Three Action Thursday

Reading List for Kids

I recently shared my Biggest Money Mistakes. We’ve all made mistakes in life that caused us some amount of financial or social discomfort. It is much easier to suppress the memories rather than pass those lessons learned on to others. It would be even better if we passed those experiences and results on to our children, rather than hiding them. In a previous piece, Quit Screwing up Your Kids, I provided a few resources to get you started on how to share a growth mindset with your children.

This year I am challenging my own children, and I thought I’d share this idea with you, too. Over the course of the next three months I am going to pay each one of my kids $20 to read personal development books and write a report on each one they read.  I will create the list, they will choose the book(s), and we’ll either purchase the book online or find it for free at our local library. Each book report they provide earns them $20.

Also, with a few long trips planned over the next few months, I plan to choose a couple of these books to listen to as a family and discuss out loud. If you like that idea, you can pick up a free trial of Audible, including two free books, by clicking here ->>> Free Audible Trial


Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money by Emily Jenkins
This lovely picture book tells the story of two young siblings who use all their money one winter day to buy supplies and open a lemonade stand. What happens afterward is a lesson in counting, spending and earning, and the risks and rewards that come with starting a business. As an educational bonus, the book’s last page shows both sides of coins and explains how much each one is worth. Suggested ages: 3–7 years

The Go-Around Dollar by Barbara Johnston Adams
Ever wonder what happens to a dollar bill when you pay for something? It keeps moving on to the next person and the next until, in this case, it winds up somewhere really special. This nonfiction book tracks the complicated path of a single dollar bill and contains a wealth of information about the basics of America’s paper money. Suggested ages: 6 years and up

Neale S. Godfrey’s Ultimate Kids’ Money Book by Neale S. Godfrey
This author knows about money and kids: she’s not only a mother and a grandmother, she was also one of the first female executives at Chase Bank. Godfrey has compiled practically everything about finance into one, kid-friendly, comprehensive guide. Charts, illustrations, photographs and bite-sized facts and sidebars make it easy to use and fun to read. This is a great resource for parents who aren’t sure where to start when explaining things like credit cards, savings accounts, banks, the Federal Reserve and practically any topic regarding money you can think up. Suggested ages: 5 years and up

Pretty Penny Cleans Up by Devon Kinch
This is one of four Pretty Penny titles by author/illustrator Devon Kinch that incorporates money lessons into an entertaining story. When young Emma spends all her allowance and doesn’t have any money left to go to a concert, her entrepreneurial friend, Penny, comes up with an idea (La Perfect Pup Salon) to raise funds for the concert – and for charity, too. There are many good lessons in here about friendship, charitable giving and why it feels good to earn money to spend and share with a friend. Suggested ages: 5 years and up

The Kids’ Money Book: Earning, Saving, Spending, Investing, Donating by Jamie Kyle McGillian
It’s dollars and sense! If the only thing your children know about money is how to spend it, it’s time to teach them a different lesson. This revised and updated edition of Jamie Kyle McGillian’s thorough financial guide for kids now features the latest information and fresh, fun new illustrations. It explains how to create a budget, make big bucks, invest your earnings, and donate to charity. With advice on understanding the difference between needs and wants, getting the most from an allowance, becoming an entrepreneur, and sharing the wealth, The Kids’ Money Guide will make a mogul out of any reader. Suggested ages: 8 years and up

The Survival Guide for Money Smarts: Earn, Save, Spend, Give by Eric Braun
This survival guide introduces the basics of financial literacy and money management for kids: from earning and saving money, to spending and donating it. It also gives readers essential skills for financial know-how. The book explores how choices about money and finances connect to character development and social-emotional well being. Readers will find ideas for setting money goals, delaying gratification, being thrifty, building self-esteem, giving to charity, and making socially responsible spending and donating decisions. Suggested ages: 11 to 15 years old


Big Dreams – Think and Grow Rich for Kids by Duke Art
This book is based off the valuable information that Napoleon Hill had shared with the world in 1937 after he interviewed over 500 wealthy men on the secrets to their success. Think and Grow Rich is a must read for adults looking to be the best versions of themselves. And this book is a great primer for kids.

The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life by Kwame Alexander
This book is the perfect self-help guide for kids who speak the language of sports fluently. Acclaimed author Alexander provides inspirational advice on how to survive and thrive on the court of life. With wisdom from famous athletes and figures, each “rule” helps to provide direction and motivation. If your child is up against some obstacles, this uplifting book will give them gentle encouragement.

Know Thyself: A Kid’s Guide to the Archetypes by Kiersten Marek
Know Thyself is a book to help kids learn about the many aspects of their identity. With descriptions and pictures of 12 archetypes, the book familiarizes children with important parts of their identity including the caregiver, the warrior, the artist, and the leader. This book helps teach coping skills, problem-solving, character development, and relationship skills. It can also be used by mental health practitioners as a tool for gathering diagnostic information and conducting therapy. The book allows children to rate their archetypes, color the pictures of each archetype, and reflect on themselves in new ways. It also gives practical tips for how to build self-awareness, cope with difficult feelings, and relate better to others. Suggested ages: 5 to 15 years old

Dream Big: A True Story of Courage and Determination by Dave McGillivray
Dave McGillivray is a world-renowned athlete, entrepreneur, captivating motivational speaker, and philanthropist. He’s also the director of the Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest and perhaps most famous annual race! He wasn’t always so accomplished, though. In Dream Big: A True Story of Courage and Determination, his nonfiction picture book for readers ages 6 to 10, McGillivray shares his unique, true story about reaching deep and showing extreme determination in the face of doubt, disappointment, and loss.

Personal Development for Kids!! By Brian Farrell
From an early age, children can absorb simple but beneficial concepts that promote their well being as they develop their reasoning and emotions. This book gives them guidelines that their subconscious minds can refer back to as they grow. As rational, mindful adults, Personal Development principles benefit a great number of people, helping them be more aware and proactive in the lives they lead. Teaching these principles at an early age gives children coping skills to deal with their developing lives.

Incredible You! 10 Ways to Let Your Greatness Shine Through by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Some of the lessons to be learned in this book include that sharing with others is fun, and that children should do what they love, and not let fear hold them back. Really, children are born fearless, aren’t they? Through repetition of parents cautioning them to “be careful, you might ______ (fill in the blank: fall, hurt yourself, fail, get a boo-boo, etc.) they learn to be fearful. This is a great book to help our children let their imagination fly, and not worry about the mistakes they made yesterday. What happened in the past was essential to make them who they are today.

Unstoppable Me!: 10 Ways to Soar Through Life by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
In Unstoppable Me!Dr. Dyer teaches children how to hold on to the no-limit thinking he believes they were born with, rather than just trying to “fit in.” In doing so, they can learn to truly enjoy life and become unstoppable as they strive to attain their dreams.


Wonder by R.J. Palacio
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

7 Habits of Healthy Kids by Sean Covey
For the Seven Oaks friends, there is always something to do. Whether they’re singing along with Pokey Porcupine’s harmonica or playing soccer with Jumper Rabbit, everyone is having fun and learning all sorts of things. These seven stories show how practicing the 7 Habits makes this possible for the whole Seven Oaks community.

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña
Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? Why do they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.

The Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson
Attention is a commodity, and one that’s constantly being diluted as we have more and more things to look at and consider. So many of us miss beautiful things or just walk by everyday miracles, simply because we don’t notice them or don’t believe they could be real. This story recounts the true tale of when renowned American violinist Joshua Bell took his instrument into the D.C. subway and played a free concert. Only seven people stopped to listen, while more than a thousand passed right on by. In this telling, a boy named Dylan hears the music, and shows the reader how important it is to be awestruck, wonder-filled, and attentive to the world around us.

People by Peter Spier
This ambitious picture book by Caldecott Medalist Spier might be the best starter-guide to thinking like a global citizen. (In fact, I’ve now made it my go-to gift to friends welcoming new babies!) In detailed pictures, Spier shows the diversity of the human race — from the color of our skin, to what we eat, to how we play, to where we live. This sets children up for a lifetime of curiosity and respect for our differences. So few of us can travel and explore the entire globe; Spier’s book is a reminder that in reading, we might have the next best thing.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.