Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?

Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?

by Richard J. Maybury
Publisher: Bluestocking Press
5th Edition, ©2004, ISBN: 9780942617528
Trade Paperback, 191 pages
Current Retail Price: $14.95
Used Price: $7.50 (1 in stock) Condition Policy

This book offers a simple, entertaining introduction to economics, and it focuses on the area we are usually most aware of: money and inflation—the reasons things are always increasing in price! "Uncle Eric" writes his "letters" in a clear and interesting way, adding fascinating historical comments throughout—quite engaging for the early high school student! He offers just enough economic theory to prod thinking without overloading kids' brains.

The book includes an annotated bibliography with suggestions for where to go next to learn more about economics; a complete study guide by Jane Williams is available; and additional books can help round out the topic of economics. Bluestocking Press recommends Penny Candy and the Bluestocking Guide along with Economics: A Free Market Reader and Capitalism for Kids to comprise a one-semester high school level economics course. If you wish to go further, consider following this up with Maybury's The Money Mystery and The Clipper Ship Strategy.

We would also strongly recommend adding the book Economics in One Lesson to your reading list, as it is a much more thorough introction to free market economics. If you have to choose just one book on the topic, that should be the one.

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  Penny Candy Is An Excellent Economics Primer
TammyA of Oregon, 4/13/2010
If you, like most people, remember economics as a boring class in high school that everybody had to take but nobody understood, this book will remove that stigma for your student (and yourself) and provide a solid understanding in basic economic principles.

Mayberry writes in an engaging way to someone who has little to no prior knowledge of economics. He frames his instruction in the form of letters from an uncle writing to a curious nephew about the concepts of business cycles, money, supply and demand, and the effects of government intervention. Much good economic advice is offered along with solid economic principles.

The downside for some will be that Penny Candy offers little in the way of introductory definitions for economic terms...ie you won't find most of the economic terms usually defined in chapter 1 of high school economic books (which is likely an upside for many others).

A true downside is that Mayberry, while exhibiting strong conservative, libertarian, principles, neglects to attribute the undergirding of these principles to Christianity (which was the basis for the free market which developed in Western Civilization making it so productive). Mayberry attributes the development of free market principles to the general "truths" found in all major religions which he defines as "Higher Law"...something akin to all roads lead to Rome...however a deeper study will show only Christianity provides the moral basis for a truly free market system as it alone provides the basis for individual equality, stewardship, and property rights.

We found it helpful to supplement those philosophical and theological issues with David Noebel's economic units in "Understanding the Times."

All in all, though, Mayberry's Penny Candy is an excellent first primer on economics for those short on time or short on attention span when it comes to economics. After reading Penny Candy, the appetite is whetted to be willing to learn more.