I Got Bank! increases financial awareness while describing the lives of two African-American boys growing up in the city. Finally, here is a book about money for young people that you'll love.

See Teri Williams on WCVB 5 Boston's CityLine news and feature magazine.


Chapter 1

I'm Only Ten

I usually don't wake up this early on Saturdays. But for some reason, I couldn't sleep. I guess I shouldn't say for some reason, since I know the reason. Money!

Glad my mom, older brother and sister are still sleeping so I don't have to talk to anybody. Don't know why people feel a need to talk all the time or ask a bunch of questions. I'm always thinking TMT--too much talking.

Anyway, I make my way down the hall past everybody's rooms to the kitchen. The sun is blazing through the kitchen window. I can barely see the apartments across the street. But I can still hear the cars rolling past my house.

I see my bank statement from Community Unity Bank as I flip through a pile of mail on the kitchen table. The white envelope stands out. I sit down, open it quickly and glance at my name and account number.


Jazz Ellington

But I really focus on my account balance, the amount of money in my bank account. It says two thousand-fifty dollars and twenty-three cents! Bling! I think my granddad would say, "Not bad for a 10-year-old."

A few years ago when I was six, after my granddad set up my account, I was so proud to have a few hundred bucks. Now that I got more, I'm just trying to hold on to it. Everybody in my family--my mom, Jackson and Jasmine--are trying to spend my money. I know it's not cool to just say no. How do you say no to your mom? But how do you save, when everybody wants to spend? I'm beginning to understand why my granddad used to say I'm an "old soul." At ten, I already feel like an old man in a young man's body.

Hmmm. I think I just heard Jackson moving around in his room across the hall. I better hide my bank statement. But not before I eat. I'm starved. Here's some cereal, but no milk. Dang! Maybe my mom will cook breakfast when she wakes up.

I might as well go back to bed. I creep past Jackson's and Jasmine's rooms. No sounds from my mom's bedroom across the hall from mine. It's still quiet. Guess I won't be eating for a while. I hide my bank statement with all the others in the back of my closet under some clothes. Then climb to the top bunk, pull the covers over my head to block out the light--and my crazy family--and try to go back to sleep.


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