The Secret Life of Money

A Kid's Guide to Cash
The Secret Life of Money: A Kid's Guide to Cash. illus. by Clayton Hanmer. 152p. glossary. index. CIP. OwlKids. 2012. Tr $19.95. ISBN 978-1-926973-19-7; pap. $13.95. ISBN 978-1-926973-18-0; ebook $13.95. ISBN 978-1-926973-20-3. LC 2011935956.
Gr 6–10—Vermond gives practical advice, but, more importantly, explores the emotional and social role of money in teens' lives, both culturally and personally. She incorporates the basics on earning, saving, and investing. She explains why people work, with entertaining lab-rat anecdotes, and explains how the reasons impact earnings and the machinations of society. Vermond tells readers that there are infinite ways to earn money, with a whole chapter devoted to early onset (middle school onwards) entrepreneurial endeavors, the bottom line being that readers should earn through a job that inspires them, or for which they have a particular talent. This book is framed around the psychology of earning without being pedantic; in fact, it is full of cartoon concept-expansion sidebars. The author has an engaging, snappy tone and lays out sophisticated financial concepts in an accessible fashion. Speaking of fashion, she uses ample clothes-buying examples to hook tween and teen readers. She shares socially conscious consumer tips, advocates saving, and discusses poverty and "the poor" and why we should care about them. She goes global, skimming the surface of poverty, charities, microloans, and the World Bank and IMF, promoting the positive psychology of altruism. Based on the psychology of earning and spending, the book presents such fascinating concepts as neuromarketing, market bubbles, brand recognition, and behavioral economists. This is a perceptive and timely publication on financial literacy for a new generation.—Meredith Toumayan, Langley-Adams Library, Groveland, MA
Ten chapters introduce financial terms, concepts, and strategies: topics include value, savings plans, credit cards, investments, and charitable giving. The message that finances should be discussed openly is useful, but the tone verges on flippant and the font is dauntingly tiny. Spot illustrations, full-page cartoon panels, and information boxes--all in energetic lime green--help relate difficult ideas. Glos., ind.

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