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Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Penny Predicament by Veola Vazquez

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're diving between the pages of a Middle Grade Fiction selection with a dash of diversity and a heaping dose of love from the Big Man upstairs.  If I had to guess, I'd say it'll attract everyone from the Wimpy and MacKenzie fans to those who simply love a good story with heart.  It's the second release in the Coin Chronicles series, and though I've not read the first, it worked quite well as a stand alone.  So throw those reservations to the wind and join me as we discover today's book of choice...

The Coin Chronicles, Book 2
Illustrated by
Double Letter Press

About the book...
What would a 12-year-old boy do to help save his family from financial ruin? In Jake King’s case, he’d do just about anything. But uncertainty sets in as his plans go awry, his friendships start to fail and his faith takes a few hits. Finding a rare coin worth a fortune might be the answer. But what if it’s not real? Will Jake lose his best friend and his family’s future at the same time? Only God knows and, hopefully, he’ll let Jake in on it.


This is a story that hits close to home for many while reminding us to not sweat the small stuff, and that EVERYTHING is small stuff.  It allows readers of all ages to share in Jake's very personal struggle to overcome his family's circumstances while at the same time shining a light on the fact that while we can affect SOME things, we can't change everything...only HE can...and putting our faith in His power in times of hardship though difficult is exactly what we're suppose to do.

Image result for jars of pennies

Jake is a wonderful lad.  Model student, perfect brother, best best friend ever...okay, let me stop there because if He is involved in this post, fibbing should be kept out of the mix.  *smirk*  Jake IS a wonderful lad but perfect, he is not.  He gets into disagreements with his brother, unintentionally ignores his best friend when those cooler than them (seemingly) come calling, and gets up to what could be considered mischief despite his intentions.  He's a kid; normal, average, everyday, but that's all a part of his charm.  It makes him easy to relate to and for our male readers, that's something not always easily attained.  Getting back to Jake, outside of his normal-ness, he has something that he definitely owns...his coin collecting.  Yes, my friends, he has a penchant for collecting coins anywhere, anytime, anyhow and some of those "hows" are exactly why he lands in sticky situations.  The collecting urge itself, though, might just be what the doctor ordered to get him and his family out of the circumstances that have befallen them...but not without some well-meaning yet misdirected antics first.  *giggle*

I'll admit, despite the Godly mention in the synopsis, the religious aspect, the beliefs shared actually took me by surprise.  They weren't unfounded or something I've never heard, I just didn't see the story taking that turn and after the initial jolt, it felt like the perfect match-up for Jake and friends.  After all, who wouldn't want to team up with the big G-O-D, right?  The author took it not in the preachy direction it could of went but more in a reminder fashion as to the fact that we are not alone in our struggles, there IS always someone to turn to in our times of need, and that we're never given more than we can truly handle.  (I can't say I always remember that, especially in those actual trying moments, but the reinforcement of the ideals never hurt anyone.)  She let's Jake take his own responsibility for his actions despite his good intentions but also shares that lesson learned with his parents, something that translates well from the page to a real life call to action...and the ending?  Well, you'll have to read it to believe it because while being a total surprise, it reinforces once again the "leave things in His hands" thought pattern.

Image result for pennies from heaven

In the end, it's a story filled with heart that tells us to hold our loved ones close and never forget how truly special we are.  There may be difficulties that we have to face in our lives, but we're never truly facing them alone...a comforting thought for all, but especially for kiddos that may be going through similar experiences.  The author has done a fine job of creating a realistic tale of fiction with the occasional illustration to raise a smile to your lips that will stick with you after the final page has been turned.  Recommended for the target MG audience as well as though readers a bit more beyond in years.


About the author...

Dr. Veola Vazquez, the mother of two boys, uses humor, personal experience and insight to captivate young readers. As a Christian psychologist, she approaches the difficult issues of young life in a way that encourages and instructs the children who read her books. Her witty and fun stories build on real life issues to teach lessons about faith, friendship and family. 

In addition to her works for children, Dr. Vazquez maintains a website and blog where she provides tools for parenting and devotionals to encourage Godly living. With a specialty in childhood issues such as AD/HD and childhood depression, anxiety and trauma, she has special insight into the ways parents can be most helpful to their children. Also, as a mother herself and a wife of over 20 years, she uses her personal wisdom in conjunction with her professional experience to guide and inspire families.

With a passion for helping both children and families, Dr. Vazquez is also a Bible teacher and inspirational speaker for women's events and mom's groups. In addition to her inspirational teaching, she is also a professor at a Christian university in Southern California where she teaches both graduate and undergraduate psychology courses. 

Finally, Dr. Vazquez loves to spend her time reading and taking walks with her family and wiener dog, Paco.



Image result for thank you

Special thanks to author Veola Vazquez for the copy for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, or the series, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now via Double Letter Press, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.  Don't miss book one in the series, The Nickel Nuisance, available now and the forthcoming book three, The Quarter Question, a perfect addition to your wish list.

Until next time...happy reading!

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