BIG MONEY

WHAT IT IS, HOW WE USE IT, AND WHY OUR CHOICES MATTER

A wide-ranging conversation about the role money plays in the world and our lives.

Big concepts relayed on a small-enough scale for young readers to relate to.

This is a book about money in the big-picture sense. The first chapter covers different forms of money throughout history and around the world, but from there the narrative broadens in scope to include behavioral economics and systemic wealth gaps. The final chapter brings it all home to practical matters such as the kinds of questions to ask trusted adults about money and the power of compound interest and diversified portfolios. The narration is self-aware enough to acknowledge the dryness of lessons about, for instance, the GDP. Thankfully, trivia peppered throughout adds flavor to each lesson, from the ironic origin of the Monopoly board game to the use of giant coins on the Micronesian island of Yap. The book’s broad umbrella means that readers might skim through the volume, starting off on workplace benefits, for instance, before becoming absorbed by Bhutan’s gross national happiness measurement. Injustice and inequity are addressed in their many forms, including along workplace, environmental, racial, gender, and political lines, enough to give readers food for thought. Chapters are structured thematically and logically, and Donnelly emphasizes that structural issues play a far bigger role than individual decisions. Final art not seen.

A wide-ranging conversation about the role money plays in the world and our lives. (bibliography) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 31, 2023

ISBN: 9781250853134

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2023

GUTS

With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many.

Young Raina is 9 when she throws up for the first time that she remembers, due to a stomach bug. Even a year later, when she is in fifth grade, she fears getting sick.

Raina begins having regular stomachaches that keep her home from school. She worries about sharing food with her friends and eating certain kinds of foods, afraid of getting sick or food poisoning. Raina’s mother enrolls her in therapy. At first Raina isn’t sure about seeing a therapist, but over time she develops healthy coping mechanisms to deal with her stress and anxiety. Her therapist helps her learn to ground herself and relax, and in turn she teaches her classmates for a school project. Amping up the green, wavy lines to evoke Raina’s nausea, Telgemeier brilliantly produces extremely accurate visual representations of stress and anxiety. Thought bubbles surround Raina in some panels, crowding her with anxious “what if”s, while in others her negative self-talk appears to be literally crushing her. Even as she copes with anxiety disorder and what is eventually diagnosed as mild irritable bowel syndrome, she experiences the typical stresses of school life, going from cheer to panic in the blink of an eye. Raina is white, and her classmates are diverse; one best friend is Korean American.

With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many. (Graphic memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-545-85251-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

NO READING ALLOWED

THE WORST READ-ALOUD BOOK EVER

Preposterous situations and farcical sound-alike sentences will elicit groans and giggles.

Homophones in versatile parallel sentences create absurd scenarios.

The pattern is simple but endlessly funny: Two sentences, each illustrated, sound the same but are differentiated by their use of homophones. On the verso of the opening spread a cartoon restaurant scene shows a diner lifting a plate of spaghetti and meatballs to a waiter who removes a dark hair from the plate of noodles: “The hair came forth.” (Both figures have brown skin.) Opposite, the scene shows a race with a tortoise at the finish line while a hare trails the tortoise, a snake, and a snail: “The hare came fourth.” The humorous line drawings feature an array of humans, animals, and monsters and provide support and context to the sentences, however bizarre they may seem. New vocabulary is constantly introduced, as is the idea that spelling and punctuation can alter meaning. Some pairings get quite sophisticated; others are rather forced. “The barred man looted the establishment. / The bard man luted the establishment” stretches the concept, paralleling barred with bard as adjectives and looted with luted as verbs. The former is an orange-jumpsuited White prisoner in a cell; the other, a brown-skinned musician strumming a lute for a racially diverse group of dancers. Poetic license may allow for luted, though the word lute is glaringly missing from the detailed glossary.

Preposterous situations and farcical sound-alike sentences will elicit groans and giggles. (Informational picture book. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-72820-659-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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