Title: Whatever Happened to Penny Candy
Author: Richard J. Maybury
Series: an Uncle Eric book
Major Themes: Economics, Money
Synopsis: Uncle Eric writes a series of letters to his nephew Chris about economics, how money works and how your life is affected.
Economics? What a boring subject! Why would we ever want to read about book about economics? Because our lives, to a large extent, revolve around economics, in some way.
I have read Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? to my children twice now. Even though the first time was six years ago, my daughter still remembers some of the main points pretty clearly, especially that inflation is not rising prices, like most of us think it is. I just read the book again, this time to my boys. I’m not sure most of them understood it very well, but the deep thinker of the group cheered every time I picked it up to read a few more pages.
Richard J. Maybury has written a very understandable description, in Penny Candy, of how the money system in the world works. He shows how money came into existence, in ancient times, and how inflation happened even then. Did you ever wonder why coins have ridges around the edges? You’ll find out when you read Penny Candy. Where does money come from? How does the government come up with more money? What about taxes? Many, many topics concerning money are discussed in this book, in the form of letters from Uncle Eric to his nephew Chris. Many graphs help to show the points he discusses. He touches on various types of law and how they affect money and prosperity, as well. I highly recommend this book for all young people, to help them understand money.
Listening Level—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 10 – 12, 12 – 15, 15 and Above