Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fradin. Money Smart books

Fradin, Brindell Brindell & Judith Bloom Fradin. Borrowing.
Marshall Cavendish/Benchmark 2011 64p 32.79 978-1-60970-122-3 E-BNS Money Smart(MC)

Provides a comprehensive introduction to money lending and borrowing. Using real-life scenarios humanizes a topic that otherwise would be passed over by many readers as dry or boring. This engaging book is well-written, practical, and informative. It provides the tools to make sound financial decisions -- especially during a recession where financial matters make up many of today╒s headlines.

Current information and practical answers about staying out of debt, or items to consider before entering into debt, are covered. Loans for big-ticket items (college, automobiles) are discussed -- as well as credit card debt and interest rates (and how to calculate these. Not included, although it might have been useful/helpful, was an interest-rate table.

Comprehensive, yet comprehendable, this is a balanced, well-researched, and attractively presented volume. Welliver, Hilary

Fradin, Brindell Brindell & Judith Bloom Fradin. Investing.
Marshall Cavendish/Benchmark 2011 64p 32.79
978-1-60970-124-7 ms/jr Finance, Personal--Juvenile literature; Investments -- Juvenile Literature E-BNS Money Smart(MC)

Provides an introduction to financial investments ranging from descriptions of stock offerings, stock markets, inflation, and mutual funds through a brief history of the events leading up to the current recession. Financial issues are constantly in the headlines. "Investing" offers timely, practical information through real-life examples, engaging sidebars, and colorful, captioned photographs.

The volume opens with a story about a fictional product, "Invis-All," and the events that led to a public offering of shares in the company producing the product. It is an effective device to create a clear picture of this process for the reader.

Other investment topics are handled with equal aplomb, The author explains why people invest; how inflation affects finances and investment; what role the stock market plays in investing (describing NASDAQ, Wall Street, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average).

Although these are complex topics, the descriptions are clear without condescending to the youth audience. The text is not burdened with a lot of financial jargon, it reads smoothly and the word choice is appropriate for the target audience (middle school/junior high). A glossary is included, along with listings of websites and books for follow up studies, a bibliography, and an index.

Diversification is included in the discussion of bonds and mutual funds. Investments in real estate, gold and collectibles are also described -- along with the risks inherent in any type of investment. The brief history of the current recession and the historical events that led up to it is matter of fact, ending with the optimistic prediction: "By 2010, there appeared to be good news on the horizon. Economists thought that the crisis was ending and that better times were on their way."

Aside from one glitch (and awkwardly placed sidebar on page 21 that breaks up the text╒s flow) the facts presented offer a solid introduction to investments. Welliver, Hilary

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