This week I am speaking with Dr. Prakash Dheriya, author of the Finance For Kidz book series. What is unique about these books is that they are simply children's stories, based on his own childrens' lives, but contain financial lessons in them. He explains complicated financial concepts like deflation, risk and return, and identity theft (to name a few) through stories that all children can relate to. You can find his books in the Sniper Book Bin (link at the top of the page), on amazon through the link at the top of the article or through his own website at: www.finance4kidz.com.
Question: What gave you the idea to start a book series targeting basic finance for children?
Answer: I saw the financial mess created by the subprime mortgage debacle and I did not want my children, who were six and seven years old at the time, to ever face that scenario again in their lifetime. I believe that if only more adults knew about the intricacies of money, they would have prevented the crisis.
I decided to educate my children about money and how it works, and that culminated in this series of books. I knew that most books on the market at that time focused on savings and budgeting. None talked about the difficult concepts of risk and return or identity theft. I made sure that I covered those in my books as I feel that little, or incomplete knowledge in finance can be more dangerous than no knowledge.
Question: How have the books been received?
Answer: The books have been well received by some private schools, though it has been a struggle to change the elementary school curriculum in public schools. I know many school libraries carry them, as attested to by my library distributor. To cover most of the children in the world, I had my books translated into nine other languages, and these books are now available in over fifty countries.
Question: Are any school systems currently using the books to help teach basic finance to students?
Answer: Yes, the Millard Public School System in Nebraska has developed a curriculum around these books. Financial lessons are taught to selected high school students who, in turn, then go to elementary schools and teach those concepts.
Question: Have you approached any of the public television stations about hosting a show based on your book series?
Answer: Yes, I have, but so far I have not met with success
Question: What is the next step for the series? Are you going to continue to add topics, or are there other plans?
Answer: My next step is to broaden my "For Kidz" series. I have already completed "Law For Kidz" and it is currently being reviewed. In addition I have "Architecture For Kidz", "Healthy Living For Kidz", "Psychology For Kidz", "Career Options For Kidz" and "Politics For Kidz" as the next sets of books.
As for "Finance For Kidz", I am now planning on converting them into comics and animating them as well.