This book list is NOT final. It’s being worked on. Books and other resources such as movies may be added or removed up to the day of release.
Welcome to the Guest Hollow’s Government, Economics, and Personal Finance Curriculum Book and Resource List! This list is to give you an idea of what will be needed if you are using Guest Hollow’s Government, Economics, and Personal Finance Curriculum, along with some helpful tips and other information. For details about the curriculum itself, please click here.
The Guest Family
© Guest Hollow, LLC
Book-based government, economics, and personal finance that’s engaging and fun!
In order to use Guest Hollow’s Government, Economics, and Personal Finance Curriculum, you will need to obtain the scheduled books and other items separately. You may be able to borrow many for FREE from your local library! Check out the F.A.Q. below for tips on how to save money when using a literature-based curriculum.
Every purchase comes with a printable book list!
Every purchase of Guest Hollow’s Government, Economics, and Personal Finance Curriculum comes with a FREE printable book list to help you with your planning and shopping.
The printable version of the book list features:
- The ISBN number and author’s name
You can make sure your copy of the book matches the one in the schedule.
- Notification of when each book or item is used
You can plan ahead when to check out books from the library. Books used throughout the year are marked “multiple weeks,” so you can decide whether you want to purchase them vs. borrow them.
- Checklists for planning
A handy checklist helps you plan if you are going to buy or borrow a book. It can also help you choose the format of your books (physical copy, e-book, or audiobook).
- Books are ranked in order of importance
- Books are ranked in order of importance to help you choose which books you need the most and which can potentially be skipped.
- Consumables are marked
You’ll get advance notice of which items are consumable, so you’ll know what you may need to purchase and how many copies you may want to get if you are using the curriculum with multiple students.
- Notes are included as to why some books are scheduled
Wondering what the book 1984 has to do with a government course? Not sure why we schedule in some of the books? Read why in the book list, so you can prioritize your choices and understand why students are exposed to specific books and concepts.
Here’s an example of the printable book list:
Keep scrolling to see the full online book list (below the F.A.Q. on this page).
We’ve scheduled in lots of colorful, fact-filled, interesting and engaging books for this year’s world history study! Before taking a look, We’ve addressed some common questions:
Book and Resource F.A.Q.
Warning! Preview all materials! I strongly recommend you preview all items to see if they are appropriate for your student. Every family is different in what they find offensive! Additional notes about some of the books are in the descriptions below.
Additional notes about some of the books and movies are under the images. Please note that we have not marked every possible objectionable item.
Some of the books below have the following statement in their description:
This book is referenced in the curriculum workbook.
Those books are referenced in the FREE PDF workbook that is included with your Government, Economics, and Personal Finance Curriculum purchase.
Books and Items
|Guest Hollow’s FREE Online U.S. Government Textbook|
This is the “*spine book” for the government portion of Guest Hollow’s Government, Economics, and Personal Finance Curriculum. It has lots of embedded videos, photos, and illustrations to help American government make sense and stick!
This book is referenced in the curriculum workbook.
*A spine book is the “backbone” of a study.
|Note: This book presents economics from the Austrian School perspective.||Lessons for the Young Economist|
The PDF version of the book is FREE here!
*A free teacher’s manual for this book is linked in the schedule.
This is an easy-to-understand primer on economics.
|The Economics Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained)|
*Optional, scheduled reference book
Economics is a broad topic, and your knowledge might be limited if you’re not an economist by profession — until now! The Economics Book is your jargon-free, visual guide to understanding the production and distribution of wealth.
Using a combination of authoritative, clear text, and bold graphics, this encyclopedia explores and explains big questions and issues that affect us all. Everything from taxation to recession to the housing market and much more!
By following an innovative visual approach, The Economics Book demystifies and untangles complicated theories. Make sense of abstract concepts through colorful graphics, fun facts, and step-by-step flow diagrams.
Over 100 key ideas from the world’s greatest theorists like Thomas Malthus, John Maynard Keynes, and Milton Friedman.
This book will also guide you through the history of economics:
– Let the Trading Begin 400 BCE – 1770 CE
– The Age of Reason 1770 – 1820
– Industrial and Economic Revolutions 1820 – 1929
– War and Depressions: 1929 – 1945
– Post-War Economics 1945 – 1970
– Contemporary Economics 1970 – Present
|How Money Works: The Facts Visually Explained|
*Optional, scheduled reference book
It makes the world go round, but money can truly be an enigma.
DK’s visual approach breaks new ground. In graphics, charts, and diagrams, How Money Works demystifies processes and answers the hundreds of financial questions we all have.
Money facilitates the billions of transactions that take place every day across the globe. Using ‘need to know’ boxes, step-by-step diagrams, and other eye-catching visuals, How Money Works shows you how this is possible. It explains economic theories, how governments raise and control money, what goes on in the stock exchange, how analysts predict where shares are heading, and many other issues. It busts jargon, explaining terms such as quantitative easing, cash flow, bonds, superannuation, and the open market.
Our forefathers may have used simple bartering to exchange goods and services, but today we depend on complicated financial instruments for pensions, life assurance, mortgages, and more. How Money Works explains how these work, as well as how to avoid on-line fraud and where to invest.
With information on the latest forms of funding and currencies such as Bitcoin, this comprehensive book will fast track you to financial literacy and getting the most from your hard-won cash.
|Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?|
This book is referenced in the curriculum workbook.
This clearly written, award-winning book about economics is a remarkably easy and fun explanation of money (its origin and history), the dollar (its origin and history), investment cycles, velocity, business cycles, recessions, inflation, the demand for money, government (its economic behavior), and more.
|Catan Board Game (Base Game)|
Catan is also free to play online. The schedule links to the free version(s).
“Settlers of Catan is a game about trading and building. Each player builds settlements that can produce some of the 5 resources – Ore, Wheat, Wool, Wood, and Bricks – which can then be used to build roads and more settlements to expand your kingdom or upgrade your settlements to cities to increase their production. The thing that really makes the game is that there is always a hot commodities market, with players trying to trade resources they don’t need in exchange for those that are more useful for their game strategy; each resource is useful in different combinations for building different things.”
|The Infographic Guide to American Government: A Visual Reference for Everything You Need to Know|
This vibrant, illustrated guide to the ins and outs of United States politics provides a clearer understanding of the current events and regular processes that shape this nation and the world.
Decipher the American political system with this clear, easy-to-understand guide to the basics of the United States political system, from the founding of the thirteen colonies, to the foundations of the constitution, to how elections work. You’ll also find information about the history and context of current issues, like how Supreme Court justices are appointed; the electoral college and the popular vote; and how to get involved in the political process.
|The People’s Guide to the United States Constitution, Revised Edition|
*Scheduled reference book
*A free educator’s and homeschool study guide for this book is linked in the schedule.
Although we are constantly bombarded with arguments over constitutional issues in the media, surveys show the majority of Americans have not read and understood our Constitution even though it is just 25 pages long. The reason? The language is over 200 years old with unusual words and legal terms. This book is an easy-to-read, spin-free guide to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, additional amendments, and the Declaration of Independence. It provides both the essential historical context and important definitions of the language used at the time. One can read straight through these original texts and gain confidence in understanding the agreements which guarantee our freedoms. This book will help answer these questions: Are our rights being protected or eroded? What is the true purpose of government and what are its duties? Why was the Bill of Rights written? Individuals should read this book to protect their rights and liberty and insist their elected officials read and understand the U.S. Constitution.
|The Fallacy Detective: Thirty-Eight Lessons on How to Recognize Bad Reasoning|
*A free study guide for this book is linked in the schedule.
The Fallacy Detective has been the bestselling text for teaching logical fallacies and introduction to logic for over 15 years.
I’ve scheduled this book in because students need to know how to pick apart political arguments, promotions, advertisements, etc.
|Choose one of the following 2 books:|
Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Novel, often published as 1984, is a political fiction of a dystopian state. Thematically, Nineteen Eighty-Four centers on the consequences of totalitarianism, censorship, mass surveillance, and repressive regimentation of persons and behaviors within society.
Orwell modeled the authoritarian government in the novel after Stalinist Russia. More broadly, the novel examines the role of truth and facts within politics and the ways in which they are manipulated.
It’s chilling to see some of the things in the book in our present-day society!
*A free educator’s guide and other resources for this book are linked in the schedule.
1984: The Graphic Novel
Note: There is sexual content and violence in the book as well as cartoon nudity (a woman’s backside and side view). Click here to see an example.
One of the most influential books of the twentieth century gets the graphic treatment in this first-ever adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984.
With evocative, immersive art from Fido Nesti, this vision of George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece provides a new perspective for longtime fans but is also an accessible entry point for young readers and adults who have yet to discover the iconic story that is still so relevant today.
Note: There is sexual content and violence in this book.
Note: The parent guide has a Bible verse in it. The student book mentions giving and one of the suggestions is to a church (but doesn’t specify that the church is a particular religion). Otherwise, I don’t believe there are any other sectarian references.
|Teen Entrepreneur Toolbox |
In the Teen Entrepreneur Toolbox, Anthony O’Neal walks teenagers through eight easy, practical steps for starting their own business. This is the must-have small-business guide for teens and parents! Whether it’s making slime, mowing lawns, babysitting, selling on eBay, or creating an Etsy boutique store, the Teen Entrepreneur Toolbox will help teens turn their money-making idea into a real business. The Toolbox is a step-by-step guide for any teen who wants to start their own business. It includes business ideas, activities, and authentic, real-life stories from teenagers and successful entrepreneurs.
The kit comes with a book (you’ll get a free eBook and audiobook version with your purchase), a teen portfolio to guide your teen through the steps of starting and running a business, a 20-minute DVD (as well as a code to watch the video online), a goal tracker, Q&A flashcards for conversation starters, customer thank-you cards, etc. There is also a free app you can download teens can use to track goals, figure out profit potential, videos, and the ability to keep track of business contacts and appointments.
Note: This book is also scheduled in Guest Hollow’s American History Year 1 curriculum.
|The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation|
*Optional, scheduled reference book
“The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation uses the art of illustrated storytelling to breathe life into our nation’s cornerstone principles. Simply put, it is the most enjoyable and groundbreaking way to read the governing document of the United States. Spirited and visually witty, it roves article by article, amendment by amendment, to get at the meaning, background, and enduring relevance of the law of the land.”
|History Smashers: Women’s Right to Vote|
Ignore the fact that the age recommendation for this book is elementary through middle school. Yes, it’s an easy and quick read, but it’s also packed with info and gets the job done without delving into 400-page territory like the other books we previewed.
In 1920, Susan B. Anthony passed a law that gave voting rights to women in the United States. RIGHT?
WRONG! Susan B. Anthony wasn’t even alive when the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified. Plus, it takes a lot more than one person to amend the constitution.
The truth is that it took millions of women to get that amendment into law. They marched! They picketed! They even went to jail. But in the end, it all came down to a letter from a state representative’s mom. No joke.
Through illustrations, graphic panels, photographs, sidebars, and more, acclaimed author Kate Messner smashes history by exploring the little-known details behind the fight for women’s suffrage.
|Winning Moves Games Pay Day, The Classic Edition|
Object of the game: Have the most money at the end of the game. Players can make deals on property and earn money. At the end of each month, players are paid a salary and must pay off all outstanding bills.
|Note: This is a Christian book. Secular users can substitute any finance/money management book aimed at teens.||The Money Challenge for Teens: Prepare for College, Run from Debt, and Live Generously|
“Today’s teens are faced with more financial opportunities—and threats—than ever before, from summer jobs and scholarships to credit card applications and student loans. How are young people supposed to learn to avoid early pitfalls that could devastate their financial futures and instead take steps that can set them up for a future filled with security, contentment, and generosity? The Money Challenge for Teens can help.”
|How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000: Earn! Save! Invest!|
A thorough introduction to finance from the people behind BizKid$, How to Turn $100 into $1 Million includes chapters on setting financial goals, making a budget, getting a job, starting a business, and investing smartly – and how to think like a millionaire. Plus: a one-page business plan template, a two-page plan to become a millionaire, and a personal budget tracker.
Optional: The Gerrymandering Game
|Optional: Personal Finance Lab|
Learn personal finance via The Budget Game and learn about stocks with The Stock Game.
The Budget Game has embedded lessons and mini games, so studdents learn things like comparison shopping, writing checks, etc. They learn how to manage monthly expenses and bills (including surprise expenses), how to build their credit score, build savings goals, and more. Real-life scenarios mimic real life and students learn through experience how each choice they make has consequences!
|Our Broken Elections: How the Left Changed the Way You Vote|
I wish the authors had left “the left” out of the title and toned down some of the partisan language in the book to make it more appealing to both sides of the political aisle, because everyone needs to know the information in this book. At least they included examples of voter fraud on both sides going back decades.
The facts they share about elections in the US are real and well researched, and their suggestions on how to maintain the integrity of the system are spot on.
This is NOT a book about a “stolen election in 2020.” As a reviewer of the book stated: “Instead, it’s a thoughtful fact-based look at election fraud over the past several decades. The authors skillfully point out the dangers inherent in leaving electoral systems and processes vulnerable to fraud on either side of the aisle.”
This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to make sure elections are fair for everyone. It’s also a must-read to understand if some of the laws being proposed are good or bad and why.
|Cartoon Introduction to Economics, Volume I: Microeconomics|
This book is referenced in the curriculum workbook.
The award-winning illustrator Grady Klein has paired up with the world’s only stand-up economist, Yoram Bauman, PhD, to take the dismal out of the dismal science. From the optimizing individual to game theory to price theory, The Cartoon Introduction to Economics is the most digestible, explicable, and humorous 200-page introduction to microeconomics you’ll ever read.
|Note: There is some cursing in this book and animals are shown in the slaughterhouse. Prostitution is mentioned (no graphic details).||The Jungle: [A Graphic Novel]|
The Jungle is mentioned in the online textbook in the section about public policy. It’s a novel written by Upton Sinclair that focuses on unsanitary working conditions and unsavory business practices in the meat-packing industry. This work and others like it helped to spur the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act (1906) and ultimately led to the creation of government agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“A compelling graphic novel adaptation of Upton Sinclair’s seminal protest novel that brings to life the harsh conditions and exploited existences of immigrants in Chicago’s meatpacking industry in the early twentieth century.”
|Are You Liberal? Conservative? Or Confused?|
“Are You Liberal? Conservative? or Confused?” discusses political labels. What do they mean? Liberal, conservative, left, right, democrat, republican, moderate, socialist, libertarian, communist what are their economic policies and what plans do their promoters have for your money? Clear, concise explanations. Facts and fallacies. Does inconsistency to the original American philosophy endanger liberty?
|Note: There is some cursing in this book in the context of quoting things other people said (including the F word). |
Chapter 3 is about abuses of the #MeToo movement and contains some sexual content. It is not scheduled in.
Chapter 5 (p. 166) quotes a social media post about Brett Kavanaugh that features a sexual statement.
|Slanted: How the News Media Taught Us to Love Censorship and Hate Journalism|
When the facts don’t fit their Narrative, the media abandons the facts, not the Narrative. Virtually every piece of information you get through the media has been massaged, shaped, curated, and manipulated before it reaches you. Some of it is censored entirely. The news can no longer be counted on to reflect all the facts. Instead of telling us what happened yesterday, they tell us what’s new in the prepackaged soap opera they’ve been calling the news.
For the past four years, five-time Emmy Award–winning investigative journalist and New York Times bestselling author Sharyl Attkisson has been collecting and dissecting alarming incidents tracing the shocking devolution of what used to be the most respected news organizations on the planet. For the first time, top news executives and reporters representing every major national television news outlet—from ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN to FOX and MSNBC—speak frankly, confiding in Attkisson about the death of the news as they once knew it. Their concern transcends partisan divides.
Most frightening of all, a broad campaign in the media has convinced many Americans not only to accept but to demand censorship over journalism. It is a stroke of genius on the part of those seeking to influence public opinion: undermine public confidence in the news, then insist upon “curating” information and divining the “truth.” The thinking is done for you. They’ll decide which pesky facts shouldn’t cross your desk by declaring them false, irrelevant, debunked, unsafe, or out-of-bounds.
We have reached a state of utter absurdity, where journalism schools teach students that their own, personal truth or chosen narratives matter more than reality. In Slanted, Attkisson digs into the language of propagandists, the persistence of false media narratives, the driving forces behind today’s dangerous blend of facts and opinion, the abandonment of journalism ethics, and the new, Orwellian definition of what it means to report the news.
|The following 2 books are to be read one right after the other. Not only will students be introduced to two very different views of the economics/politics/etc. surrounding the Great Depression, but they will also see firsthand that one side of the story doesn’t tell all.||With these two books, students will learn about economics, government policies, and ways of looking at these subjects that are very relevant to today, the current economy, and decisions our government has been putting into action! Will history repeat itself?|
Crash: The Great Depression and the Fall and Rise of America
Crash tells the story of the Great Depression, from the sweeping fallout of the market collapse to the more personal stories of those caught up in the aftermath. Packed with photographs, primary documents, and firsthand accounts, Crash shines a spotlight on pivotal moments and figures across ethnic, gender, racial, social, and geographic divides, reflecting many different experiences of one of the most turbulent decades in American history. Marc Favreau’s meticulous research, vivid prose, and extensive back matter paints a thorough picture of how the country we live in today was built in response to the widespread poverty, insecurity, and fear of the 1930s.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal
Bad times are here again…and so too are bad ideas on how to fix them. No economic myth these days is more pernicious than the myth that the free market caused the Great Depression and the New Deal got us out of it. That, as economist Robert P. Murphy points out is flat-out false. In The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal he provides irrefutable evidence that not only did government interference with the market cause the Great Depression (and our current economic collapse), but Herbert Hoover’s and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s big government policies afterwards made it much longer and much worse. Perhaps even more compelling, Murphy exposes the untold story behind the New Deal–how it operated by force, and why what’s really at stake is not only our economy but our liberty.
“A thorough and impressive critique of FDR and the New Deal which should be required reading in all modern U.S. history and economics courses. I highly recommend this insightful book.”
–Burton W. Folsom, Jr., Professor of History, Hillsdale College
|Note: There is violence in this book (several people are burned to death), etc.||Fahrenheit 451: A Novel|
**A free educator’s guide and other resources for this book are linked in the schedule.
This dystopian shows you what a totalitarian society is like. It also illustrates what happens when people (and materials) a become offensive to others and are censored. In the book, everyone is offended by something, and so it all must be destroyed. Today, people are becoming more and more intolerant of other beliefs and ways of looking at things. If we aren’t careful, our constitutional right to the freedom of speech will be eroded. Fahrenheit 451 shows you a world where that has become reality.
“Nearly seventy years after its original publication, Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 stands as a classic of world literature set in a bleak, dystopian future. Today its message has grown more relevant than ever before.
|The U.S. Senate: Fundamentals of American Government|
The U.S. Senate is the second book in the Fundamentals of American Government civics series, exploring the inner workings of this important part of the legislative branch. This book is written for all audiences but voiced toward high school seniors and college freshmen—or any citizen interested in a concise yet authoritative exploration of this representative entity. Written by former Senator Tom Daschle, and co-written by acclaimed journalist Charles Robbins, this compelling and digestible book carefully examines and explains exactly how the Senate operates. From its electoral process to voting procedure, historic beginnings to modern day issues—there is no area of this governmental body left un-revealed. Told with an insider’s perspective there is not a more defining or easily accessible compendium detailing the U.S. Senate.
|Inflation: What It Is, Why It’s Bad, and How to Fix It|
“Packed with examples from the headlines and from history Inflation is a unique, real-world exploration of the subject that addresses everyday concerns of Americans under siege by rising prices, including steps you should take to protect your wealth.
Inflation is essential reading for everyone seeking to navigate these tumultuous times.”
|Brown v. Board of Education: A Fight for Simple Justice|
Brown v. Board of Education is mentioned in the online textbook in the section about the courts. It’s a very important Supreme Court case which overturned Plessey v. Ferguson. Your students will remember this important fight for American rights via this book.
“In 1954, one of the most significant Supreme Court decisions of the twentieth Century aimed to end school segregation in the United States. The ruling was the culmination of work by many people who stood up to racial inequality, some risking significant danger and hardship, and of careful strategizing by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Award-winning author Susan Goldman Rubin tells the stories behind the ruling and the people responsible for it. Illustrated with historical photographs, this well-researched narrative account is a perfect introduction to the history of school segregation in the United States and the long struggle to end it. “
Note: There is some cursing (including the N word), a teen pregnancy (no details of how it happens), and some kissing (not graphic).
|Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case|
In 1967, the Supreme Court struck down a Virginia law that prohibited interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia. This case is mentioned in the online textbook and illustrates the 14th Amendment in action. This beautifully written book told in verse will make the case unforgettable.
“From acclaimed author Patricia Hruby Powell comes the story of a landmark civil rights case, told in spare and gorgeous verse. In 1955, in Caroline County, Virginia, amidst segregation and prejudice, injustice and cruelty, two teenagers fell in love. Their life together broke the law, but their determination would change it. Richard and Mildred Loving were at the heart of a Supreme Court case that legalized marriage between races, and a story of the devoted couple who faced discrimination, fought it, and won.”
|Note: This book shows cartoon nudity of a man’s backside. It also mentions that Takei is married to a man (p. 191) and has a bit of his political beliefs toward the end.||They Called Us Enemy|
The internment of Japanese Americans (Executive Order 9066) is mentioned in the online textbook in the section about executive orders. It’s an important chapter in American history that shows how American citizens were denied due process of law, a very important constitutional right! Show your students why our rights are so important to protect and what can happen when we don’t learn what they are and don’t fight to protect them.
“In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten “relocation centers,” hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard.
They Called Us Enemy is Takei’s firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the terrors and small joys of childhood in the shadow of legalized racism, his mother’s hard choices, his father’s tested faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future.”
Note: There is a sexual reference in the section about comedy and satire (p. 47) – no graphic details.
|Free Speech And Why It Matters|
“Free speech is the bedrock of all our liberties, and yet in recent years it has come to be mistrusted. A new form of social justice activism, which perceives language as potentially violent, has prompted a national debate on where the limitations of acceptable speech should be drawn. Governments throughout Europe have enacted ‘hate speech’ legislation to curb the dissemination of objectionable ideas, Silicon Valley tech giants are collaborating to ensure that they control the limitations of public discourse, and campaigners in the US are calling for revisions to the First Amendment.
However well-intentioned, these trends represent a threat to the freedoms that our ancestors fought and died to secure. In this incisive and fascinating book, Andrew Doyle addresses head-on the most common concerns of free speech sceptics and offers a timely and robust defense of this most foundational of principles.”
|The Cartoon Introduction to Economics, Volume II: Macroeconomics|
This book is referenced in the curriculum workbook.
Need to understand today’s economy? This is the book for you. The Cartoon Introduction to Economics, Volume Two: Macroeconomics is the most accessible, intelligible, and humorous introduction to unemployment, inflation, and debt you’ll ever read.
Whereas Volume One: Microeconomics dealt with the optimizing individual, Volume Two: Macroeconomics explains the factors that affect the economy of an entire country, and indeed the planet. It explores the two big concerns of macroeconomics: how economies grow and why economies collapse. It illustrates the basics of the labor market and explains what the GDP is and what it measures, as well as the influence of government, trade, and technology on the economy. Along the way, it covers the economics of global poverty, climate change, and the business cycle. In short, if any of these topics have cropped up in a news story and caused you to wish you grasped the underlying basics, buy this book.
|Note: Chapter 4 is about gay marriage rights and some of the court cases surrounding them.||Dissenter On the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life and Work|
This is a quick read that illustrates the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and some of the cases she was involved in. Whether or not you agree with her beliefs and approaches, the book shows some of the processes of court cases & appeals and showcases the life of someone deeply involved in the justice system. The book has a left/liberal/feminist slant as one would expect (since that was Ginsburg’s political leaning and life approach), however, either side of the political aisle can appreciate the biography of this former Supreme Court justice.
“Dramatically narrated case histories from Justice Ginsburg’s stellar career are interwoven with an account of RBG’s life—childhood, family, beliefs, education, marriage, legal and judicial career, children, and achievements—and her many-faceted personality is captured. The cases described, many involving young people, demonstrate her passionate concern for gender equality, fairness, and our constitutional rights.”
|Note: There are a few curse words in this book (like a$$hole). In chapter 4 (p. 83) there is a brief mention of evolution pertaining to social skills in the section “Monkeys vs. Toddlers.” In chapter 9 (p. 207-209) there is a discussion about female genital mutilation and how it was overcome in Egypt through positive deviance.||Collective Illusions: Conformity, Complicity, and the Science of Why We Make Bad Decisions|
Drawing on cutting-edge neuroscience, behavioral economic, and social psychology research, acclaimed author, former Harvard professor, and think tank founder Todd Rose reveals how so much of our thinking about each other is informed by false assumptions that drive bad decisions.
This book will help develop students’ critical thinking skills, help them pick apart bias in politics, economics (and other arenas), and help them stand up for their viewpoints and beliefs, even if doing so bucks the crowd.
Another bonus: See if you can pick out the author’s own conformity to collective illusion biases! 😉
|Note: This is a Christian book, however, the financial principles are fantastic for anyone, no matter what their religion is or lack thereof. This book is also written for adults, so it discusses topics that don’t apply to a teen, yet! However, I think it’s good for a teen to learn about these concepts now, so s/he can think ahead and put them into action when leaving the nest. 😉||Financial Peace Revisited|
With the help of a #1 New York Times bestselling author and finance expert, set your finances right with these updated tactics and practices
Dave Ramsey knows what it’s like to have it all. By age twenty-six, he had established a four-million-dollar real estate portfolio, only to lose it by age thirty. He has since rebuilt his financial life and, through his workshops and his New York Times business bestsellers Financial Peace and More than Enough, he has helped hundreds of thousands of people to understand the forces behind their financial distress and how to set things right-financially, emotionally, and spiritually.
With practical and easy to follow methods and personal anecdotes, Financial Peace is the road map to personal control, financial security, a new, vital family dynamic, and lifetime peace.
|Note: This book contains violence. Click here for a parent’s guide.||The Hunger Games|
*Free study guides and other resources for this book are linked in the schedule.
The Hunger Games explores government control and oppression, poverty, social division, propaganda, government surveillance, and the popularity/controversy of the media.
“In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to death before-and survival, for her, is second nature. Still, if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.”
|The Second Amendment Manifesto: What Every American Should Know about Their Constitutional Right to Own Guns|
“Do you want to know the real story of the Second Amendment, so you can decide what it means for yourself?
The Second Amendment Manifesto is for you.
In true stories stretching from ancient Greece to modern-day America, you’ll quickly discover how the Second Amendment came to be, why it’s worth protecting, and what you can do to defend it right now.”
Recommended, even for those who are anti-gun to understand the history and meaning behind this amendment and to understand why so many Americans vigorously defend this right.
|Animal Farm explores how political systems can suppress individual freedoms. This novel show that it’s the followers, not the leaders, who hold the key to maintaining freedom and equality in any civilization.|
*A free teacher’s and other resources for this book are linked in the schedule.
Choose one of the following:
George Orwell’s timeless and timely allegorical novel—a scathing satire on a downtrodden society’s blind march towards totalitarianism.
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
A farm is taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. With flaming idealism and stirring slogans, they set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality. Thus, the stage is set for one of the most telling satiric fables ever penned—a razor-edged fairy tale for grown-ups that records the evolution from revolution against tyranny to a totalitarianism just as terrible.
When Animal Farm was first published, Stalinist Russia was seen as its target. Today it is devastatingly clear that wherever and whenever freedom is attacked, under whatever banner, the cutting clarity and savage comedy of George Orwell’s masterpiece have a meaning and message still ferociously fresh.
Animal Farm: The Graphic Novel
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
“In 1945, George Orwell, called “the conscience of his generation,” created an enduring, devastating story of new tyranny replacing old, and power corrupting even the noblest of causes. Today it is all too clear that Orwell’s masterpiece is still fiercely relevant wherever cults of personality thrive, truths are twisted by those in power, and freedom is under attack. In this fully authorized edition, the artist Odyr translates the world and message of Animal Farm into a gorgeously imagined graphic novel.”
|Choose one of the following:|
Amusing Ourselves to Death
*A free study guide for this book is linked in the schedule.
What happens when media and politics become forms of entertainment? As our world begins to look more and more like Orwell’s 1984, Neil’s Postman’s essential guide to the modern media is more relevant than ever.
Originally published in 1985, Neil Postman’s groundbreaking polemic about the corrosive effects of television on our politics and public discourse has been hailed as a twenty-first-century book published in the twentieth century. Now, with television joined by more sophisticated electronic media—from the Internet to cell phones to DVDs—it has taken on even greater significance. Amusing Ourselves to Death is a prophetic look at what happens when politics, journalism, education, and even religion become subject to the demands of entertainment. It is also a blueprint for regaining control of our media, so that they can serve our highest goals.
The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains
Note: There is some adult content in this book.
“Nicholas Carr’s bestseller The Shallows has become a foundational book in one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the internet’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply? This 10th-anniversary edition includes a new afterword that brings the story up to date, with a deep examination of the cognitive and behavioral effects of smartphones and social media.”
|Plug-in kilowatt monitor (any will work)|
Students will use this tool in a learning how to save money activity.
|Optional: Windowsill herb kit (Any will work, or you can make your own)|
This list doesn’t include the free videos, movies, and documentaries linked in the schedule.
The following videos are videos you may need to pay for, in order to view/stream them.
Note: There is bad language and violence in this movie. Click here for a parent’s guide to this movie.
Students can watch this optional movie to spark discussions about “the social contract” as defined by Locke and levels of freedom vs. protection by the government. The movie goes with a question in the workbook.
Dustin Hoffman and Morgan Freeman star in this story about Army medical researchers racing against the clock to stem the outbreak of a fast-spreading deadly virus.
Click here for a Common Sense Media parent’s guide for this movie.
Based on the landmark Supreme Court case, an interracial couple fights the law that they cannot be recognized as married in the state of Virginia.
|American Experience: A Class Apart|
From a small-town Texas murder emerged a landmark civil rights case. The little-known story of the Mexican American lawyers who took Hernandez v. Texas to the Supreme Court, challenging Jim Crow-style discrimination.
|Borrowed Future (A free version is available and linked to in the schedule.)|
There’s a massive student loan crisis in America. Millions have found themselves buried beneath a mountain of debt. Entire generations are trapped. Borrowed Future uncovers the dark side of the student loan industry and exposes how the system is built to work against you. We meet a group of high school students as they’re about to make one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives, and then the other side: the reality for adults living with student loan debt. Do 17-year-olds really understand their financial decisions today will affect the future in front of them? Borrowed Future proves that you really do have the power to beat the student loan system – but it’s up to you. You get to decide to feed the system or fight back.
Note: Click here for a Common Sense Media parent’s guide for this movie.
|A Beautiful Mind|
This is a biographical drama about John Forbes Nash, a great American mathematician, and a person responsible for creating game theory.
From Common Sense Media:
“A man sees what no one else can, and we call him a genius. A man sees what no one else does, and we call him crazy. This Academy Award-winner for Best Picture is about a man who was both. It’s the true story of genius John Forbes Nash, Jr., who revolutionized mathematics and struggled with mentally illness. More than 40 years later, as he edged back into sanity, his contribution was recognized by academics in Sweden. They awarded him the Nobel Prize.”
Note: Click here for a Common Sense Media parent’s guide for this movie. Here is another parent’s guide with more specific details. If you watch this, I recommend having the fast forward button on hand. If your student is mature, this is a good series that highlights some of the lesser known stories surrounding Watergate. Sometimes it costs a person everything to shine light on darkness. There are a lot of good opportunities when watching this series for discussions about making hard choices.
Gaslit is a docudrama about the events surrounding the Watergate scandal from the point of view of a female whistleblower who paid dearly for going public. Politics and political corruption are major themes.
Martha Mitchell was the first person to publicly connect the Nixon administration to Watergate, breaking ranks with her husband and the establishment and risking her own reputation in order to tell the truth.
Note: Click here for a parent’s guide for this movie.
The dramatic impact WWII had in the home-front as Japanese American families were uprooted from their daily lives and placed into internment camps in Western US in the early 1940’s.
Note: Click here for a Common Sense Media parent’s guide to this movie.
From Academy Award-winning director, Ron Howard, comes the electrifying, untold story behind the unforgettable battle of wits that changed the face of politics forever.
Inside North Korea
North Korea is a totalitarian government. Students will watch this video to learn what life under a totalitarian government is like.
Go undercover with National Geographic correspondent Lisa Ling as she journeys into mysterious and reclusive North Korea.
Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks team for the first time in this thrilling film based on a true story about a government cover-up and the fight over civil liberties.
Daniel Day Lewis is spectacular in an Oscar(R)-winning performance as Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s film about the 16th President.
Lincoln isn’t a biographical chronicle of Abraham Lincoln’s life in office but rather a political drama about the passing of the 13th Amendment and the end of the Civil War.
|Real Life 101|
“Have you ever wondered what you might want to do for the rest of your life? Have you thought about your “dream job?” Do you have any idea what it takes to get there? Are you headed in the right direction? Real Life 101 introduces you to real people doing real jobs.”
The series isn’t flashy, but it showcases a bunch of different jobs, kind of like a video career fair, via interviews. The show also discusses what students need to do for the various careers as far as education and/or training.
|The Hunger Games|
Set in a dystopian future in which the income gap is greater than ever, 24 underprivileged youth fight to the death every year in a televised spectacle designed to entertain the rich and give the poor enough hope to quell any further unrest–but not too much, warns Panem president Snow, because that would be “dangerous.” Hailing from the same mining town, 16-year-olds Katniss and Peeta represent District 12 with the help of escort Effie and mentor Haymitch. At first, they’re adversaries, but a wary partnership eventually develops, though the rules stipulate that only one contestant can win. This is a crazy, mixed-up combination of Survivor, Lost, and the collected works of George Orwell.
Click here for a Common Sense Media parent’s guide.
This bold Academy Award winning documentary explores Edward Snowden’s controversial actions.
|Mr. Smith Goes to Washington|
James Stewart takes on the powers-that-be in our nation’s capitpl in Frank Capra’s timeless classic. Nominated for eleven 1939 Oscars(r), including best picture.
Optional, Unscheduled and/or Substitution Books
These books are an optional part of the curriculum. You can use these books as extra credit, to replace one of the scheduled books, or to extend the program over a longer time period.
Although I have included warnings for some of the books, I have not included every possible objectionable item. Please preview with your own family’s values in mind.
|Budget Bytes: Over 100 Easy, Delicious Recipes to Slash Your Grocery Bill in Half: A Cookbook|
I schedule in recipes from this blog, but some of you may prefer the book.
“As a college grad during the recent great recession, Beth Moncel found herself, like so many others, broke. Unwilling to sacrifice eating healthy and well—and armed with a degree in nutritional science—Beth began tracking her costs with obsessive precision, and soon cut her grocery bill in half. Eager to share her tips and recipes, she launched her blog, Budget Bytes. Soon the blog received millions of readers clamoring for more.
Beth’s eagerly awaited cookbook proves cutting back on cost does not mean cutting back on taste. Budget Bytes has more than 100 simple, healthy, and delicious recipes, including Greek Steak Tacos, Coconut Chicken Curry, Chorizo Sweet Potato Enchilada, and Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Mayonnaise, to name a few. It also contains expert principles for saving in the kitchen—including how to combine inexpensive ingredients with expensive to ensure that you can still have that steak you’re craving, and information to help anyone get acquainted with his or her kitchen and get maximum use out of the freezer. Whether you’re urban or rural, vegan or paleo, Budget Bytes is guaranteed to delight both the palate and the pocketbook.”
|The Infographic Guide to Personal Finance: A Visual Reference for Everything You Need to Know |
Want to better manage your money? This book will show you how…It simply delivers a tough topic in graphically appealing, digestible bites.” —The Washington Post
Balance your budget, plan for your future, and breeze through confusing details with this easy-to-follow illustrated personal finance guide.
Get your finances in shape! In The Infographic Guide to Personal Finance, you will learn all the skills you need to make good financial decisions and grow your personal wealth. Full of colorful descriptions organized in an easy-to-read format, this book contains infographics such as:
-Choosing your bank
-Building an emergency fund
-Choosing a financial planner
-Where your money is going
-What not to buy
-What federal taxes pay for
With the help of this guide, you’ll learn how to make good investments, save for big things like a house or college tuition, budget, and more!
|Tulipomania: The Story of the World’s Most Coveted Flower & the Extraordinary Passions It Aroused|
“In the 1630s, visitors to the prosperous trading cities of the Netherlands couldn’t help but notice that thousands of normally sober, hardworking Dutch citizens from every walk of life were caught up in an extraordinary frenzy of buying and selling. The object of this unprecedented speculation was the tulip, a delicate and exotic Eastern import that had bewitched horticulturists, noblemen, and tavern owners alike. For almost a year rare bulbs changed hands for incredible and ever-increasing sums, until single flowers were being sold for more than the cost of a house.”
|The Poison Squad: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century|
From Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times-bestselling author Deborah Blum, the dramatic true story of how food was made safe in the United States and the heroes, led by the inimitable Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley, who fought for change.
By the end of nineteenth century, food was dangerous. Lethal, even. “Milk” might contain formaldehyde, most often used to embalm corpses. Decaying meat was preserved with both salicylic acid, a pharmaceutical chemical, and borax, a compound first identified as a cleaning product. This was not by accident; food manufacturers had rushed to embrace the rise of industrial chemistry and were knowingly selling harmful products. Unchecked by government regulation, basic safety, or even labelling requirements, they put profit before the health of their customers. By some estimates, in New York City alone, thousands of children were killed by “embalmed milk” every year. Citizens–activists, journalists, scientists, and women’s groups–began agitating for change. But even as protective measures were enacted in Europe, American corporations blocked even modest regulations. Then, in 1883, Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley, a chemistry professor from Purdue University, was named chief chemist of the agriculture department, and the agency began methodically investigating food and drink fraud, even conducting shocking human tests on groups of young men who came to be known as, “The Poison Squad.”
Over the next thirty years, a titanic struggle took place, with the courageous and fascinating Dr. Wiley campaigning indefatigably for food safety and consumer protection. Together with a gallant cast, including the muckraking reporter Upton Sinclair, whose fiction revealed the horrific truth about the Chicago stockyards; Fannie Farmer, then the most famous cookbook author in the country; and Henry J. Heinz, one of the few food producers who actively advocated for pure food, Dr. Wiley changed history. When the landmark 1906 Food and Drug Act was finally passed, it was known across the land, as “Dr. Wiley’s Law.”
Blum brings to life this timeless and hugely satisfying “David and Goliath” tale with righteous verve and style, driving home the moral imperative of confronting corporate greed and government corruption with a bracing clarity, which speaks resoundingly to the enormous social and political challenges we face today.
|The Unelected: How an Unaccountable Elite is Governing America|
“America is highly polarized around elections, but unelected actors make many of the decisions that affect our lives. In this lucid history, James R. Copland explains how unaccountable agents have taken over much of the U.S. government apparatus.
Congress has largely abdicated its authority. “Independent” administrative agencies churn out thousands of new regulations every year. Courts have enabled these rulemakers to expand their powers beyond those authorized by law—and have constrained executive efforts to rein in the bureaucratic behemoth.
No ordinary citizen can know what is legal and what is not. There are some 300,000 federal crimes, 98 percent of which were created by administrative action. The proliferation of rules gives enormous discretion to unelected enforcers, and the severity of sanctions can be ruinous to citizens who unwittingly violate a regulation.
Outside the bureaucracy, private attorneys regulate our conduct through lawsuits. Most of the legal theories underlying these suits were never voted upon by our elected representatives. A combination of historical accident, decisions by judges and law professors, and self-interested advocacy by litigators has built an onerous and expensive legal regime.
Finally, state and local officials may be accountable to their own voters, but some reach further afield, pursuing agendas to dictate the terms of national commerce. These new antifederalists are subjecting the citizens of Wyoming and Mississippi to the whims of the electorates of New York and San Francisco—contrary to the constitutional design.
In these ways, the unelected have assumed substantial control of the American republic, upended the rule of law, given the United States the world’s costliest legal system, and inverted the Constitution’s federalism. Copland caps off his account with ideas for charting a corrective course back to democratic accountability.”
|The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy|
The dollar amounts and other similar information in this book are outdated (it was published in the 1990s), but the information is interesting and still relevant.
“The bestselling The Millionaire Next Door identifies seven common traits that show up again and again among those who have accumulated wealth. Most of the truly wealthy in this country don’t live in Beverly Hills or on Park Avenue-they live next door.”
Note: This book mentions evolution.
|Introducing Game Theory: A Graphic Guide|
This book can be read during week 17. Students interested in math may appreciate it.
When should you adopt an aggressive business strategy? How do we make decisions when we don’t have all the information? What makes international environmental cooperation possible?
Game theory is the study of how we make a decision when the outcome of our moves depends on the decisions of someone else. Economists Ivan and Tuvana Pastine explain why, in these situations, we sometimes cooperate, sometimes clash, and sometimes act in a way that seems completely random.
Stylishly brought to life by award-winning cartoonist Tom Humberstone, Game Theory will help readers understand behavior and provides a thrilling new perspective on the world we live in.