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Children's LiteratureOne might expect a history of money to be deadly dull. But with Anderson's lively text and Wickstrom's delightfully silly cartoon illustrations, this book is both informative and fun to read. Written to sound like a grade-schooler's report, the book chronicles the development of money systems from bartering, to the Vikings' use of dried codfish, to the Romans' use of salt, to the invention of precious-metal coins, to paper money, and to credit cards. Along the way, we learn how coins are minted, how paper money is printed and disposed of, and all about modern anti-counterfeiting techniques. One could have wished for a more comprehensive list of additional resources at the end of the book—a website address for the U.S. Mint, for example, would be particularly helpful. Still, this is a terrific introduction to the world of money and would be particularly effective in supporting a classroom economics curriculum. This book is part of the "Smart About" series. 2003, Grosset and Dunlap/Penguin Young Readers Group, Ages 8 to 12.
—Barbara Carroll Roberts