Follow Your Money: Who Gets It, Who Spends It, Where Does It Go?


What happens to your money after you hand it to the cashier?

You pay for that cool pair of shoes or a ticket to the newest blockbuster movie; but what happens to that money once it leaves your hands? Who actually pockets it or puts it into the bank? Was the price you paid fair? Why do things cost what they do, and who benefits most from your purchase? This lively, kid-friendly book answers all these questions and others, such as, "Why are ...

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What happens to your money after you hand it to the cashier?

You pay for that cool pair of shoes or a ticket to the newest blockbuster movie; but what happens to that money once it leaves your hands? Who actually pockets it or puts it into the bank? Was the price you paid fair? Why do things cost what they do, and who benefits most from your purchase? This lively, kid-friendly book answers all these questions and others, such as, "Why are designer jeans so much more expensive than the no-name ones?"

Using fun illustrations, this book traces the long and fascinating path money travels — from your pocket to cashier and on from there.

Kids will also discover the trail their money takes through:

  • advertising
  • banks
  • charitable giving
  • fair trade
  • fuel (gas)
  • shareholders
  • taxes
  • utilities.

Thorough and accessible, Follow Your Money is a vital introduction to the web of people and companies that we influence and are influenced by when we pay for a product or service.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Amy S. Hansen
Fast-paced with dynamic illustrations, this book talks to kids about the hidden costs of all the purchases they make. It is a math book. It is an economics book. It is a book about the realities of life that many of us, kids and adults, do not think about. The subtitle explains what Sylvester and Hlinka want to tell us about our money: "Who gets it, who spends it, where does it go?" Pay $30 for a baseball cap and you are paying in fabric, $0.4 in labor. The other go for equipment/storage/gas, designer fees, logo rights, profits to the manufacturer, and store costs. These costs are not presented as evil; the authors do not come across as an anti-capitalist. Rather, they want kids (and adults) to understand what things really cost "because knowing where your money goes helps make you a smarter consumer." After the introduction, which explains why kids should understand the economic web, Sylvester and Hlinka walk us through purchases kids might make, including breakfasts, lunch, jeans, and more expensive phones. Along the way, they talk about taxes, designer versus generic products, and more hidden costs—such as a cell phone subscription plans. It is a quick read and a good book for any kid who wants to be ready to handle her/his own money. Money may be powerful, but knowledge about money is even more so. Reviewer: Amy S. Hansen
Kirkus Reviews
Ka-ching! The sound says it all, but it is only the end of a long journey, as Sylvester and Hlinka explain. You buy a baseball hat. Easy enough: You mowed the neighbor's lawn, they gave you $5, and you gave that $5 to the store for the hat. But there is a lot more going on behind the scenes--the harvesting of the cotton for the hat, its construction (domestic, foreign), the cost of getting it to market, advertising, storage, etc. It's a web of economic connections that Sylvester and Hlinka spell out with clarity in this primer on how your money gets divvied when you slap down that fiver. For any kid paying attention, this book will be a shocker. Sylvester and Hlinka build from fundamentals: What is value and worth, what is a salary (from the Latin for salt, when wages were paid in salt), what are costs, what is that thing called tax, and what does it buy? Sylvester and Hlinka are not out to overthrow capitalism, but simply by explaining how a credit card works or why energy companies make a dollar on seemingly every transaction, they spur readers to wonder about transparency and the ownership of natural resources. Knowing why something costs so much might make you appreciate it, and the people who get it to you, more--and, perhaps, to act on that knowledge. (Nonfiction. 10-14)
Canadian Children's Book News - Sandra O'Brien
The book provides young people with a good introduction to the way money flows from creator to distributor to retailer to customer.
Good Reads with Ronna - Debbie Glade
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... With this book, your kids can start to appreciate how hard you had to work to get them that cellphone.
Resource Links, Vol. 18, No. 5 - Mavis Holder
The authors of this collection of 27 two-page chapters show some of the complexities of the modern world. They have selected common items that are meaningful to young people, such as movies, computers, cell phones, blue jeans and baseball caps, etc. and show what they cost to manufacture and the common price to the consumer. For some items, these show little profit for the retailer, but for some the store profit margin is significant. This book has cartoon style illustrations throughout. A Table of Contents, additional sources and an Index make this much more than a browser... Sylvester and Hlinka...have written a book about a very complex subject and made it accessible and entertaining.
Three Boys and an Old Lady blog
Using examples that are relevant to kids, Follow Your Money explains who gets what when you buy pizza, movie tickets, CDs, clothes, and other goods... helping kids make informed financial decisions... Sylvester and Hlinka have written a wonderful, easy to read book to help consumers of all ages understand the business of money... With so many kids marketing to our children, it's important for parents to help their children become savvy shoppers... Very informative and perfect for parents and sharing with tweens and teens to help them better spend their hard earned cash.
Waterloo Region Record - Brenda Hoerle
Kevin Sylvester and Michael Hlinka, both of Toronto, offer an eye-opening look at the route it follows when used to buy everything from raw materials and salaries, to transportation, packaging and advertising.
CM Vol XX No 12 - Daphne Hamilton-Nagorsen
Presented in an easy to follow format, Follow Your Money is an informative overview of where your money goes. Highly recommended. - Suzanne Costner
Kevin Sylvester and Michael Hlinka do a great job of explaining basic economic concepts. - Kristin Fontichiaro
This guide for middle-grade readers matches white space, narrative, and financial breakdowns in an appealing guide. Highly recommended.
Novel Nutritious - Jennifer Szoch
This book is fantastic!... A definite plus for a finance class but a solid addition to any library
Library Media Connection - Marge Cox
Youngsters gain an understanding of money and the cost of living from this book. Each example shows the breakdown cost of production and who makes or spends the money. The layout breaks down information so that readers enjoy pertinent artwork, text, and t
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—This book explores the difference between "price" and "cost," terms many readers may use interchangeably. The authors start with the price to the consumer, and then list the various costs to the manufacturer or supplier, leaving the profit or "what's left" at the end. Costs involve materials, manufacturing, labor, production, advertising, marketing, and retailers' costs such as store operations and staff. Examples of about 50 products and services, relevant to young readers, range from school supplies to digital downloads. Casual narrative is surrounded by large, bright, cartoonlike illustrations. Informative text and sidebars discuss topics such as reasons why stores put things on sale and explain economic concepts including bottom line, gross vs. net profit, fair trade, and loss leader. This title presents a unique approach to economics and money, hopefully enabling readers to be smarter consumers.—June Shimonishi, Torrance Public Library, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554514816
  • Publisher: Annick Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/17/2013
  • Pages: 60
  • Sales rank: 1,033,183
  • Age range: 10 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Sylvester is an award-winning illustrator, author, and a well-known broadcaster on CBC radio. His last book with Annick Press, Game Day, was nominated by the OLA for the Silver Birch Award. He lives with his family in Toronto.

Michael Hlinka teaches college and university courses in Toronto and provides business commentary for CBC Radio.

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