Author: Elaina Redmond
Illustrator: Scott Stewart
Publisher: Spencer Publishing
The Power of the Penny is an amazingly illustrated children’s book expounding a number of principles. Redmond cleverly examines the penny, the words inscribed on it, and the President whose picture is on it. This concept is powerful, yet simple – take the coin with the least monetary value and enlighten children to its true value.
Redmond demonstrates that the penny “holds deepest treasures within its true essence.” The penny represents equality, freedom, honesty, the human spirit, faith, and spirituality. The author explores the words and phrases such as Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum. She does this in great detail explaining what each means and the results they have in our lives today.
The Power of the Penny is a wonderful tool to help guide children and instill self-worth. And, more importantly, it shows that as one, an individual, we each have the power to make changes not only in ourselves, but in the world.
The book depicts Abraham Lincoln’s life and values, and encourages children to follow Lincoln’s lead and “be like Honest Abe, a hero and inspiration.” What is especially useful about The Power of the Penny is that it provides activity pages that are thought provoking and prompt the readers to action:
“When you see the penny, think of it as the messenger of HOPE! Let it inspire possibility as you travel a Hero’s journey; to build character, conquer fear and create your dreams.”
“Develop yourself to be your best and stand strong as “One” from many.”
“Learn and grow to shape and show how your choices help this world and this nation stand as a force for positive creation.”
There are many other characteristics and values Redmond encourages children to pursue such as kindness, passion, honesty, wisdom, and happiness, all based on the value of the penny.
I highly recommend The Power of the Penny for 4th through 6th grades. It is a book that all children in these grades should read. It will hopefully instill those values that Redmond finds in the penny, and enlighten children to the possibilities all around them, as well as the power within them.
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