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$ Money 101$

9781554514816_p0_v1_s260x420Managing money is one of those subjects children just don’t learn in school, yet it’s one of the most important life skills. Learning about money at a young age is key. But when it comes to teaching their children, where do parents begin? Now there’s Follow Your Money: Who Gets it, Who Spends it, Where Does it go? ($14.95, Firefly Books, Ages 10 and up) by Kevin Sylvester and Michael Hlinka, to help you get started.

The book is written in such a clever way with young readers in mind, who most likely have not thought in real detail about money before. The book begins with an explanation about what money is, and from there many short chapters cover topics young readers can most relate to. For example, readers can understand how much it costs to buy groceries to eat breakfast – from the farmer costs, packaging, wages and store expenses. The authors actually break down the costs so kids can see how it all adds up. There are chapters on school supplies, jeans, shoes and even earrings. Readers will know all about the breakdown of the costs of gas, MP3 players, computers, cell phones, going to the movies and much more. Plus the book is illustrated with colorful cartoon-like pictures.

I admire the way the authors managed to write in light entertaining prose while at the same time educating kids about the bottom line of earning, spending, saving.  When we buy our kids a new cell phone or a computer, how many really think about, or understand what it took to make that product? On the cell phone page in Follow Your Money there’s an illustration of all the parts of a cell phone and what country each part originated from. There’s a breakdown of cell plan charges and even a blurb on the costs of going over one’s limit. How great is that?! With this book, your kids can start to appreciate how hard you had to work to get them that cell phone as well as the cost of modern day communication.

I recommend that all parents and teachers of 10 to 13 year-olds buy this book for their kids. When it comes to learning about how money works, how it is earned, spent and saved, you simply cannot start too early. The way we manage money from the start is often the way we continue through life, and unfortunately this is one important subject not taught in school.

– Reviewed by Debbie Glade

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