written by Kathy Furgang
2013 (National Geographic Kids)
Source: Orange County Public Library
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Money is something that can be used as an exchange for goods and services. As long as both parties agree upon the form of payment, money can come in many forms.
When I went on my trip to Denmark last year, I learned quickly about using a different currency. Thinking a 12 ounce Coke for three dollars was a bargain will do that to you. With the emphasis on financial literacy in the current social studies curriculum, a book like Everything Money is a valuable resource. The word everything in the title is not an accident. This is a comprehensive, yet kid friendly, view of the subject. Pages 12 and 13 feature a cool timeline about the history of money. It talks about different forms of money (shells, coins, silk, wampum, etc.). An important recurring piece in this book is a section called Explorer's Corner. National Geographic Explorer Fred Hiebert shares his expertise and experiences in these interesting pieces. Above the timeline, he talks about finding a set of coins in Egypt. Turns out the coins were used as part of a necklace and not as currency. Other chapters deal with topics like saving money, spending money, and cool things you can do with money like collect coins or fold bills in origami designs. Our art teacher knows about this since she did a cool folding of bills in the form of a tie (as in "tying the knot") for a wedding shower last week. Of course you are going to see excellent photography since this is a National Geographic book. My favorite piece is the art gallery of money on pages 30-31. Did you know there is currency in Antarctica? It's not legal, but it makes for cool collecting. Surprise, surprise, it has penguins on the dollar bill.
The design of this book is similar to the layout of the magazine where you have several inserts accompanied by a photograph next to each insert. I think kids who like to collect and/or like history will enjoy this book. A student that wants to create a nonfiction book about money would find this book helpful. For older students, I would have Everything Money handy for lessons dealing with economic topics. You will be able to use it several times throughout the year as it covers a wide range of issues. This book could also be used to tackle big ideas like the distribution of wealth or the meaning of being rich.