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Money Hungry – Can money buy happiness?

Category: Books | Age Group: 11-13

TOPIC:

Money in General—Can money buy happiness? Provide security?

RESOURCES NEEDED:

A copy of the book Money Hungry by Sharon Flake—available on-line at Amazon.com if not in the local library. This will require advanced preparation, therefore, in obtaining a copy of the book and reading it in advance.

LEARNING OPPORTUNITY:

Often children believe that money can solve all problems and ensure happiness. This award winning novel deals with a young 13 year old girl, Raspberry Hill, who lives in the projects with her mother. They were homeless at one time and now Raspberry focuses on money as the source of comfort and security. The book raises questions such as: can money buy security? Can it buy happiness? Can you ever have enough? It will give children the opportunity to reflect on money and the role it can play in life.

THE ACTIVITY:
  • Arrange to sit down with your child and begin a conversation by asking if he or she thinks that money can buy happiness.
  • Having introduced this topic, explain that some people are too focussed on money and others do not pay enough attention to how they use their money and wind up in difficulty.
  • Explain that money has an important role to play in a person’s life but it has to play the right role for people to be truly happy.
  • Introduce the book to your child by explaining that this book deals with an underprivileged 13 year old girl and her quest to find security and happiness.
  • Read the first part of the book together and then give the book to the child to finish.
  • Ask them to think about the role that money plays in Raspberry’s life and whether they think she has the right focus on money.
TIPS:
  • Reading books is a personal activity that generates individual responses and insights. During the time that your child is reading the book take time to discuss aspects of it with them and talk with them about the responses they are having to what they have read. This will lead to additional valuable discussions and also help you to monitor the affect that the book is having on them.
FOLLOW UP IDEAS:
  • Once your child has finished reading the book, sit down with them and discuss whether or not money made Raspberry truly happy, the role that they think money should play and how they would have money play that role in their life.
  • This book also provides an opportunity to consider the less fortunate and can lead to discussions about how people can help those in need and the role that charities and volunteerism should play in a person’s life.
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