Saturday, October 19, 2013

Shelf Life [kids]

The Secret Life of Money: A Kid’s Guide to Ca$h by Kira Vermond, 151 pages.
@ SPL: J 332.0240083 Ver        

We can all imagine librarians with secret lives (can’t we?), but what kind of a secret life could money possibly have?  

Kira Vermond addresses some mysterious and little-known/understood aspects to money – in other words, its “secret” life. How do banks and credit companies use consumers’ money to make more money (ie profit)?  How do retailers use research findings to increase customer spending in their stores (one way: using relaxing music to slow buyers down and thus spend more time shopping), and how does taxation work? 

In other words, cash can be complicated, even for adults. 

It isn’t easy for most people to explain some of the jargon and financial concepts that surround money, either (eg.“disposable income” or “bull market”). The Secret Life of Money provides comprehensive, easy-to-understand explanations. Diagrams, humour and occasionally a comic format, are included. 

The Secret Life of Money also explores the logistics of spending and saving, the impact of money and consumerism on people’s lives, and ways in which we can gain more control over our money.

Intended for tweens and teens, adults will likely learn something from this book too.

Kira Vermond, from Guelph, writes columns about money and other topics for The Globe and Mail, Parents Canada, Today’s Parent, Chatelaine and other magazines.

** Recommended for age 10 years and up.
A History of Just About Everything, by Elizabeth MacLeod and Frieda Wishinsky, 124 pages.
@ SPL: J 909 MacLe

From the discovery of fire to the founding of Rome, from the time of the Mayas to William Shakespeare’s plays, from the invention of the steam engine to the invention of the light bulb, and from man’s first step on the moon to the “Arab Spring”, A History of Just About Everything provides children with an intriguing walk through world history.

The book highlights 180 of the most significant events, discoveries and inventions in history and shows children how much the past (even events which happened hundreds of years ago) affects our present and future.

History is about events and discoveries; however, history is also about how people interpret these events. There can be more than one interpretation of an event – several, in fact. Sometimes, as the authors explain, the finding of new artifacts and documentation changes an earlier interpretation.

Arranged in chronological order, this book, written by two Canadian children’s authors, will pique children’s interest. An index, a world history timeline and colour illustrations are included. 

** Recommended for ages 8 to 12 years.
This review appeared in The Stratford Gazette on October 17, 2013. Written by Sally Hengeveld, Librarian.

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