Reading With Child

Put Some Money Books on Your Kids’ Summer Reading Lists

If you’re the parent of school-age children, the start of summer vacation marks a big change in routine. Suddenly, the kids have a lot more time on their hands. You’re probably already building in some extra reading time, and many libraries offer rewards for kids who read certain numbers of books.

Make sure there are books on their list that will help them learn about money. Here are some of my favorites, especially for younger kids.

Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday. Poor Alexander. He had good intentions for the dollar his grandparents gave him. But with all the tempting things to spend it on, it was gone before he knew it. Teaches some great lessons about the importance, and the difficulty, of practicing delayed gratification.

The Gift of Nothing. What gift do you buy for the friend who has everything? It’s a gift that money can’t buy.

The Berenstain Bears. I have my issues with how this family is depicted, like the fact that Papa Bear is always coming up with bad ideas. But there are several books in the series that teach some important money lessons, including:

The Berenstain Bears Think of Those in Need. Some good lessons about the excesses in our lives and becoming aware of those who don’t have very much. Designed for kids ages 4 to 8.

The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Commercials. The Bear kids learn that the commercials they see on TV may not always tell it like it is.

The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Money. The little bears learn how to strike the balance between hanging onto money too tightly and spending it too freely.

The Berenstain Bears’ Dollars and Sense. Brother and Sister Bear learn how to manage an allowance.

I’ve asked readers for their input on this in the past, and here are some of their recommendations:

Abigail mentioned Bunny Money. As she described, “These siblings are on a trip to buy Grandma a present, and in the process they learn that money is finite, they need to make choices, and there are consequences for the choices they make about money.”

Pam recommended Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary and Double Fudge by Judy Blume.

Amy said, “Two great money books for school-age kids are The Seventeenth Swap by Eloise Jarvis McGraw, which is about a boy who ‘swaps up’ 17 times in order to get his disabled friend the pair of red boots he desires but can’t afford, and The Toothpaste Millionaire by Jean Merrill, which is about a boy who becomes a millionaire by selling toothpaste almost at cost because he finds out what the mark-up for it is and thinks it’s so ridiculous. He develops his own line, creates his own business plan and goes for it. It’s a very funny book and there is a lot of learning in it, too—math and how a business works, etc.”

What are some of your favorite money books for young kids? Leave a note in the comments section below.

Summer is a great time to be intentional about teaching kids other lessons about money as well. To help with that, pick up a copy of my new book, Trusted: Preparing Your Kids for a Lifetime of God-Honoring Money Management.

Who else do you know that would benefit from reading this article? Please forward a link. And if you haven’t done so already, you can sign up for a subscription to this blog by clicking here. Twice a week, you’ll receive ideas and encouragement for using money well.


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