School Business

About a week ago, my students started reading The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies as a novel study in class. I love teaching this book. Not only do the boys like it as much as the girls, but it is funny and has great practical information about money and starting a business. When the students finish reading the book, about half reach for the sequel, The Lemonade Crime by Davies. If The Lemonade Crime is checked out of the library, there are many other book recommendations (see list below) that portray a main character who gets things going. The characters might run a business, be the leader of a project, or become responsible for something significant.

This type of storyline promotes creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit. Many of these books¬†teach students about the basics of business (profit, loss, partnership, etc.). I also like the fact that these books depict children as problem-solvers without a parent or adult handing them the easy solution. Although, there is usually a supportive adult somewhere in the story. What are your best “independent kid” books? I know I am missing some good ones.

Chapter Books

  • The Bread Winner by Arvella Whitmore
  • Crunch by Leslie Connor
  • The Secret School by Avi
  • Lunch Money by Andrew Clements
  • School Story by Andrew Clements
  • Hotel for Dogs by Lois Duncan
  • Tarantula Shoes by Tom Birdseye
  • Lawn Boy and Lawn Boy Returns by Gary Paulsen
  • Henry and the Paper Route by Beverly Cleary
  • Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce
  • The Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin
  • The Toothpaste Millionaire by Jean Merrill

Picture Books

  • A Bargain for Frances by Russell Hoban
  • The Gardener by Sarah Stewart
  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  • Sheep in a Shop by Nancy Shaw
  • Alexander, Who Used To Be Rich Last Sunday by Judith Viorst


  • The Day-Glo Brothers by Chris Barton
  • Everyone Wears His Name: A Biography of Levi Strauss by Sondra Henry
  • Model T: How Henry Ford Built a Legend by David Weitzman
  • Chocolate by Hershey: A Story About Milton S. Hershey by Betty Burford
  • Kidpreneurs, Young Entrepeneurs with Big Ideas by Adam Toren and Matthew Toren
  • Growing Money: A Complete Investing Guide for Kids by Gail Karlitz and Debbie Honig