Upper Elementary to Middle School Books

Theme: A Penny, A Dollar

Lawn Boy - (ISBN: 978-0553494655)

by Gary Paulsen

At first lawn boy only wants to earn a little money to buy parts for his bicycle, but when he meets a neighbor who is a stockbroker, somehow his business grows. He has to hire other workers, and he finds himself the owner of a “corporation.” You can learn quite a bit about economics while laughing all the way to the bank in this tale.

Money Hungry - (ISBN: 978-0756982256)

by Sharon Flake

Raspberry pushes the envelope when she tries to save as much money as possible. People at school cringe at her scrimping! Both Raspberry and her mother, however, are determined to get out of the project neighborhood, but Raspberry neglects other parts of her life, and her saving backfires. Find out how she learns to balance her longing to be in a better place with keeping up with her friendships and her education.

Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money - (ISBN: 978-0440229193)

by Christopher Curtis

If you enjoy humor and fast-moving action, you will love this story of how a young man, Steven, receives a quadrillion-dollar bill with James Brown’s picture on it and what the results of his gift are. Steven has a run-in with the Treasury Department, fears his dog has been killed, and participates in a wild chase. Do you think the money was real?

Rent Party Jazz - (ISBN: 978-1600603440)

by William Miller

The African American tradition of throwing a party to help a friend make his rent is paired with the lovely background of New Orleans music in this delightful story. Although Sonny tries hard to make money before and after school to help his unemployed mother, he cannot come up with enough money until he befriends a trumpet player with original ideas about how to raise funds.

The Toothpaste Millionaire - (ISBN: 978-0618759255)

by Jean Merrill

Rufus just wants to make toothpaste, but his creation really takes off. To the amazement of a new friend, he banks over a million dollars the first year! To find out how Rufus makes it big, take a look at this great story! Have you have created an invention? What was it?

Lunch Money - (ISBN: 978-0689866852)

by Andrew Clements

Small Steps - (ISBN: 9780385733144)

by Louis Sacher

The Giving Tree - (ISBN: 978-0060586751)

by Shel Silverstein

What I Believe - (ISBN: 978-0152062835)

by Norma Fox Mazer

Activities for this Theme

Play games and learn about coins from the U.S. Mint


Watch this video and learn about losing money via Shel Silverstein.


Learn about how coins are made.


Get some penny and nickel envelopes from your local bank and start saving your loose change.