A Penny in Time

Anna Bartlett

IP Kids

There are a few things that I quickly noted and appreciated about this book.  Firstly I love the Australian history theme.  I will personally seek out books about Australian History, it is so interesting and I never stop learning.  I think this is an important subject and often not fully explored or appreciated at schools.  Secondly I like the characters.  The two main characters Yared an adopted Ethiopian boy and his Nanna are enjoyably out of the norm.  Nanna is quite a firm lady, not your cuddly affectionate type.  A tough nut to crack.  Yared who is staying with his Nanna while his parents take a break together to try to work out their marital problems, is having his own problems.  He feels misplaced being at his Nanna’s who as mentioned isn’t exactly comforting, his school life is unsettling him also as a teacher has questioned how “Australian” he is and his cultural origins.  For Yared who knows nothing of Ethiopia this is confusing and he does not wish to be made to feel like he doesn’t belong.  The other great thing about this book is the way Anna Bartlett has made it into a series of short stories within a story.  This makes for easy reading and a lovely variety while absorbing the changes through out our history.  Great for shared reading in the classroom!

A penny in Time is a journey of  a 1911 Australian Penny.  Yared and his Nanna discover the sharing of stories creates a bond while also bridging the generation gap.  Nanna tells Yared a story before bed each night with the Penny as a feature.  Starting in 1911 and continuing til the devastation of Cyclone Tracy.  Each from a different place in time with a different character, a different family and a different set of circumstances.   Well written, entertaining and full of facts.  A Penny in Time is a great book for pure enjoyment and the classroom.

A Bug in a Book Recommended Review

Angela Hall

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