Back to School: Book Recommendations for Financially Smart Kids

Looking for a back to school gift for your child or grandchild? The following books can be a great way to introduce elementary school-aged children to the basics of finance and help facilitate conversations about money. Thoughtfully covering themes of earning, saving, and spending money, these books will also introduce emotional and behavioral drivers of financial decisions.

“Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday”
By Judith Viorst
Good for math practice and an introduction to basic economic concepts, this book can spur discussions about spending and saving. As adults, we know how hard it can be to save money, and this book can help parents talk about financial decisions with their kids. Young readers will recognize Alexander from “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”

“A Chair for My Mother”
By Vera B Williams
With its beautiful illustrations and wholesome story, “A Chair for My Mother” is a great read for children of all ages. The concepts of money and savings are explored through the story of Rosa, who works hard to buy a chair for her mother after a fire destroys their belongings. Rosa’s moral character shines bright and will inspire children and adults alike. “Those Shoes” By Maribeth Boelts This book introduces the concept of needs versus wants. Following a young boy who desperately wants a pair of shoes that “everyone” else has, this story features themes of friendship, kindness, and sharing. Everyone has occasionally wanted something they didn’t get, and this book highlights positive ways to deal with these disappointments.

“Lemonade in Winter“
By Emily Jenkins
When two siblings decide to open a lemonade stand in the middle of a cold winter day, they learn the basics of entrepreneurship and making money. Young readers will learn how to count money, along with being able to practice mathematics concepts like addition and subtraction. As the characters experiment with different methods to sell their product, children are introduced to basic business decision making.