The Best Children's Books for Money Lessons

When it comes to explaining dad’s unemployment or family budgeting, these stories offer parents easy openings.

When it comes to explaining dad’s unemployment or family budgeting, these stories offer parents easy openings
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7. "When Times are Tough," by Yanitzia Canetti. A little boy learns why he can't have more new toys or go out to restaurants more. (Ages 6 through 9)

8. "Amelia Bedelia Means Business," by Herman Parish. The adored (and often befuddled) heroine figures out how to earn money. (Ages 6 to 10)

9. "How to Steal a Dog," by Barbara O'Connor. The title might raise a few eyebrows, Alexander says, but the book, which features a homeless child, offers a valuable lesson on hardship and ethics, and it does so with humor. (Ages 8 and up)

10. "Hothead," by Cal Ripken Jr. The protagonist, whose father was recently laid off, has to learn about anger management, both at home and on the field. (Ages 8 and up)

11. "Becoming Naomi Leon," by Pam Munoz Ryan. A young girl deals with multiple hardships, including a very tight budget. Ann Neely, an associate professor with a focus on children's literature at Vanderbilt University's College of Education and Human Development, calls it a "marvelous" book. (Ages 8 and up)

[See: 50 Bestsellers to Help Your Finances.]

12. "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon," by Grace Lin. Chinese folklore inspire this story about a girl who tries to change her family's fortune. (Ages 8 and up)

13. "The Mighty Miss Malone," by Christopher Paul Curtis. An African American family in Gary, Ind. deals with the tough economy of the Great Depression in the 1930s. (Ages 9 and up)

14. "Okay for Now," by Gary D. Schmidt. A young boy has to learn how to rise above a series of adverse events, including the financial troubles of his family. (Ages 10 and up)

15. "The Not-So-Great Depression," by Amy Goldman Koss. Alexander says she likes this book because even though the teenage girl at the center of the story has to deal with a major change after her mom gets laid off, her family maintains a sense of humor. (Ages 12 to 15)