Factual information about the monetary system is presented in a conversational narrative that clearly undercuts the significance of the material. The historical background about U.S. currency is accurately detailed with pictures of each of the bills and explanations of all of the symbols. Bank accounts, earnings and risk, social security numbers, and money math are highlighted in simple text that is appropriate for upper elementary readers and middle school students. Stocks and bonds and mutual funds are clearly defined, with an emphasis on saving money and growing diverse investments. Complex ideas are simplified into precise yet childish dialogue. Money games, additional resources, and a subject index are included as well as a selection of charts and graphs. The author's efforts to personalize the text, however, fall short of providing a solid reference tool. Using terms like "on the dole," "tightwad," or "wad of dough" seems grossly inappropriate. "Calculators are friendly" is not the most serious introduction to the tool, although the author describes games to play with it. Although one might applaud the breadth of information that is assembled here, this title cannot be recommended for young adult collection shelves. VOYA CODES: 2Q 2P M J (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2004, Barron's, 180p.; Glossary. Index. Illus. Charts. Biblio. Further Reading., Trade pb. Ages 11 to 15.
Gr 4-7-In this updated edition of her 1999 title (Barron's; o.p.), Harman once again presents a comprehensive guide. Part one introduces different types of U.S. currency including the symbols, material, and history of paper and coins. The author explains the complicated path that money takes from the mint to banks to the consumer. Part two focuses on how to obtain a social security number and the purpose in having one and suggests how to earn money. Part three introduces the concept of how to make it grow and suggests ways to invest in stocks and bonds. Clear, easy-to-follow exercises are provided for each chapter, e.g., dividing an allowance into three jars-"Now," "Short Term," and "Long Term." "Money Games" adds an element of fun and provides activities to be shared with an adult. A solid addition for recreational reading and for reports.-Kathleen A. Nester, Downingtown High Ninth Grade Center, PA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.