MG – Millionaires for the Month

McAnulty, Stacy. Millionaires for the Month. Random House, 2020. $16.99. 323 p. Grades 3-6. 

When Felix and Benji are partnered for a seventh grade field trip in New York City, neither expect to have a great trip–Felix and Benji aren’t exactly pals, and they couldn’t be more different. Little do they know that a quick forbidden trip to a pretzel cart in Central Park will change their lives forever. Felix finds a lost wallet, Benji borrows $20 for a better lunch, and they decide to turn in the wallet to a nearby police officer, but not before Benji slips in a note about who found the wallet. Why? The wallet belongs to social network billionaire Laura Friendly. She ultimately offers the boys a generous reward, but after a private chat with the boys about the “borrowed” $20, she changes her offer in an attempt to make the boys see that every penny counts. If they can spend $5,368,709.12 (a penny doubled everyday for 30 days) in one month without telling their parents, and abiding by some spending rules, she’ll give them each $10 million. If they can’t, they’re left with nothing. Felix and Benji get right to work buying T Rex skulls, tons of new sneakers, pizza lunches for their whole school, and a trip to Disney World. It sounds like a dream come true until the boys quickly realize that the things they want most, like making the seventh grade basketball team and making their parents proud, can’t be bought with Laura Friendly’s money. There are lots of twists and turns, typical middle school drama, family troubles, and the best “freebie” around.

THOUGHTS: Another winner from Stacy McAnulty–this fun, fresh concept will keep kids reading!

Realistic Fiction          Lindsey Long, Lower Dauphin SD

Felix Rannells and Benji Porter were paired together on a school field trip. Rule follower Felix is thrilled to be paired with rule bender Benji, but when they find a wallet of tech billionaire Laura Friendly they decide to do the right thing and return it, but not before Benji “borrows” $20 for hotdogs and soda. Because what’s $20 to a billionaire? It’s like a penny, right? When Friendly finds the boys at their school a few days later, she notices her missing money and challenges the boys to spend a penny doubled everyday for 30 days, which totals $5, 368,709.12! Easy and fun? Not so fast. The boys soon learn that money can’t buy everything, and spending the money isn’t nearly as fun as they thought.

THOUGHTS: A must purchase for any middle grade library collection. McAnulty’s middle grade books are a perfect fit for every middle grade library!

Realistic Fiction          Krista Fitzpatrick- Waldron Mercy Academy

YA – Financial Literacy (Series NF)

Financial Literacy. Essential Library, 2020. $26.00 ea. $156.00 set of 6. 112 p. Grades 7-12.

Burling, Alexis. Managing Debt. 978-1-532-11914-9.
Donohue, Moira Rose. Making Smart Money Choices. 978-1-532-11913-2.
Edwards, Sue Bradford. Earning, Saving, and Investing. 978-1-532-11911-8.
Hulick, Kathryn. Protecting Financial Data. 978-1-532-11915-6.
LaPierre, Yvette. Economy 101. 978-1-532-11912-5.
Regan, Michael. The Cost of College. 978-1-532-11910-1.

Financial literacy is an area of a student’s education that may be heavily influenced by one’s upbringing and socioeconomic status. ABDO’s Financial Literacy series attempts to help libraries level the playing field by giving ALL students access to valuable information. This reviewer had the opportunity to read The Cost of College. With eight chapters ranging from Where to start? to What if I change My Mind? this title covers many aspects of what students should know before going to college. Each chapter has clear headings, interesting graphics and text highlights, and student worksheets. The book concludes with key takeaways, a glossary, additional resources, source notes, and an index.

THOUGHTS: This series is a good addition to enhance secondary library collections seeking to refresh their financial literacy offerings.

300s Business & Finance          Maryalice Bond, South Middleton SD

Elementary NF – Money Math; Project Passion; Dropping In On; Abandoned Places; Dragonflies

Adler, David A. and Edward Miller, Ill. Money Math: Addition and Subtraction. Holiday House, 2017. 978-0-8234-2698-9. 32 p. $17.95. Gr. 1-3

A great book to fill in that 513 Dewey section in your library that might be languishing. Cartoon kids want to buy things but need to understand how money works first. In jump the Presidents who are on the different coins and bills and talk about how to add, then subtract money. Decimal points and coins are discussed, and the math in the book gets progressively harder the further you go.  THOUGHTS: I thought it was interested that they had half dollar coins in the book, but they didn’t discuss the $1 Sacagawea coin.  Overall it’s a good addition (pun intended) to the library, but not a must read.

Math; Money       Emily Woodward, The Baldwin School

 

Bolte, Mari. Project Passion (series). Capstone, 2018. 32 p. $20.99 ea. Gr. 4-6.

Bit by Bit:  Projects for Your Odds and Ends.  978-1-5157-7375-7.

Bought in Bulk:  Projects for Surplus Supplies.  978-1-5157-7376-4.

Create and Keep:  Projects to Hang On To.  978-1-5157-7373-3.

Share the Love:  Projects You’ll Love to Give.  978-1-5157-7374-0.  

Bit by Bit:  Projects for Your Odds and Ends and Bought in Bulk: Projects for Surplus Supplies are similar titles that include simple craft projects that can be made using common household objects and leftover craft supplies.  The books include photographic illustrations for nearly every project, including variations on each project, and clear, easy-to-follow directions.  Most of the projects can be completed entirely by children, although a few do require adult supervision or assistance.  THOUGHTS:  These books are useful additions to a makerspace which often include many of the supplies needed. Recommended for upper elementary and middle schools needing to update their craft book collections.

Handicraft 745.5                Maggie Bokelman, Cumberland Valley SD

 

Dropping In On… Rourke Educational Media, 2017. 32 p. $23.00 each, $268.00 for set of 12. Gr. 3-6.

Barger, Jeff. Dropping In On…Atlanta. 978-1-68191-404-6.

Canasi, Brittany. Dropping In On…Boston. 978-1-68191-408-4.

Staton, Hilarie. Dropping In On…Chicago. 978-1-68191-406-0.

Greenspan, Judy. Dropping In On…Dallas. 978-1-68191-407-7.

Staton, Hilarie. Dropping In On…Denver. 978-1-68342-173-3.

Canasi, Brittany. Dropping In On…New Orleans. 978-1-68342-174-0.

Staton, Hilarie. Dropping In On…New York City. 978-1-68191-403-9.

Waxler, Melanie. Dropping In On…Orlando. 978-1-68191-402-2.

Nelson, Deb Tuttle. Dropping In On…Philadelphia. 78-1-68191-409-1.

Canasi, Brittany. Dropping In On…San Francisco. 978-1-68342-172-6.

Greenspan, Judy. Dropping In On…St. Louis. 978-1-68342-175-7.

Barger, Jeff. Dropping In On…Washington D.C. 978-1-68191-405-3.

Calling all travelers! The Dropping In On… series is ready to prepare students for their next big family vacation or city trip. Each title provides a basic historical overview of the title city, including facts on how that city was developed or discovered and information about major historical events impacting the city. For example, Dropping In On…St. Louis reviews the Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark’s explorations, while Dropping In On…New Orleans details New Orleans history both before and after the Civil War and the changes in laws and life felt by African Americans like schoolgirl Ruby Bridges. Series titles also focus on each city’s landscape, parks, monuments, major sports teams, cultural history and attractions, and spots that every tourist must visit. Each book is packed full of beautifully colored photographs, often displayed in overlapping style like a traveler’s scrapbook of photographs. Illustrated children hop into some photographs to point out interesting tidbits, similar to tour guides. Each book features a table of contents, city facts section, glossary, index, and before and after reading activities for educators. THOUGHTS: Not an essential purchase but an interesting, fact-filled introduction to several major US cities.

900s     Lindsey Long, Lower Dauphin SD

 

Abandoned Places (series). Bellwether Media, 2018. $19.95 ea. Set of 6 $119.70.  24p. Gr. 2 – 5.

Leaf, Christina. Machu Picchu: The Lost Civilization. 9781626176966.

Owings, Lisa. Craco: The Medieval Ghost Town. 9781626176959.

Owings, Lisa. Battleship Island: The Deserted Island. 9781626176935.

Owings, Lisa. Pripyat: The Chernobyl Ghost Town. 9781626176973.

Schuetz, Kari. Bodie: The Gold-Mining Ghost Town. 9781626176942.

Schuetz, Kari. Roanoke: The Lost Colony. 9781626176980.

This informative series checks all the boxes of a good non-fiction book: Table of Contents, Glossary, To Learn More, and Index. Some of the best features in this series are the maps showing where the site is located, and the timelines that are in each book. The full-color modern pictures with interspersed historical ones provide a good viewpoint for young learners. THOUGHTS: The reinforced library binding makes this series worth its cost. I liked all the features, and it’s a series that won’t be quickly outdated, so will have a long shelf life.

Nonfiction; Historical Places       Emily Woodward, The Baldwin School

 

Perish, Patrick. Dragonflies. Bellwether Media, 2018. 9781626176621. $19.50. 24 p. Gr. K-3.

In this attractive early reader, Perish presents basic information about the dragonfly. Despite its length, the book is set up like a traditional nonfiction book with a table of contents, pictorial glossary, index, and bibliography.  The author gives the insect’s physical description, habitat, diet and life cycle in a succinct manner, as is typical of books in the Blastoff Readers series.  The stunning photographs complement the text and the reader sees full-page images of the insect on each two-page spread. One can see why this particular series is called Insects Up Close after examining the pictures, like the one which shows the size of the dragonfly’s eyes.  There are also some inset images, which are used to further explain such terms like nymph and molting.  Other interesting photographs include a dragonfly swimming underwater and one eating a mosquito.  Children will enjoy poring over the photos. This series includes a web resource called Factsurfer.  Readers are told to enter the term into the search box and get a list of websites.  One link from the San Diego Zoo did not have the referenced article and one site contained ads.  There are other books in the “Insects Up Close” series, which follow the same format.  Also examined were Cicadas, Grasshoppers, and Ladybugs.  THOUGHTS: This series is a great addition to any library collection serving children, despite the problem with the web resources. These texts would be useful in science units on insects and children will enjoy reading them for personal interest.  They are a good choice for emerging readers.

595.7  Science; Bugs            Denise Medwick, West Allegheny SD