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V16 2013 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 16, Number 37, September 8, 2013, Article 6

BOOK REVIEW: THE WISHFUL PENNY

In his Coin Collectors Blog for September 3, 2013, Scott Barman published a review of a new children's book, The Wishful Penny. Here an excerpt. The book and CD set list at $19.95, but are currently available from the publisher at $14.95, with free shipping. -Editor

Wishful Penny Rosie was not just a riveter during World War II but she also worked at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia making blanks for coins.

Working in the blanking room at the U.S. Mint was not an easy job. It was hot, loud, and Rosie was confused. Even though she was supposed to feed a sheet of zinc coated steel into the blanking press, Rosie fed a sheet of copper. With the press of a button, 40 copper blanks were made.

Rosie panicked. The president ordered that the U.S. Mint not use the copper for coins so it could be used for the war effort. Not knowing what to do, Rosie let the coins proceed to the next stations where they were washed and “pinched” to create rims keeping her fingers crossed that nobody found out.

The copper blanks were fed into the press along with the zinc-coated steel blanks and thus was born Penny, a 1943 copper cent.

The Wishful Penny is the story of Penny’s adventure from her accidental birth, to an ice cream shop, across the Atlantic, back again, and how one wish made on Penny comes true.

Written for readers in grades 3-5 with a story that can be appreciated by younger students, The Wishful Penny written by J.J. (Jennifer Jo) Young.

The use of factual information makes the story more appealing. Forget the fact that I am some-number-of-many-years beyond the target age group for this book, it has the ability to not only teach the students but also the teachers who may have not thought about using coins as a teaching tool. If a teacher wants to use this book for classroom instruction, the authors offer a teacher’s kit that includes books, worksheets, discussion questions, activities, history tie-ins, and script with a CD of music to allow the students to perform the book as a play.

I did not know what to expect when I agreed to review this book. But I was surprised how engaging it was even for a “vintage” person like me. Even though Penny ends up at less than an Mint State (MS) grade by the end of the book, I grade this book MS68 with a recommendation that if your young reader does have reading difficulties also purchase the audio CD. In fact, you may want to consider purchasing the teacher’s kit and donate it to your child’s school. Or for the classes looking to put on a play, why not consider the full-length musical with recorded music. It has to be a great idea for teachers needing new material!

For more information, or to order, see: The Wishful Penny... a Book & CD Set! (seethewish.com/indexTWPJPset.html)

To read the complete article, see: REVIEW: “The Wishful Penny” should delight your young reader (coinsblog.ws/2013/09/review-the-wishful-penny-should-delight-your-young-reader.html)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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