Published: Dec 21, 2016 2 min read
Photograph by Shayla Hunter

Cash might top the holiday wish list for the teens and young adults in your life. But do they know what to do with it, besides blowing it at the mall or their favorite online retailer?

Financial literacy isn’t a standard part of most middle and high school curriculums, and it shows. A study last year found that 20-somethings had trouble answering basic questions about investing, interest rates and inflation. And lacking a solid foundation, many adults have trouble building a secure financial life. A startling report by the Federal Reserve Board found that 46% of adults say they could not cover a hypothetical emergency expense costing $400 --or would have to cover it by selling something or borrowing money.

With the holidays around the corner, Money asked financial literacy experts, educators, and a few financially savvy parents to recommend some books that could help. Here is a list you can use to teach the teens and young adults you know about both personal and global financial topics -- hopefully without feeling like you've assigned homework.

We’ve included affiliate links into this article. Click here to learn what those are.