Money can’t buy everything, it’s true, but it’s nonetheless been on the minds of 8-year-old S and 3-year-old F lately. S’s interest owes equally to a money-management kit that his accountant uncle gave him for his birthday and to his newfound love of all things Yomega. F just likes repeatedly filling and emptying whatever is serving as his piggybank in any given week.
Given all that, what better theme for our U.S. history reading this month than money? Here’s what we’ve amassed for March:
- The Story of Money by Betsy Maestro and illustrated by Giulio Maestro. Come for the currency, stay for the overview of how civilization in general has evolved.
- Money, Money, Money: The Meaning of the Art and Symbols on United States Paper Currency by Nancy Winslow Parker. Somewhat outdated now that the currency has been redesigned, but interesting just the same. You’d probably forgotten that Grover Cleveland is on the $1,000 bill.
- The Long March: The Choctaw’s Gift to Irish Famine Relief by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick. This is a beautiful, heartbreaking tale of how generosity can spring even from poverty.
- Henry Hikes to Fitchburg by D. B. Johnson. Based on F’s reaction to this wonderful introduction to Thoreau — and his preference for walking over working to earn train fare — we’ll be reading the next three in the series in no time.
- Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker by Kathryn Lasky and illustrated by Nneka Bennett. I was looking for a good rags-to-riches picture book biography, and I found one.
- The Buffalo Nickel by Taylor Morrison. Huge animals and complicated machinery (of the coinmaking variety)!
- Leah’s Pony by Elizabeth Friedrich and illustrated by Michael Garland. Terrific story, and a nifty introduction to the Dust Bowl and the Depression.
- Follow the Money! by Loreen Leedy. The everyday history of a single quarter named George.
As always, I’d love to hear your suggestions for titles I overlooked. This month in particular, the topic has so many fascinating facets that I’m sure I missed some. So, please, put in your two cents worth.