Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fall Reading 2013 Follow Your Money

Kevin Sylvester and Michael Hlinka do a great job of explaining basic economic concepts. They start by defining what money is and use a timeline to trace the development of money from the early barter systems to today's customs. The price of a product is broken down to show the costs for the manufacturer and seller and what will be left over as profit. The explanations use examples from the everyday lives of students - clothes, fast food, movies, cellphones, video games, etc. Each section uses several items from the category and includes illustrations and infographics to make the information easy to understand. There are even pages to explain sale prices, banking fees and interest, credit and debit cards (and the dangers of overcharging), and how the price of gas affects the prices of other goods and services. The section on snack foods brings up the concern over "fair trade" practices involving goods from other countries. And the difficult concept of taxes being added on to purchases and what taxes are used for is also covered.

This is a good book to use with students since it uses so many familiar examples to explain things. It covers the basics like how money works, taxes, and mark-ups or sales, but also introduces more advanced ideas like "fair trade" and the difference between net and gross profit. I would recommend this to anyone who is learning about simple economics.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley, but it is already available in stores.  The publisher's webpage for the book has more information.

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