Book Review: “Dollars & $ense: a kid’s guide to using–not losing–money,” by Elaine Scott

Dollars & $ense: a kid’s guide to using–not losing–money

By: Elaine Scott


Reviewer’s Thoughts:

Dollars & $ense: A Kid’s Guide to Using–Not Losing–Money” by Elaine Scott primarily focuses on providing young readers with a comprehensive understanding of the history of money and the significant governmental impact on banking and financial laws. I find the title slightly misleading as it is not a great guide for teaching kids about how to gain and safely use money, however it is a fascinating read for even adults for a simple history of how we got to where we are today with money, and a basic overview of many financial products.

The book focuses on the fascinating history of money, tracing its evolution from ancient barter systems to modern digital currencies. Elaine Scott skillfully weaves historical anecdotes and insights into the narrative, making it an engaging read for young minds curious about the origins of the financial world. Where as the book has a great overview on banking and where it came from and how government has influenced it to this point, book covers barter to 2011, it misses some key information about the history  such as speaking about who had access to banking options and how today there is a lot of work being done to make banking more equable to minority and people previously kept out of financial options. This is important as children need to know why they may not be learning about these things from their parents.

Further more the book has a great overlook on terms used in the financial space, and explains how those products came to be. It covers both the up and down sides to things like borrowing money, credit scores, and budgeting. I feel it missed some very important current terms however, and may be because this book seems to have been based on facts up till 2011, or shortly after the recovery from the great recession, maybe these terms I find important today were not as important then.

In summary, I found this book an entertaining read and felt it covered the basic history of money and banking pretty well. I also found the title misleading as I do not think it is a guide to personal finances for kids, as well as,  There are a few items of economic importance that it missed. I believe this book is suited for a 3-6th grade level, and is also engaging enough for a parent to read to or with their children.


Book Details


Dollars & $ense: a kid’s guide to using–not losing–money



By: Elaine Scott



NLS Audio Book: 2 hours, 57 minutes


NLS Description:

Overview of the history of money, banking systems, debt, and personal finance. Discusses the economic fluctuations of the Great Depression to the Great Recession. For grades 5-8. 2016.


Find on NLS Bard: DB 85787 

Find on Amazon Kindle 112 pages

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