8-12 years
8. The worlds worst jobs : Tracey Turner
“The underlying reality of the past…[is] subtly but humorously cushioned by a series of quirky and funny cartoons. Not for the squeamish, but most informative”. Irish Examiner.
Teenagers will enjoy this goofy read about dangerous/ disgusting/poisonous/ gory/ horrible jobs which include chimney sweepers, roman slaves, executioners to name a few. I really liked the end where it stresses how important education is – and in an indirect sort of a way –will be a reality check for teenagers. Age recommendation: 10+
9. Money Hungry : Sharon Flakes
…as long as I got two hands, I ain’t never living in the street no more. Ain’t never gonna be broke, neither.”
This story is all about 13 year old Raspberry Hill who has an avid love-affair with money – she is driven by it. Having been homeless once, she is ready to do anything to avoid it again. This book will be an eye-opener for many teens and tweens about the cycle of poverty and is an engaging read. Age recommendation: 10+