School's Out...What's On Your Summer Reading List?

By Jim Curran, Financial Know-How Program Manager
July 3, 2023

For most students, summer is a time for recreation and deservedly so! The school year can be intense, and it is vital to find time to relax, play and build friendships. Some older students may also be taking on the responsibility of a summer job and learning how to manage their personal finances for the first time. Summer also provides a good opportunity to build a reading list. The following titles will help students explore healthy financial habits at a relaxed pace – which is perfect for this time of year! Look for these books at your local bookstore or library. 

Grades K-4:
Jessica Pelletier, the Executive Director at FitMoney, a philanthropic nonprofit which provides free, unbiased financial literacy programs to help K-12 students says, “There are so many ways for young kids to learn good financial habits. When it comes to books, here are two must-reads for parents and kids to engage together.” Both books can be found at your local bookstore or online.

Milton the Money Savvy Pup is a series of fun and relatable books for kids, following an adorable Corgi puppy as he learns about money. “It's just as hard for Milton to wait to buy something he wants as it is for most kids today.”

The Four Money Bears by Mac Gardner is another book Jessica highly recommends. “I've never quite met someone as dedicated to teaching financial literacy to young kids as Mac, and his Saver, Spender, Giver and Investor Bears are a great way to learn about all the different things you can do with money.”


Grades 5-8:
Clever Girl Finance by Bola Sokunbi is a terrific starting point for middle school students. Good financial habits like tracking one’s spending and saving for the future are much easier to stick with when implemented at this age. This book shares a tried-and-true approach that will help propel any middle school student on their financial journey. Clever Girl Finance can be found at your local library, local bookstore or online.


Grades 5-8:
The Infographic Guide to Personal Finance by Michele Cagan and Elisabeth Lariviere is a visual reference that explains just about every financial consideration that students will encounter over the next twenty years.  It is approachable and visually appealing. Originally recommended to me by a high school teacher who received great feedback from her students, The Infographic Guide to Personal Finance can be found at your local library, local bookstore or online



High School and Beyond:
The Psychology of Money by Author Morgan Housel does a wonderful job of demonstrating how we think about money and how our brain can trick us into misunderstanding what actually makes us happy. My favorite takeaway: the best return one can get on their money is peace of mind. The Psychology of Money can be found at your local library, local bookstore or online.



High School and Beyond:
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko demonstrates irrefutably how lifestyle creep is the biggest impediment to financial freedom. Mark Cuban once said that the best financial advice he ever received was to “keep living like a student.” In a world marketing Buy Now Pay Later as smart financial decision-making, it is critical for teens to learn that before anything else, we need to rein in our spending… this book makes that abundantly clear. The Millionaire Next Door can be found at your local library, local bookstore or online.


High School and Beyond:
How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street by Allan Roth does a great job of explaining the benefits of low-cost index funds, tax advantages of investing through IRA’s and Employer Sponsored Programs such as 401(k)s and 403(b)s and how the human brain can get in the way of efficient investing. Younger and younger are the students that are interested in the stock market and investing.  Apps such as Robinhood have gamified the stock market and TikTok influencers make Bitcoin sound like a sure thing, making this a must-read for any student interested in learning more about the market. How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street can be found at your local bookstore or online.



When imagining a good beach read, you may not be envisioning yourself curled up with a finance book.  That said, I expect you will be pleasantly surprised with how empowering it feels to have invested the time to become more financially aware and literate. You might even find yourself a becoming an advocate, sharing this list with a friend or two to spread the wealth!

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