We were blessed to receive four books from The Tuttle Twins series, The Tuttle Twins Learn About the Law, The Tuttle Twins and the Miraculous Pencil, The Tuttle Twins and the Food Truck Fiasco, and The Tuttle Twins and the Creature from Jekyll Island. This year we are studying the beginnings of the government of The United States of America, and I wanted my children to have a good understanding of liberty as we learn about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
These four books are an excellent introduction into concepts of liberty and economics and are written so that 5-11 year old children can understand! The books are written by Connor Boyack, a well-known name in our state. Mr. Boyack is the founder and president of Libertas Institute, a think tank that claims to “advance the cause of liberty in Utah.” They are known for protecting Constitutional rights, researching and discussing bills and laws, and educating anyone willing to listen. Mr. Boyack wrote these books intending to teach his children (and others) about the principles of freedom.
These books follow Emily and Ethan Tuttle, nine-year-old twins, as they learn new things by asking questions about laws, rights, and the economy. The author has taken complex written works and simplified them. The concepts taught to young children through these stories are things that many adults didn’t learn (or understand) until college, if at all. Teaching children these concepts while they are young will trigger their memories later when they hear about unfair laws or economic issues, and encourage them to learn more and speak up.
The books are illustrated by Elijah Stanfield. The pictures are large, realistic, colorful, and help keep children interested in the story. There are translations in various languages including Spanish, Swedish, French, Portuguese, Italian, German, and Korean. Not all of the languages are available for each book yet. There are activity workbooks available for each book as an additional purchase, or there are combo packs that include books and workbooks. I would love to extend our studies of these books by using the workbooks!
The first book in the series, The Tuttle Twins Learn About the Law is 62 pages long and teaches principles of liberty and the proper role of government. It contains a note written as if from Frédéric Bastiat, and is a simplified version of his book, The Law. It teaches kids that stealing is wrong no matter who does it, and discusses legal plunder and true laws.
The Tuttle Twins and the Miraculous Pencil is 64 pages long and discusses economy and free market. It is a simplified version of the essay, “I, Pencil” by Leonard Read. The book contains a note from Leonard, a glossary, and discussion questions. It encourages children to think about division of labor and how we cooperate with people around the world to exchange products.
The Tuttle Twins and the Food Truck Fiasco is 58 pages long and teaches principles of economics. It teaches children about encouraging and preserving a free market system in a way that they are likely familiar with - food trucks and a lemonade stand. These principles are discussed in greater detail in Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt. The book includes a note from Henry, a glossary, and discussion questions. Reading this book with my children brought many discussions about government interference and how it has manipulated businesses that are familiar to us. There are food truck regulations in question in our state right now, and we’re waiting the final stages of a bill to allow them more freedom.
One of my children said, “In this book, I learned about something I had never heard of before, protectionism. I learned that some people make silly laws to hurt other people, or prevent them from doing things that don’t cause any harm. “
The Tuttle Twins and the Creature from Jekyll Island is 58 pages and portrays a money stealing creature. There is a glossary and discussion questions section. This book is an excellent introduction to understanding the economy, inflation, and currency. It introduces children to concepts such as coin clipping and fiat currency.
One of my children said, “I really like this book because it was extremely interesting. I learned a lot of new things about why some things are so expensive, and why money isn’t worth as much as it used to be. I learned about how money used to be gold, but over time it has been changed.”
I would recommend these books for al children, homeschool or public school. These books are good for children to read by themselves or as read-aloud with the family or a group. I love the discussion questions included, the books bring up many topics and questions themselves, but it’s nice to have the extra questions to stretch the children’s thinking. The books encourage the reader to think about the topics taught, and look at their own lives and the community and government around them to better understand liberty and economics. I appreciate the help the books provide in teaching right from wrong, and encouraging children to consider what is fair for all. In a world where politics is getting increasingly frustrating, these books provide a great foundation for children and will help them be ready to understand complex issues as they grow up.
-Product review by Deann H, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March, 2017