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Updated by at FamZoo on Dec 16, 2016
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Best Children's Books for Money Lessons

Original 15 entries populated from a USNews article by Kimberly Palmer (@alphaconsumer):


Three Cups

By Tony Townsley. Three Cups is the story of one family’s unique and effective method of teaching personal financial management—and how one boy reaped first the small, then the immeasurably great rewards of the lessons he learned. (Ages 4-8)

Ramona and Her Father

Ramona is a precocious 2nd grade girl who is having a rough year. Her father has lost his job and her mother has gone back to work full-time. The family is showing the strain of a reduced income and change in family lifestyle. Ramona wants to help by doing a TV commercial and getting paid a million dollars! It is a timeless tale of a family pulling together in hard times but it is wrapped in humor and love.

Anastasia at your Service

Anastasia is a 12 year old girl who decides to get her first job, as a companion to a wealthy, elderly woman. She makes a mistake on her first day at work and must continue to work to pay off her debt to her employer.

The Secret Garden

Mary Lennox is a spoiled little girl who unfortunately becomes orphaned and as a result, goes to live with her reclusive uncle in England. Through a secret garden and unlikely friendships, Mary learns that money doesn’t buy happiness and she is able to reconnect the family relationships.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

In this classic tale, Charlie, a poor young boy, gets a golden ticket to enter the Wonka Candy factory and a chance to win a lifetime of wealth for his family. He is faced with unethical choices and “get rich quick” schemes.

Make Lemonade

LaVaughn is a 14 year old, inner city girl who needs a job to save money for college. She answers an ad for a babysitter and begins working for Jolly, a 17 year old, single mother of two who is just trying to survive. This book is a bittersweet story of how two teen girls help each other and learn to “make lemonade”.

Money Hungry

Raspberry Hill is a 13 year old girl who lives in the projects with her mother. Her memories of being homeless and eating handouts drive her to think about money constantly. She is in survival mode and will do anything legally possible to prevent living on the streets again.

Lunch Money

Lunch Money is about a middle school boy, Greg Kenton, who has always been obsessed with making money. Greg started with a lemonade stand and progressed to buying candy and toys in bulk to sell at school. The story takes a close look at commercialism in public schools and the existing attitudes toward entrepreneurship.

Ramona and Her Father

Ramona just wants everyone to be happy. If only her father would smile and joke again, her mother would look less worried

Henry and the Paper Route

Henry is a 10 ½ year old boy who desperately want his own paper route. Henry sets out to prove that he is capable of handling a route by introducing himself to the route manager, creating an advertising campaign and helping out whenever possible. Money is not the only reason he wants the job. He also wants to do something “important” and wants to prove himself capable. This story illustrates self-pride, motivation, creativity and entrepreneurship.

The Giving Tree

How much should we willing give to help another person? Shel Silverstein’s classic story of a tree and her boy shows the true meaning of giving.

Richard Scary’s What Do People Do all Day

A close up look at all the jobs in Busy Town. Great for preschoolers!

Alexander who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday

Alexander’s grandparents gave him a dollar on Sunday. This story follows Alexander and his dollar through the week and beautifully illustrates his struggles to make good decisions with his money.

Miss Rumphius

Miss Rumphius was given the challenge when she was a child to make the world a more beautiful place. This lovely book illustrates the impact that simple things can have on the world and kids can learn that you don’t need large amounts of money to make a difference.

The Not-So-Great Depression

By Amy Goldman Koss. Even though the teenage girl at the center of the story has to deal with a major change after her mom gets laid off, her family maintains a sense of humor. (Ages 12 to 15)

Okay for Now

By Gary D. Schmidt. A young boy has to learn how to rise above a series of adverse events, including the financial troubles of his family. (Ages 10 and up)

The Mighty Miss Malone

By Christopher Paul Curtis. An African American family in Gary, Ind. deals with the tough economy of the Great Depression in the 1930s. (Ages 9 and up)

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

By Grace Lin. Chinese folklore inspire this story about a girl who tries to change her family's fortune. (Ages 8 and up)

Becoming Naomi Leon

By Pam Munoz Ryan. A young girl deals with multiple hardships, including a very tight budget. Ann Neely, an associate professor with a focus on children's literature at Vanderbilt University's College of Education and Human Development, calls it a "marvelous" book. (Ages 8 and up)

Cal Ripken, Jr.'s All-Stars: Hothead

By Cal Ripken Jr. The protagonist, whose father was recently laid off, has to learn about anger management, both at home and on the field. (Ages 8 and up)

How to Steal a Dog

By Barbara O'Connor. The title might raise a few eyebrows, Alexander says, but the book, which features a homeless child, offers a valuable lesson on hardship and ethics, and it does so with humor. (Ages 8 and up)

Amelia Bedelia Chapter Book #1: Amelia Bedelia Means Business

By Herman Parish. The adored (and often befuddled) heroine figures out how to earn money. (Ages 6 to 10)

When Times Are Tough

By Yanitzia Canetti. A little boy learns why he can't have more new toys or go out to restaurants more. (Ages 6 through 9)

Those Shoes

By Maribeth Boelts. This book features a young boy learning the difference between needs and wants with a pair of shoes. (Ages 5 to 8)

Fancy Nancy and the Fabulous Fashion Boutique

By Jane O'Connor. Fancy Nancy, a girl who enjoys turning even the most ordinary events into fabulous occasions, figures out how to earn money – and spend it. (Ages 4 to 7)