• 32 Pages
  • 8" x 10"
  • 9780807547823
  • March 2010

Buy from Albert Whitman


  • Math and wry comedy mix in this lively historical story based on Birtha’s grandmother’s memories of life during the Depression.

    - Booklist

  • Young readers thus will discover fun, realistic applications for the estimating and multiplication skills they learn in their classrooms. Math is not the only subject in Birtha’s lively lesson plan, though…Lucky Beans can be used across the curriculum to educate while it entertains. Ideal for classrooms and school libraries, it’s also a strong choice for public libraries.

    - School Library Journal

  • The family works together to survive and finds moments of love, appreciation and sheer happiness…Tadgell’s watercolor illustrations move the story and stir readers’ emotions. A two-page spread of the contestants in the store teaches readers everything they need to know about the characters without a letter of text.

    - Kirkus Reviews

  • With its math and social studies elements, this will be a practical book for schools, but it’s also a welcome addition to the growing number of picture books about families getting through difficult economic times.

    - The Horn Book Magazine

  • This heartwarming story provides young readers a lesson in addition and multiplication and reveals a family’s perseverance to make the best of life’s circumstances. Lucky Beans is based on stories about the author’s grandmother during the Depression. Tadgell’s pastel-like illustrations bring genuine warmth to this story.

    - Multicultural Review

  • This story is fitting for today’s economic times, and along with the social studies and math connection, it will be welcome in any classroom…Soft watercolors bring to life the 1930s and the warmth of togetherness of a loving African-American family.

    - Children's Literature

Awards & Accolades

  • 2010 BookLinks Lasting Connection
  • CCBC Choices 2011
  • NYPL 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2010
  • Smithsonian Magazine 2010 Notable Books for Children
  • 2012-2013 Show Me Readers Award Nominee List (Missouri)
  • 2013 Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award


Nicole Tadgell

Common Core

RL.K.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,10 RL.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9 RL.2.1,2,3,5,6,7,9,10 M.3.MD.A.2

Activities & Resources


  • Accelerated Reader Points: 0.50
  • ATOS Level: 4.00