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Sam and the Lucky Money
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Sam and the Lucky Money

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  206 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
Sam can hardly wait to go shopping with his mom. It's Chinese New Year's day and his grandparents have given him the traditional gift of lucky money red envelopes called leisees (lay-sees). This year Sam is finally old enough to spend it any way he chooses. Best of all, he gets to spend his lucky money in his favorite place Chinatown! But when Sam realizes that his grandpa ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 1st 1995 by Lee & Low Books (first published 1995)
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(showing 1-30 of 437)
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Anaese Vega
Nov 10, 2012 Anaese Vega rated it it was amazing
Grade/Interest Le vel: Primary/Upper Elementary (1st-3rd grade)
Reading Level: Fountas-Pinnel, P
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Multicultural, Picture Book

Main Characters: Mom, Dad, and Sam.
Setting: Chinatown, New York.
POV: Sam

This story is about a Chinese boy named Sam. Each year on the Chinese New Year, Sam’s parents give him Lucky Money to spend in the amount of 4 dollars. Usually, Sam is told he has to use them to buy a pair of socks or a new notebook. However, this year, Sam’s parents
Mar 13, 2012 Patty rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-picture
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Vegan
Feb 11, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Abigail A.
Well, Sam is just a cutie. Even before he decides how to use his lucky New Year money, he’s just so adorable. The illustrations of Sam and everyone and everything are so colorful and vibrant; they’re just wonderful. The story, about generosity and being grateful for what you’re given/what you have, is a morality tale, but it’s a good, although short, story. The reader/listener will learn a little bit about Chinese New Year from the book and the story & pictures are more than enough to hold o ...more
Jul 01, 2012 Tara rated it really liked it
I read this book to my Year 3 class as we were learning about China. This book was a great way into Chinese culture and tradition. It’s about a young boy called Sam who receives his New Year’s gift money from his grandparents. However, he doesn’t have enough money to buy what he wants and his excitement turns into disappointment. Even after his mother tells him that he should appreciate the gifts he has received he is still unhappy. This is until he meets a stranger in Chinatown and Sam does a k ...more
Carla Vazquez
Jul 16, 2012 Carla Vazquez rated it really liked it
Narrator telling the story.
Sam was given leisees by his grandparents every year for New Year. Leisees are crisp dollars that are plaved in red envelopes. When he arrives at Chinatown he describes what he sees around him. He looks at things he want to buy with his money ,but what he wanted to buy was to expensive. Throughout the whole day he kept thinking about the homeless man he kicked by accident when he was playing. At the end he decided to give his money to the man and felt very happy afterw
Carmen Pagan
Sep 29, 2015 Carmen Pagan rated it it was amazing

Sam and The Lucky Money by Karen Chinn is a book about a young boy who is celebrating the Chinese New Year with his family. He receives 4 dollars as a gift to spend as he pleases. He does not have enough money for the things he wants to buy and decided that his money is more of value to those who need it more than him.
This book shows us that giving can be just as rewarding as receiving. The boy was happy he got new years money, but he was just as happy giving it away to a homeless man that va
Morgan Carter
Mar 12, 2014 Morgan Carter rated it really liked it
Sam and the Lucky Money, by Karen Chinn was a great book about a Chinese boy named Sam who receives "lucky money" every year for the new year. Each year, Sam is told to spend the money on certain objects except this year when they let him spend it on anything he wanted. As Sam begins his shopping, he runs into a homeless man and notices that the man is not wearing any shows. As the story goes on, Sam runs into the man again and this time gives him his money that he received from his parents. Th ...more
Alex Baugh
Feb 14, 2014 Alex Baugh rated it really liked it
Shelves: randomly-reading
In Sam and the Lucky Money, Sam has been give four red envelopes, one from each of his grandparents, each one containing &1.00. Sam thinks he is quite rich with his $4.00 and is especially happy because this year, his mom said he can buy anything he wants with his fortune.

On the morning of the big New Year parade, Sam and his mom go shopping for all the things they will need to celebrate the New Year at home. The streets are crowded and busy with people out doing the same things as Sam and
Oct 02, 2015 Kellean rated it liked it
Shelves: rll-538
It is Chinese New Year and Sam is given lucky money by his grandparents and this year he is allowed to spend it on whatever he chooses. Will he choose a toy? Will he choose a sweet bun? On his way to the China Town with his mom, Sam encounters a homeless man without shoes or socks. He apologizes for running in to him, but he and his mom continue on their way. In the bakery, he no longer feels hungry and finds that he does not have enough money to buy any of the toys that he wants. Upset that he ...more
Matt Vagts
Multicultural-literature book #5
This book was about a boy named Sam. He had gotten 4 dollars and he was able to spend it on anything he wanted. So on new years day his mother took him shopping. First they stopped at the vegetable stands so his mother could get some food. While walking around Sam came across a man just laying on the side walk with no shoes on. Sam got scared and ran off to find his mother. They then went to a bakery and while same was looking around he heard the parade coming so
Mar 14, 2012 Samantha rated it liked it
Recommended to Samantha by: Alexandria
As I've mentioned before, I love books with characters by the name of Sam. Sam's are the coolest, and this Sam is no exception. He learns a priceless lesson about the value of money to people with different lifestyles. =)
Chris Maynard
Student Name: Chris Maynard

Purpose: Picture Book (Wide Reading Project)

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Format: Picture Book

Grade: Intermediate

Subject/Themes: See Above Bookshelves

School Use: Sam and the Lucky Money has great applications beyond teaching students about homelessness and the importance of putting materialism aside for the sake of helping others. I can see this being used in a social studies classroom around the holidays to teach about different celebrations such as the Chinese New Year. Si
Jan 03, 2010 Connie rated it liked it
Sam is a lucky kid. It's Chinese New Year, he has four dollars of HIS own lucky money to spend (and he can spend it however he likes, not just on "practical" things), he has family that loves him enough to give him cash just because it's a holiday... he's got luck coming out of his ears, not that he knows it.

And you know, it's an exciting day. There's the lion, and it's a holiday, and it's crowded, and he's got that money to spend. Of course, when he meets a homeless guy, shoeless in winter, at
Nicki Blomquist
This book takes a traditional Asian holiday and brings it to a big American city. While doing so readers experience the Chinese New Year and some of the special events and treats that go with it.

The little boy in this story is given free rein to spend his New Year's dollars any way he wants this year. As he thinks this over the reader is introduced to the bakery, which sells Chinese pastry. While shopping in the crowded streets Sam meets a homeless man who is not wearing any shoes. Sam is start
Jill Wolf
Mar 26, 2016 Jill Wolf rated it it was ok
Shelves: multicultural
Multicultural #8
This book is about a boy and his family on the day of the New Year's celebration. During the book, the big dragon and festivities are discussed. Each year on this day, his grandparents give him leases (kind of like dollars) that are to be lucky. During the book, Sam realizes that he cannot buy anything he wants with the money given to him by his Chinese grandparents. Instead, he decides to give his lucky money to a man without shoes or socks. Then, Sam realizes that he is alread
Feb 05, 2014 Jenny rated it really liked it
Sam is very excited. It is Chinese New Year and he has four dollars to spend on whatever he wants....should he buy sweet buns or a toy? Seeing a man on the street with no socks or shoes helps him to reflect on what he has. Gorgeous illustrations and a little bit about Chinese New Year celebrations. Teaches gratitude and generosity and would pair nicely with nonfiction about Chinese New Year.
Eva Leger
Aug 10, 2011 Eva Leger rated it liked it
Shelves: julias-books
Sam and the Lucky Money is a nice story about being thankful for what you do have, even when you may be disappointed in what you don't.
After Sam gets his New Years presents from his grandparents he can't wait to go shopping. In the end he finds that he not only doesn't have enough for what he wants but he doesn't have enough to do much at all. Sam, like a lot of kids these days, isn't very happy about this and it shows. I think many a kid will be able to relate to this.
While shopping in Chinatow
Feb 20, 2015 Haley rated it it was amazing
This children’s book follows a young boy and his mother as they go into town during the Chinese New Year to spend his leisees (lucky money). The boy quickly realizes he cannot buy anything with $4.00 and decides to give it to a homeless man he had previously ran into. This book is not only great for our Chinese students but it is also a great lesson on what is really important and how we can help those in need.
Ms Threlkeld
Feb 02, 2016 Ms Threlkeld rated it liked it
A good lesson on generosity and introduction to Chinese New Year, but probably a tad too text-heavy to make a good read aloud.
Christine McKenna Lok
Nice story! $4 is worth even less now than in 1995 when the book was written.
Kayla Whitlock
Apr 22, 2014 Kayla Whitlock rated it it was amazing
Shelves: international
This book could be used for economic unit. You could even use it for empathy.
Mar 10, 2016 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Virtue: generosity/ unselfishness
Jan 26, 2011 Debra rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Sam receives leisees (lucky money) for the New Year celebration. He is told he may spend it any way he chooses. During shopping he encounters a homeless man without a jacket and shoes. Sam also finds out that his lucky money does not buy much of anything that he would like. He gives his lucky money to the homeless man who could actually buy something needed. This is a great diversity/multicultural read. It is sprinkled with Chinese customs and words. The decision Sam makes adds another dimension ...more
Katherine Fountain
Apr 10, 2012 Katherine Fountain rated it it was amazing
Shelves: multi-cultural, theme
What a sweet and heart warming book with Chinese culture included into the text and pictures. The young boy receives lucky money ($4) for the Chinese New Year. He is so excited to go spend it in the markets but quickly realizes that $4 is not enough for a basketball. He ends up donating the money to a homeless person that he had seen earlier in the day. This story teaches compassion and sacrifice while also incorporating Chinese locations and customs. This story would be best for first grade thr ...more
Mar 12, 2013 Mommywest rated it it was amazing
When Sam receives his lucky money for Chinese New Year, his grandparents say he can spend it however he likes. But as his family goes out shopping for the special food and supplies they need to celebrate the holiday, Sam has a hard time finding something he can afford to buy. An unexpected meeting with a special stranger gives Sam an idea. Heart-warming story! Preschool Unit: Chinese New Year (Friends In Many Lands). Could also be used for a unit on love or friendship or service.
Nov 26, 2012 Lde212_06 rated it really liked it
Sam and the Lucky Money is a great book to have in your classroom. It might not be a book that is read aloud to students, but it is a good source to have on your bookshelf. Even though Sam is excited about receiving money and finding something to buy, he ultimately decides to give the money to a person who is less fortunate. This book allows students to gain some knowledge about the Chinese New Year while also taking in a meaning of what it mean to be generous.
Jun 02, 2016 Linda rated it liked it
Although this book is slightly predictable, it is a good introduction to celebrations in other cultures. Easily read by 3rd grade and higher level younger readers.
This is a great book to introduce diversity into the classroom. The story was centered around the Chinese New Year and did a great job of bringing other aspects of the culture into the story ( language and symbols). It also touched on the idea of needs and wants, generosity, and homelessness. It is a well rounded book and a great resource for the classoom.
Natalie Heavrin
This is a great book to teach students about the holidays of other cultures. This book contained information about Chinese New Year, aspects of the culture, and even chinese language and symbols. It's also a great story to lead into talking about charity, generosity, and those who are less fourtunate. The pictures are detailed and realistic.
Jillian Warren
This book was a wonderful introduction to the Chinese New Year. It gave information about the new year in a very subtle way that was just mentioned in the story line. It also included many other themes which makes it a very deep story and makes it very useful in the classroom. I loved the realistic style if illustrations.
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