This early elementary 20 page story is an entertaining, yet informative look at community and economics on a kid’s level. It features black Muslim characters, business owning women of color, commerce, charity, and relevance. I loved the cadence of the book, the illustrations, and the simple text. Sure, maybe a dollar isn’t much and it is a transparent simplistic view, but it makes the point of how when you shop local everyone benefits, and how the path money takes impacts everyone it touches.
David is getting his dollar after doing his chores, and he is ready to head to the candy shop to see what to spend it on. At Sammy’s sweets, he decides to get five peppermints, and just like that his hard earned money is gone. He asks his dad where the money went and off they head to Mansa’s juice shop. When Sammy comes in and buys a drink, out comes David’s dollar and now it is in Mansa’s hands.
David and his Daddy follow the money and see it change hands at Layla’s Pizza Shop, and then Madame C’s Braids, before heading to Uncle Kareem’s hardware store where the dollar too has ended up. It is time to pray so Uncle Kareem, Daddy, and David head to the mosque.
After Salah the Imam tells the crowd that a family’s house has burned down and they are collecting sadaqah. David tells Uncle Kareem that that dollar should go to the family. At night, David recalls all the places his dollar traveled and resolves to learn more math.
The book starts with a beautiful heartfelt gratitude message to Allah swt and the community of supporters. The end of the book features a detailed bio of the book’s poet author and his successes and praises.
The story is rooted in an Islamic community, but is for all readers of all faiths. There is no preaching or details about belief. many women have hijab on, there are Islamic names, they go to the mosque, they pray, and they give sadaqah.