As a parent, the last thing you want your child to think about is gambling. However, The Rookie Bookie will make you think twice. Sports Illustrated executive editor L. Jon Wertheim, and Time Inc’s Tobias Moskowitz’s tale of a seventh-grade bookie is a cleverly disguised kid lit novel that teaches children about finance in relation to sports. In 2012 Wertheim and Moskowitz teamed up to write Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind how Sports are Played and Games are Won. Surprisingly, many children contacted the authors about Scorecasting. After the author’s realized the dearth of books teaching children about financial literacy, The Rookie Bookie was born.
When that book came out, I was surprised how many kids we heard from. It wasn’t just 35-year-old Sabermetrics types. And then it occurred to us, some of the basics of behavioral economics—loss aversion, omission bias—you can kind of explain to 10-, 11-, and 12-year-olds, which is what we have. There’s so little out there about financial literacy for kids. It does seem to be this huge gap, and we said let’s try this: We’ll write a fun story and we’ll embed some sort of behavioral economics basics, and who knows. This was a labor of love, more than anything.
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