Income Inequality

The materials on this list offer people of all ages opportunities to dig deeper into the topic of inequality. These fiction and nonfiction accounts explore the landscape of finance and wealth in the United States, the income gap, and the impact upon families and communities.

  • Last Stop on Market Street

    2015 by Matt de la Peña

    For children and families: As CJ accompanies his grandmother on their weekly trip on the bus, he feels out of sorts--why must they take the bus while others have their own cars? This picture book explores inequalities and injustice in a manner children will recognize.

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  • Maddi's Fridge

    2014 by Lois Brandt

    For children and families: What would you do if you noticed that a friend didn't have enough to eat? This picture book brings awareness to food security in our communities while suggesting that perhaps we can all do a part to combat it.

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  • The Adventures of Beanboy

    2012 by Lisa Harkrader

    For children and families: Tucker has noticed his mother is working a lot more lately, and he enters a comic book contest to earn some money to help his family. In this middle grade novel, realities of economic insecurity are explored alongside the strength of families who experience it.

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  • Crenshaw

    2015 by Katherine Applegate

    For children and families: Jackson and his family lived in their car a few years ago, and Jackson starts to notice signs that money is tight again. With the help of an imaginary friend and a supportive family, Jackson finds ways to cope with his family's crisis.

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  • The Bullie$ of Wall St : this is how greed messed up our economy

    2015 by Sheila Bair

    For young adults: The former Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) chair provides an insider’s viewpoint of the financial crisis that swept the United States in 2008 and its ongoing consequences.

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  • Street Angel

    2005 by Jim Rugg

    For young adults: Homeless teen Jesse "Street Angel" Sanchez cuts school and uses her skateboard and kung-fu action to fight ninja gang members, mad scientists, cops, time-traveling pirates, J-horror cliches, an evil version of her future self, ancient gods, rednecks, and hunger.

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  • Nickel and Dimed : on (not) getting by in America

    2001 by Barbara Ehrenreich

    For adults: Challenging the idea of welfare reform, the author goes “undercover” to see if a person can survive working only one unskilled job for little pay and still live “indoors.”

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  • Family Properties : race, real estate, and the exploitation of Black urban America

    2009 by Beryl Satter

    For adults: This investigation into practices of segregation and urban decay in post-war Chicago and other major American cities reveals how legal and financial exploitation are responsible for creating slums.

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  • Savage Inequalities : children in America's schools

    1991 by Jonathan Kozol

    For adults: Jonathan Kozol visited schools in neighborhoods across the country, speaking with teachers, principals, superintendents, and, most important, children. What he found was devastating: not only were schools for rich and poor blatantly unequal, the gulf between the two extremes was widening.

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  • The Unwinding : an inner history of the new America

    2013 by George Packer

    For adults: In this National Book Award winner, Packer travels the nation profiling the winners and losers of three decades of wrenching social and economic change.

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