Rocks to Riches – A Tween’s Guide to Wealth
Rocks to Riches by Elisabeth Donati and Jan K. Ruskin is a wonderful story about friendship, teamwork and the road to wealth. Not just financial wealth, but the wealth of following your dreams and the support of friends.
The book follows four young teens – Ace, Jack, Millie, Nan and Nan’s five year old sister Kara. As the hot summer unfolds, the children gather at Jack’s house each day to decide how to entertain themselves. Ace and Jack are new step-brothers, Millie is the ‘rich’ kid, and Nan watches Kara while their mother works as a waitress and attends accounting classes. For comic relief we also meet Jack’s pot bellied pig Chubbs who has been banished from the house to a backyard pen after causing havoc in the kitchen.
A chance discovery of an old gold mining pan starts the kids on a treasure hunt. Millie is particularly interested in finding treasure as we later learn to save her family from financial ruin. But what the children find is much more precious than gold. Each chapter is a subtle financial lesson based on an inscription from rocks found by the children. With help from the adults in the story, the lesson is discussed, understood and absorbed by the teens.
You must read the book to find the rocks that lead to riches. However, the general theme is to plan, be ready and be open to opportunities. Learning to readjust as new opportunities arise is also important. The perfect example of this is told through Nan and Kara’s mother and I would be giving away the ending of the book if I said any more!
Rocks to Riches is targeted to 9 – 14 year children. I believe it is also appropriate for older teenagers and I even copied the rock inscriptions to post on my bulletin board. For adults, the same lessons may be found in Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. The story is told in an engaging manner that held my interest the whole time I was reading the book. It is an excellent tool to help teach your children about wealth in all it’s many forms.
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