Running Head: FAMILIES FACING FINANCIAL 1 Families Facing Financial Hardships An Annotated Bibliography Amy Taylor Emporia State University
FAMILIES FACING FINANCIAL 2 Introduction This annotated bibliography is meant to provide a list of resources that can teach childrenhow many families face and deal with financial struggles. There are not many resources thatspeak directly to children regarding this issue. Much research was done in an attempt to findresources created specifically for children. Even the collective brains of librarians worldwide viathe listserv LM-Net offered very few suggestions. Therefore, most of resources listed here arefiction books that tell the stories of families dealing with job loss or poverty, websites that offeradvice to parents, teachers, and counselors, and websites for children related to other associatedissues such as money management and stress. It appears that most people feel this issue isweighty enough to require direct adult supervision when having frank discussions. BibliographyBooksBanks, S. H. (2010). The everlasting now. Atlanta: Peachtree. The Everlasting Now is a compelling fiction book about a little boy, Brother, growing up during the great depression. His father was forced to close his newspaper in a small southern town due to the economy and went looking for work in the North. While there he is killed accidentally in a strike and Brother’s mother is left to care for the family. She decides to take in borders as a way to support her family. This is wonderful book that not only teaches one a great deal about doing with less but also touches upon the theme of racism. Recommended - Grades 3-8.Boelts, M., & Jones, N. (2007). Those shoes. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press.
FAMILIES FACING FINANCIAL 3 Jeremy really wants a new pair of black high top sneaker that everyone else in school has (at least it seems like everyone else has a pair.) But his grandmother cannot afford them and is saving her money to provide Jeremy with snow boots for the coming winter. Jeremy is ecstatic when he finds a pair at the thrift store and purchases them, even though they are too small. Unfortunately they hurt too badly to wear and Jeremy is force to go to school without them on. And then Jeremy is faced with a dilemma. He sees a friend whose shoes have been duct taped together and realizes his black high tops would fit that friend. This is a great picture book about needs vs. wants and sacrifice. Recommended – Grades K-4.Cleary, B., & Dockray, T. (1976). Ramona and her father. New York, NY: HarperCollins. Although this title was originally published in 1976, it is a classic book about a family dealing with a financial crisis and should be included on any bibliography dealing with that theme. It is the story of Ramona Quimby and her family as they deal with her father being unexpectantly laid off. The really incredible thing about this book is how it covers the emotional side of this issue candidly and with grace. A wonderful book. Highly Recommended – Grades 2-5.Ellis, A. D. (2009). Everything is fine. New York: Little, Brown and. The main crisis faced by the family in this book is the death of child. The father’s strong desire for a better job and more money lead him to take steps that cause even further problems for his severely depressed wife and surviving child. In his quest for a better job he leaves his daughter, Mazzy, to care for his almost catatonic wife. Mazzy narrates the novel with a raw yet witty voice. The author never gives Mazzy’s age and her narration
FAMILIES FACING FINANCIAL 4 leaves you guessing. Her behavior leads you to believe she is quite young, 8 or 9, but other clues imply she is much older, 13 or 14. This, coupled with her mother’s depression, leaves the reader with a realistic look at the impact the quest for more money can have on family. Recommended – Grades 6-9.Fine, E. H., Josephson, J. P., & Sosa, H. (2007). Armando and the blue tarp school. New York: Lee & Low Books. Armando helps keep his family fed by working with his father at the Tijuana dump. They pick through trash looking for anything valuable they may be able to use or sell. But Armando dreams of getting an education at the Blue Tarp school, finally his father concedes. Soon after, the colonia where Armando and his family live burns. When reporters visit to cover the fire they also cover the blue tarp school and publish one of Armando’s paintings. A wealthy benefactor sees the article and donates enough money to build a new true school. This story is based on the true story of David Lynch, a special education teacher from New York who has devoted the last 31 years of his life to the education of Tijuana’s children. It is a wonderful story about giving, perseverance and the importance of education. At the back of the book is an author’s note documenting the story of Lynch. There is also a wonderful accompanying website. Recommended – Grades 2-5.González, L. M., & Delacre, L. (2008). The storytellers candle. San Francisco, CA: Childrens Book Press. Hildamar and Santiago are two cousins who have recently moved to New York from Puerto Rico as part of their family’s attempt to find work during the Great Depression. They have only been in New York for a few months when Three Kings Day approaches.
FAMILIES FACING FINANCIAL 5 Concerned that they may not be able celebrate because they are so far from home, they seek solace at the public library. Upon meeting Pura Belpre, the children’s librarian at the library, they learn that the library is for anyone and everyone. This is a wonderful book for all children, it teaches them what holidays are truly about and reassures them about the true nature of the library. One really nice feature is that it is bilingual. It is based on the true story of Pura Belpre, the first Peurto Rican New York librarian. The Pura Belpre Award in named in her honor. The book includes a biography of Belpre in the back along with a Spanish glossary. The illustrations are also wonderful. They were done as collage and period newspapers are used throughout. The newsprint is used very purposely; certain stories or sections are used where they fit with the story. In fact, the book could also be used to teach a history lesson through the newspaper clippings. Highly Recommended – Grades K-6.Greenwald, L. (2009). My life in pink & green. New York: Amulet Books. Lucy is a very strong and creative 12-year-old girl. When she learns that her family pharmacy is about to go bankrupt she begins planning. She is constantly looking for ways to improve business at the pharmacy. Through a series of random incidents she stumbles upon a great idea, an eco-pharmacy. She goes looking for investors and with the help of her older sister she applies for a grant from the city. Although it is heartbreaking to think of the worry this little girl is going through and her lost youth, the reader is inspired by her entrepreneurial spirit and confidence. This book is also a great read for parents because it demonstrates that trying to protect their children from adult worries may cause them more anxiety. Highly Recommended – Grades 5-9.
FAMILIES FACING FINANCIAL 6Milway, K. S., & Fernandes, E. (2008). One hen: how one small loan made a big difference. Toronto: Kids Can Press. A fantastic book about micro financing and the impact it can have on a community. This story is based on the true story of Kwabena Darko, an Ashanti poultry famer who started Opportunity International, a non-profit micro lending organization. The story begins when Kojo, a small boy growing up in an Ashanti village, loses his father and must quit school to help his mother. His village uses micro-lending so he and his mother decide to take a small load to purchase a cart so they can take more firewood with them to the market to sell. They have a few coins left so Kojo’s mother lets him use them to purchase a small hen. He plans to sell the hen’s eggs. This small investment turns into a large business. This book can be used to teach a variety of lessons, about money, teamwork, giving back and much more. There is also a great website that accompanies the book. Highly Recommended – Grades 3-6.Noble, T. H., & Ettlinger, D. (2007). The orange shoes. Chelsea, MI: Sleeping Bear Press. Nelly’s family is very poor, so poor that in October she’s still walking to school barefoot. So poor that she must turn used envelopes inside out for drawing paper. When it becomes clear Nelly needs shoes, her father also discovers he needs new tires for his truck. Now the family faces a tough decision. Then her teacher announces a shoebox social and Nelly is teased because she has no shoes, but Nelly has learned how to be resourceful and creative. Her shoebox entry turns out to be one of the best. This is a terrific story that deals with facing financial hardships as well as bullying and the power of creativity. There are also some wonderful online resources provided by Gale-Cengage. Recommended – Grades 2-5.
FAMILIES FACING FINANCIAL 7OConnor, B. (2007). How to steal a dog: a novel. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Georgina and her brother are forced to live in a car with their mother when their father abandons them leaving nothing but some rolled up cash in a mayonnaise jar. Desperate to get out of the car and to have a home, Georgina comes up with a plan to steal a dog. She believes that if she finds the right dog and right owner, a reward will be offered. All she has to do is find the dog, steal it, and wait for reward signs to be posted. Then she can return it for the reward money. Georgina’s voice is authentic and gives the reader a true glimpse at the pressures homelessness puts on children. This book is not a sunny optimistic after school special. Instead it gives a realistic look at the desperation and ugliness stressful situations can bring out in both adults and children. However, it is told in a child’s voice and manner making it a good read for children. There are discussion guides available online at the publisher’s website and a literature circle guide at the scholastic website. Recommended – Grades 4-7.Randall, A. L., & Farnsworth, B. (2008). The wheat doll. Atlanta: Peachtree. This story is set in the 1800’s in Utah. It’s about a little girl named Mary Ann whose best friend is her wheat doll named Betty. One day in the fall, while working in the garden, Mary Ann is called to the house due to a strong storm. In her hurry she accidently leaves Betty sitting on a stone in the garden. Once the storm passes she looks everywhere for Betty but cannot find her. Winter comes and Mary Ann is forced to give up the search. But when spring finally comes Mary Ann sees something at the bottom of the hill. It’s what’s left of Betty and there is a wheat plant growing from her belly. Mary Ann uses the new wheat plant to make a new wheat doll.
FAMILIES FACING FINANCIAL 8 This is a wonderful book about living a more simple life and making due with what you have. It also gives a great picture of what pioneer life was like. Ironically, it is also based on a true story. Recommended – Grades K-3.Snyder, Z. K. (2008). The bronze pen. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers. Audrey Abbott doesn’t lead the typical life of a junior high school student. She leaves school early each day to care for her sick father while her mother works tirelessly to keep the family just above water. But Audrey dreams of becoming a writer and one day while writing she is lead by a white duck to a cave where an old woman gives her a bronze pen. The only instruction she is given is to use the pen “wisely and with good purpose.” Soon Audrey realizes the pen magically makes everything she writes come true and with a little bit of practice she may be able to make her family’s troubles disappear. This is a cute little fantasy novel but it wraps up a little too neatly in the end. Although it’s an interesting story, it isn’t a very realistic view of how to overcome financial difficulties and the stress it can bring to a family. Recommended – Grades 5-8.Tripp, V., & Rane, W. (2006). Kits short story collection. Middleton, WI: American Girl. This is a collection of short stories that center on the life of Kit, one of the American Girl dolls. Kit is growing up during the Great Depression. Her family has taken in boarders to make ends meet. Although all the stories deal with the struggles her family faces due to the economy, they also cover other themes. For instance, one story deals with scarlet fever, another with female tennis, and one describes librarians delivering books in the Appalachians via horseback. At the end of each story there is a historical section describing what was actually happening in the 1930s in relation to the topics discussed in the story. For example, at the end of the story about Kit catching scarlet fever there is a
FAMILIES FACING FINANCIAL 9 section about how the health department dealt with scarlet fever cases in the 1930s. There are even pictures from the period. This is a great read because it not only shows the ingenuity of Americans during the Great Depression but it also gives a wide variety of history from the period. It will especially appeal to little girls who love the American Girl Dolls. Highly Recommended – Grades 2-5.Wallace, B. (2007). The dog who thought he was Santa. New York: Holiday House. Set in Oklahoma in the 1950s, this is the story of a family preparing for Christmas while also worrying about their father’s job at the mine. The story is told by alternating narrators, one human and the other canine. Frank, the family’s dog, doesn’t understand why everyone is worrying. Through the Frank’s narration, the author is able to do terrific job describing all the emotions each member of the family feels. The end is a little too clean with the father being offered a new job for twice his current salary. However, the candid description of the family’s feelings and emotions make this a wonderful read. Highly Recommended – Grades 4-7.Young, J., & Ellison, C. (2008). The lucky star. Chelsea, MI.: Sleeping Bear Press. Ruth is looking forward to starting the fifth grade in the fall. But, due to the Great Depression, her small town is unable to keep her school open. Ruth’s mother tells her to look to for the lucky star and try to keep her head up. Then Ruth realizes she can help the children in her town learn to read and write. This is an inspiring story about how looking for solutions rather than dwelling on the problems can help people make true change. The illustrations are beautiful as well. Highly Recommended – Grades 3-6.
FAMILIES FACING FINANCIAL 10WebsitesAmerican Psychological Association. (n.d.). Dollars and sense: Talking to your children about the economy. Retrieved February 20, 2011, from http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/children- economy.aspx The American Pyschological Association has a psychological help center where parents can search for information to help them through tough situations. There are several articles available to guide parents in their discussions about financial hardships. This particular article stresses that, although resilient, children are very perceptive to tension and ignoring their concerns is counter-production. It also lists signals stressed out children give and offers suggestions of what to do when parents become concerned. There are also several useful resource links listed.Children, Youth and Womens Health Service. (n.d.). Kids Health. Retrieved from http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicCategories.aspx?&p=287 This website is maintained by the Children, Youth and Womens Health Service in South Australia. Its intended audience is children and it offers a variety of resources concerning all areas of childrens health. One section is completed devoted to "feelings" which includes anxiety and stress. The interface is very kid friendly as is the text. Each feeling is covered in great detail and includes a section titled "What you can do." Which leaves children with a feeling of empowerment. Highly Recommended - Kids - Grades 3-5.Disney. (n.d.). The Great Piggy Bank Adventure Financial Education Game. Retrieved from http://piggybank.disney.go.com/media/ap/piggybank/index.html The Great Piggy Bank Adventure asks kids to pick a character and then set out to earn money, save money, and purchase things. The best element of this game is that goes
FAMILIES FACING FINANCIAL 11 beyond having kids choose whether to sell lemonade or buy something. It asks them questions about money management and gives them real life situations in which they have to make choices. Their answers and choices earn them money which they can choose to invest, save, or spend. This is an excellent game but is definitely geared to an older audience. Recommended - Kids - Grades 6-8.Dumas, L. S. (1992, March 1). Daddy Got Fired & Are We Going to Be Poor? Psychology Today: Health, Help, Happiness Find a Therapist. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199203/daddy-got-fired-are-we-going-be- poor?page=3 Psychology Today is a wonderful website with a wealth of information for parents. This particular article lays out the 10 steps parents should take when talking to their children about job loss. The first step is the most crucial, leveling with children about what is happening. Trying to hide this kind of information from children will only cause more damage. This is a good article for parents to read before talking with their children because it gives examples of what to say and how to handle their children’s questions. Other related articles can also be found by searching the site. Recommended – Parents.Economic Education Web. (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2011, from http://ecedweb.unomaha.edu/home.cfm This site is for educators. It is maintained by the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The site provides a plethora of lessons for teaching economics to kindergarteners through seniors. They are divided by concepts as well as content areas. Each lesson includes a list of required materials and a description of the procedure. The amazing thing about this
FAMILIES FACING FINANCIAL 12 site is the shear amount of lessons available, not only for upper grades but for lower grades as well. Highly Recommended - Educators - Grades K-12.ING. Planet Orange. (n.d.). from http://www.orangekids.com/ This site was put together by the investment firm ING. It focuses on teaching kids about money management and investing. It is a little more complicated that the Mad Money game available through PBS. Users must create an account but they are free. The premise is that kids take on an alter ego of an astronaut and they visit various planets and continents trying to earn money, manage it wisely, and make good investments. Kids can decorate their space station and earn badges. It really is a fun game. Recommended -- Kids - Grades 6-8.Keep The Change. (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2011, from http://www.kidsnumbers.com/keep_the_change.php The purpose of this site is to teach kids about money using a very simple piggy bank game. It does a terrific job of teaching them denominations of coin and paper money and how to count it. However, it does very little in regards to how to manage it or make good money choices. This would be a good introductory lesson to money or a math lesson for counting money. But it would not be a good go to resource for money management. Not Recommended.KidsHealth. Retrieved from http://kidshealth.org/kid/feeling/thought/money_woes.html#cat20071 KidsHealth is an excellent physical and mental health resource for both kids and teens. It has a very kid-friendly interface and speaks in their terms. One really nice feature is that the kids and teens sections are separate and have an entirely different look and feel. There
FAMILIES FACING FINANCIAL 13 are several parts to this site which would be very helpful to kids, teachers, and parent who have concerns about financial hardships. They are: Money Woes, Worrying, When Your Parent Fight, and Yoga for Managing Your Stress. All four sections give great suggestions and they offer a kids perspective. This a terrific resource. Highly Recommended - Kids, Parents, and Educators - Grades 2-9Kowalski, K. M. (2000). Coping with Stress. Weekly Reader publication, 27(1), 6. Retrieved from Kid InfoBits. Kid Infobits is a subscription database but it is available for free through Mid-Continent Public Libraries and the Kansas City Public Libraries. It is a terrific database for children because of its kid friendly interface. Kids can search for information using the search box or subject headings. There are many articles related to money, economy, and stress available via Kid Infobits. This particular article is written for children and gives them advice on how to cope with stress. This is one of the only sites found that speak directly to children about these issues. Highly Recommended - Kids - Grades 3-9.LavaMind. (n.d.). Gazillionaire. Retrieved from http://www.gazillionaire.com/index.html This is a really interesting site. It is home to three shareware video games that can be downloaded or played online for free. Each game is a simulation meant to educate kids about the world or business and finance. The game Zapitalism, has students creating their own retail buisness, Gazillionaire focuses on the stock market and is only available via a download, and Profitanias focus is on manufacturing. The games are complicated and a bit text heavy but addictive (and free.) Recommended - Kids, Parents, and Educators - Grades 5 & up.PBS Kids. (n.d.). Dont Buy It. Retrieved from http://pbskids.org/dontbuyit/
FAMILIES FACING FINANCIAL 14 Dont Buy It is a media literacy site aimed at teaching kids the tricks of the advertising trade. Some of the activities include designing your own cereal box, looking for advertising clues in a commercial. and revealing the secrets of a cover model. This is a fantastic site. The look and feel is perfect for a tween audience. Plus it is interactive, which is a big plus. This would be a great resource for teaching kids how to combat commercialism and make better economic choices. Highly Recommended - Kids, Parents, and Educators - Grades 5-9.PBS Kids. (2005). Its My Life. Retrieved from http://pbskids.org/itsmylife/games/mad_money_flash.html This website was put together by PBS to help kids learn about saving money. It is centered around the game "Mad Money." It asks kids to pick an item for which they want to save. Then every two weeks they are given a $15 dollar allowance. The tricky part is that they also have things they must purchase each month but are given choices regarding what specific item they buy. For example, they may to purchase a gift for a birthday party but they can choose which gift. They also have to watch out for opportunities to make extra money and unforeseen expenditures. This is a great way to teach kids how money and savings actually work. Recommended -- Kids - Grades 5 - 8Scholastic. (n.d.). Help Kids Understand the Financial Crisis. Retrieved from http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/collection.jsp?id=453 Scholastic has put together a wonderful webpage with a wealth of information for both teachers and parents. There are links to articles for parents, activities for students, as well as lesson plans and discussion guides for various novels with financial themes. One peice of particular interest was an interview done with a child psychologist about the
FAMILIES FACING FINANCIAL 15 appropriateness of discussion about the financial crisis and how to fit those lessons into classroom curriculum. Recommended – Educators.Scholastic. (n.d.). Youre the President. Retrieved February 23, 2011, from http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/games_quizzes/electiongame/game.asp This is a fun little game to help students understand the role of the government and how difficult it must be to budget its money. The game requires that students pick their advisors and divide their budget between education, healthcare, military, law enforcement, and the environment. The student’s are also asked to explain their choices. At the end their choices are mashed up and a newspaper article is created. This would be a terrific opening to a lesson about the federal budget and making choices. Students could even share their articles and discuss the differences between them. Recommended – Educators and Students - Grades 4-6.Stress-O-Meter Quiz. (n.d.). BAM! Body and Mind. Retrieved from http://www.bam.gov/sub_yourlife/yourlife_stressometer.html This site was created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources. It begins with a Stress Quiz and then gives kids a "stress rating" with suggestions for improvement. The quiz feature is really nice because it gives kids a lot of choices and asks questions in a variety of ways. It also gives kids the freedom to answer honestly with no concerns about their privacy. The suggestions are very good, they go beyond the typical "get a good breakfast" and encourage volunteering, journaling, an much more. Although kids can feel a lot of stress, adults do not often recognize the symptoms or consider talking to them about strategies to combat their feelings. This site helps to fill that void. Highly Recommended -- Kids - Grades 5-9.