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A Teen Girl's Guide to Managing Wealth

The columnist's 13-year-old, Olivia, helps review the book.
The columnist's 13-year-old, Olivia, helps review the book. (By Michelle Singletary -- The Washington Post)
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By Michelle Singletary
Sunday, September 7, 2008

When I handed the book to my 13-year-old daughter, Olivia, she groaned.

Of course, that's the reaction I get from her on just about anything these days. She seesaws from the charming girl I knew and loved just before she turned 13 to this eye-rolling, moody person I hardly recognize.

So it was with much trepidation that I asked Olivia to help me review a book about money aimed at teen girls. At least the book's size, a paperback of just 96 pages, could easily fit into the small purse she carries wherever she goes.

So thank you, Olivia, for reading -- under duress -- "The Teen Girl's Gotta-Have-It Guide to Money" (Watson-Guptill, $8.95), by Jessica Blatt with Variny Paladino.

Blatt is the author of a series of teen books targeted at girls. She also writes for CosmoGirl and CosmoGirl.com, as well as for Seventeen and Glamour UK. Paladino is a financial consultant for public television's "MoneyTrack." She has also served as director of the American Savings Education Council and the Choose to Save public service campaign.

This book is packed with information. It has interactive exercises that explain basic financial terms and concepts, job-hunting tips, and a good section on how the stock market works. It's well illustrated with cartoon-like pictures of multiracial teen girls and cutesy, colorful graphics throughout.

Blatt and Paladino hooked me with the first paragraph: "When it comes to money, the most powerful four-letter word you can learn isn't an obscene one. It's save."

Oh, how I love that word.

But what did Olivia think?

Well, first I had to hunt her down and take the telephone out of her hands to get her opinion.

"I thought it was a good book," she said. "I liked that it had activities, a word search and quizzes."

For a second, I thought she might be patronizing me or angling to get her telephone curfew extended. But she wasn't. She liked it, she really liked it.


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