Pocket Change: Pitching in for a Better World by Michelle Mulder

Published by Orca Book Publishers

Summary:  What is money?  And why do some people have more of it than others?  This book starts with a history of money, which hasn’t been around all that long, and work, which has increased with the introduction of money.  People used to be self-sufficient, but with the Industrial Revolution, they started working to earn money and buy goods and services from others.  Advertising has created even more demand.  The author then moves on to grassroots movements that are helping to look at wealth in different ways and try to distribute it more equally.  Organizations like Kiva and the Grameen Bank provide microloans to give people an opportunity to work their way out of poverty, while groups such as Habitat for Humanity allow them to provide sweat equity instead of money.  Sidebars labeled “My Two Cents’ Worth” give brief personal stories from the author’s life to illustrate the concepts.  A glossary, index, and additional resources complete the book.  48 pages; grades 3-7.

Pros:  A can-do look at how kids can help others around the world.  The interesting history of economics will have readers looking at money, shopping, and advertising in new ways.  Lots of colorful photos on each page give this an appealing look.

Cons:  Not a topic most kids will be interested in without some adult guidance.



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