Houghton Mifflin Social Studies


Unit 5 Bibliography: Making Economic Choices

The books listed below may be available through publishers, distributors such as bookstores or online retailers, or library systems.

Books for Independent Reading

Extra Support

A Basket of Bangles
by Ginger Howard
Millbrook, 2002
With a small loan from the bank, Sufiya and her four friends change their lives by starting their own businesses in Bangladesh.

Levi Strauss
by Tiffany Peterson
Heinemann, 2003
This simple biography tells the story of Levi Strauss, the entrepreneur famous for inventing blue jeans.

Follow the Money
by Loreen Leedy
Holiday, 2002
A quarter starts and ends a day in the bank and shows all the places it goes in between.

by Kathleen Krull
Holiday, 2001
This behind-the-scenes look at a supermarket explains how they work, including the organization, display, and tracking of the things they sell.

Those Building Men
by Angela Johnson
Blue Sky, 2001
This prose poem pays tribute to the men of all ethnic backgrounds who labored to build the roads, railroads, bridges, and skyscrapers of America.

On Level

Beatrice's Goat
by Page McBrier
Atheneum, 2001
When Beatrice's family is given an income-producing goat, it allows them to build a new house and send Beatrice to school in her Ugandan village.

Sweet Potato Pie
by Kathleen D. Lindsey
Lee & Low, 2003
During a drought, Sadie's family saves their farm by making and selling pies.

Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday
by Judith Viorst
Aladdin, 1987
Although Alexander and his money are quickly parted in this classic story, he comes to realize all the things that can be done with a dollar.

Molasses Man
by Kathy L. May
Holiday, 2000
Three generations of an African American family work together to harvest sorghum and make molasses.

My Rows and Piles of Coins
by Tololwa Mollel
Clarion, 1999
Saruni saves his money to buy a bicycle to help his mother take her goods to the market, in this story set in Tanzania.


Vision of Beauty
by Kathryn Lasky
Candlewick, 2003
Born to former slaves, Sarah Breedlove became the richest woman of her times by creating hair care products for African American women.

Xochitl and the Flowers
by Jorge Argueta
Children's Book Press, 2003
Xochitl and her family recreate in San Francisco the flower shop they left in El Salvador. Text in English and Spanish.

The Confessions and Secrets of Howard J. Fingerhut
by Esther Hershenhorn
Holiday, 2002
Month by month, a boy chronicles the business he launches to try to win a school contest.

Amelia Works It Out
by Marissa Moss
Pleasant, 2000
Amelia draws and writes in her notebook about her schemes to earn and save money to buy a pair of sneakers.

Read Aloud and Reference

Read Aloud Books

Shoeshine Girl
by Clyde Robert Bulla
Harper, 1975
Determined to earn some money, Sarah Ida gets a job at a shoeshine stand in this classic story.

Yoshi's Feast
by Kimiko Kajikawa
DK, 2000
Two neighbors find a profitable way to settle a dispute in this folktale.

Ice Cream Cones for Sale!
by Elaine Greenstein
Scholastic, 2003
In this slice of Americana, five people at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis claim to have invented the ice cream cone.

Double Fudge
by Judy Blume
Dutton, 2002
Peter's little brother Fudge drives Peter—and the rest of his family—crazy with his money obsession.

Reference Books

Kids' Money Book
by Neale S. Godfrey
Simon, 2002
A financial expert provides children with the resources they need to feel confident in understanding money and our economy.

From Seashells to Smart Cards
by Ernestine Giesecke
Heinemann, 2003
This history of money around the world includes photos and reproductions of objects used as early currency.

by Joe Cribb
DK, 1990
Striking photos and brief text describe what money is, how it's made, and the first coins, among many other currency-related topics.

Free and Inexpensive Materials

Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20580
Phone: (202) 326-2222

Federal Trade Commission Home
The consumer section of the Web site provides useful information. In addition, a number of states have resources for teachers working with economics.