There’s a quote I’ve been intrigued by, recently- seen on t-shirts and coffee mugs and notebooks: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” As I was reading Three Pennies, a poignant new chapter book written by Melanie Crowder, this quote kept popping into my head, for the protagonist, only eleven years old, faces battles that are nearly invisible to outsiders but cast an enormous burden on her daily life. Her struggles as a foster child, though – a little girl fighting to be reunited with the mother she never knew — are real, and, unfortunately, all too common in the United States
Marin Greene, the protagonist in Three Pennies, is a foster kid. In just eleven years, she has been left by her mother and bounced from one foster home to another, nothing but a head to help her foster parents bring in extra money to pay their rents. Marin has few memories of her birth mother, and instead carries with her only a book she believes was her mom’s favorite, a piggy bank containing exactly one nickel, and three pennies. When Marin’s social worker eventually takes her to Dr. Lucy’s home with hopes that this placement will become permanent, Marin does everything she can to sabotage it, believing her real mother is out there– out there and waiting for her. Will Marin’s wishes come true? Or is her actual desire one she never knew she yearned for?
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With approximately 400,000 children living in foster care in the United States, Three Pennies is a fabulous new book I have no doubt will serve as both a mirror for some children and a window for others. Every child longs to be loved and valued – these are universal yearnings that, unfortunately, not all kids are fortunate enough to experience in their daily lives. Three Pennies conveys this longing beautifully. Set against the backdrop of a looming earthquake, Crowder deftly weaves together the perspectives of multiple characters to create a memorable novel about an important topic facing too many children in the world today. Two trunks up!
Want the book? Get it here! Three Pennies, by Melanie Crowder. *This is an affiliate link. HEE received a copy of this book from the publisher, but all opinions expressed herein are expressly our own.