First, there are lots of living book definitions out in cyber land. For me, a living book is a story that brings a topic to life. Here is a detailed definition. It could be social studies, history or math just to name a few. There are also oodles of lists on living math books. This past few weeks we have done an impromptu unit on money. I have found lots of great resources that I already own!! Here are just a couple of great 'living books' on the subject of math.
If You Made a Million teachers the the 'power of the dollar' through a brief introduction of the concept of 'interest.' It starts out with what you might purchase for a penny and works it's way up to a million dollars. It discusses how many pennies, nickels etc.. it might take to make various amounts of money and why 'checks' are important as well as how checks are processed.
Another fun book we have read is Money Troubles by Bill Cosby. In this book, Bill desires to save up for a telescope which costs $100. He learns the value of hard work and then in the end a social lesson is learned as he determines that other people have greater needs than he does.
We are reading two books which are not living books but are wonderful resources and written in a very 'learning friendly' style. Larry Burkett's All About Money discusses how banks work and a bit of history behind money. Kids' Money Book by Neale S. Godfrey is chock full of history, the workings of economy and much much more. I love it so much that when I couldn't find it on my bookshelf I repurchased the book!
If you are interested in more living math here is a website for you and another here.
We also added a bit of practical workings to our study of money. A few weeks ago Andrew ran a lemonade stand and was able, with a donation from mom and dad to buy Babo. We decided to institute an allowance; a nickel here, a quarter there and three weeks later Uglydog was able to join the family.
If you are interested in Uglydolls you can peek at the archives of Andrew's blog.