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The Not-So-Great Depression

Category: Books | Age Group: 14-16

TOPIC:

Life in Hard Economic Times

RESOURCES NEEDED:

A copy of the book The Not-So-Great Depression by Amy Goldman Koss.

LEARNING OPPORTUNITY:

It is important for teenagers to realize that sometimes families go through difficult economic times and that life does not always seem fair.  When a family member gets laid off work or loses their job, it puts a lot of strain on the family, economically and emotionally. Children need to learn how to make the best out of life even when times are tough. This warm hearted and timely tale is about how, even when people lose things that are important to them, they can survive and gain new insights about life.

THE ACTIVITY:
  • Discuss the title of the book with your teen. Ask if they know what a depression, or recession is, and what causes it. They likely won’t know so ask them to look it up on the internet.
  • Show them the book, look at the picture on the cover, and ask your teen to predict what they think will happen in the story.
  • Explain that you are both going to read the book. Tell them it is about a teenage girl who has to deal with major changes in her life when her mom gets laid off work. However, she learns how to make the best of the tough economic times.
  • After you both read the book, have a book talk. Discuss how the girl learns to cope with the family’s economic challenges and what valuable life lessons she learns.
FOLLOW UP IDEA:
  • Watch a movie together about how people cope with an economic crisis. “Larry Crowne” starring Tom Hanks, is a feel-good romantic comedy about a middle-aged man who is laid off from his job at Walmart.