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Economics and Children's Literature
(Grades 5-6)

* Book is located in the University of Delaware Library
* Book is located in the Education Resource Center (ERC)

 Economics in Children's Literature Grades: K-2 | 3-4 | 5-6 | Literature Index
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A Gift for Mama* Esther Hautzig Savings, income Sara has always made presents for her family, but for mother's day she decides to buy her mother a present. Sara works hard for her grandmother, eventually saving and earning enough money to buy a gift for her mother.
All the Money in the World* Bill Brittain Inflation Quentin helps a leprechaun out of a hole, so the leprechaun grants him three wishes. Quentin's third wish is to have all the money in the world. This turns out to cause far more grief than Quentin expects. The book gives a comic insight in to how money works.
Children of the Fire Harriette Gillem Robinet Savings, income, human capital, exchange and entrepreneurship This is a story about a young girl, Hallelujah, who lives with a foster family during the Great Fire of Chicago. After the Fire, Hallelujah are neighborhood children start their own business selling melted glass as souvenirs from the fire. Economic aspects of the Fire and rebuilding Chicago are mentioned throughout the story.
Dear Mr. Henshaw* Beverly Cleary Investment in human capital Leigh Botts starts writing to the author of his favorite book when he is in second grade. In sixth grade, Leigh starts to write more frequently to Mr. Henshaw (his favorite author), plus he keeps a diary. Leigh invests his time and effort into becoming a writer.
Foster's War

Carolyn Reeder


World War II on the home front.


Takes place from 1941-1943 in San Diego, California.  Foster and his family participate in all the wartime activities of a typical family.  His best friend is sent to a Japanese Internment camp.  His brother is killed in the Pacific. 
Hostage to War: A True Story Tatjana Wassiljewa, translation by Anna Trenter Human capital, access to markets, and distribution and exchange. Tatjana is a young Russian girl, ten-years-old, when the Germans invade her town. After suffering through near starvation, she is taken by the Germans and placed in a labor camp. This story is a recollection of her stolen childhood and will to live written in journal format.
Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor* Russell Freedman Human capital This book contains amazing photographs, taken by Lewis Hine, of child labor in the United States before World War I. During this time, Hine was working as an investigative photographer for the National Child Labor Committee.
Let it Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters* Andrea Davis Pinkney Workers/Producers, human capital, saving and spending, and choices The various stories of women freedom fighters incorporates economics themes, including the economics of slavery itself.
Return to the Island Gloria Whelan Savings, income, access to market, and distribution and exchange, competition, and entrepreneurship In 1818, Mary lives on an island in the Great Lakes that has been settled by French, British, and Native Americans. This book tells you about the many different aspects of settlement during this time period including a Native American perspective, all rapped up in a love story.
Shoes for Everyone: A Story about Jan Matzeliger* Barbara Mitchell Increasing productivity, output Jan Ernst Matzelinger, moved to Philadelphia from Dutch New Guiana in 1873. In Philadelphia he invented the shoe-lasting machine that revolutionized the shoe making industry.
Stone Fox* John Reynolds Gardiner Income, capital, savings, taxes, credit This is a story about a boy who spends all of his savings entering a dog sled race. He needs to win first prize in order to save his potato farm and his grandfather from tax creditors.
The Fall of the Berlin Wall: The Cold War Ends* Nigel Kelly Supply, demand, opportunity cost, blockades, communist vs. capitalist modes of production This books explains how the Cold War began, persisted, and ended in a way that elementary students can understand.
The Great Brain Does it Again* John Fitzgerald Economic incentives The Great Brain is always coming up with ways to swindle people out of their money or make deals. This book tells several stories of how the Great Brain uses economic incentives to get people to do the work for him.
The Printer's Apprentice Stephen Krensky

Costs and benefits


This story presents the trial of John Peter Zenger, a 1700s New York newspaper publisher, whose landmark case significantly affected American journalism.
The Pushcart War Jean Merrill Externalities New York pushcart peddlers are at odds with truck drivers competing for space on the crowded streets.
The Royal Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali and Songhay: Life in Medieval Africa* Patricia and Frederick McKissack Supply, demand, trade, and markets This book accurately describes what life was like in Medieval Africa, including multiple historical points of view. In addition to recounting the past, the books explains the process of archaeological and historical research. (For more advanced readers.)
Tops and Bottoms

Janet Stevens


Entrepreneurship, venture capitalism, investment, competition This book is a sequel to Aesop's
"Hare and the Tortoise". The economic lessons in the story are based upon Hare being down on his luck and finding a way to support his family.

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