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School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 6–9—Along with a concise history of money and banking, the first title focuses on the present-day crisis in banking and the recent years leading up to it. Complex concepts like lending, earning, and charging interest are presented simply and with clear examples. Lively photos and "Personal Account" asides bring home the ramifications for individuals of big-bank collapses. Readers are asked thought-provoking questions about how different aspects of banking are managed by government and big business. Connolly also covers inflation, simplifying the concept down to tracking the cost of a loaf of bread. The second title gives a clear, succinct explanation of the origins of today's stock market and the concept of trading shares; down-to-earth examples that involve selling jam and "Harry Potter" novels are included. The author reviews global markets and consumer confidence in relation to the stock market. The Great Depression and its effects on banking and the market, and on society at large, are reviewed in both books. Connolly touches on communism versus capitalism and the role stock-market growth and crashes play in people's political views. He explains bull and bear markets with reference to how they came to be called as such. In both books, information is delivered in an engaging manner throughout.—Meredith Toumayan, The Governor's Academy, Byfield, MA
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