Wednesday, April 8, 2015

MR. SAMUEL'S PENNY by Treva Hall Melvin

This young adult book is a cross-over for adults, perfect for Parent-Child Book Groups.
New Yorker Lizbeth, 14, is spending the summer with her small town North Carolina aunt and uncle.  On her very first day in Ahoskie a murder occurs that intrigues her because of the special penny the deceased is clutching in his hand.  Determined to discover both the penny and the murderer, Lizbeth discovers the slowness of small town life along with prejudice, compassion, violence, love, greed and generous neighborliness among the residents and relatives she encounters. 
Realistic characters and situations carry the slow moving plot along.  1972 in the South is clearly presented.  Watching Lizbeth grow in maturity and change over the summer is a pleasant foil to the murder mystery.  The importance of family and respect, the keeping and telling of secrets and the surprising revelations are all good topics for discussion.
5 of 5 stars

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