Oli’s Uncommon Cents by Deborah Allen

Oli’s Uncommon Cents
By Deborah Allen
138 Pages – Ages 10+
Published by Xulon Press on March 9, 2012

Oli Swank was really sad that her Grandpa (Geepa) died. Geepa left Oli his special coin pouch. One day, she opened the pouch and heard voices coming from it! She took the coins out and realized that money in Geepa’s coin pouch are not what they seem! Each coin can speak and they all have different personalities. The coins teach Oli how to be a good person. They teach her to be honest, kind, and much more! Oli learns to love the coins and their true value (which is totally not $1.41)!

This was a book with a  good message. I really liked Oli as a main character. The story is told through her perspective and I could tell her feelings really well. I really liked all of the five coins (I love their names! Nicolette the nickel, Penny the, well, penny, Buck the silver dollar, Two Bits the quarter) and Dimeon the dime was the best. He was a veteran, nice, French-speaking dime. I like the pencil-sketch illustrations, they were very nice to look at. There were a couple throughout the book and they really added to the story. My favorite part was when Oli and Ben (a friend of Oli) were attacked by wolves because it was really exciting.  I like the play on words in the title. It really tells what the book is about! The book was a quick read for me. I think the book is good for 9+ kids because the wolf attack and there is a part where Oli gets hit by a car that might be upsetting to littler kids.

I give “Oli’s Uncommon Cents” a space on my library shelf and 4 out of 5 bookworms.

If you want to know more about the author, Deborah Allen, visit her website HERE.

Categories: Age 9+

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20 replies

  1. I see this was published very recently. It has an unusual story and I think it is quite challenging to anthropomorphize inanimate objects and it really sounds like Deborah Allen has managed to pull it off here!

  2. The title caught my attention right away. Your review helped clarify what I was hoping it meant…and I was glad to be close to the premise. The sketch on the cover is wonderful as well. As someone who can barely draw a stick figure, I’m always in awe of those who can sketch so well.

    • The illustrations are great in this book and I think you would like Oli’s Uncommon Cents. If you do like the illustration in this book, you might want to check out Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck, both books by Brian Selznick 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

  3. This is a very different story and you made it sound well worth reading, Erik. Great review! 🙂

  4. Great review Erik! This sounds like a really unique and cool book, thanks for reviewing. Best of luck to Deborah Allen:)

  5. What a striking title and cover! And I like the thread of knowledge being passed down. Too bad wolves are so often the bad guys – they’re my favorite!

  6. Thank you, Erik, for the review! And, thanks to all who commented. If you have children in your lives, or know of others who do, that have self-worth issues then this is a great book for them. I try to seize the opportunity to speak into the lives of those young people who question their value, who better to understand the meaning of value than five coins, who in today’s economy probably question their own value and fate 😉

    Julie, I too love wolves and here in northern Idaho we try to inform all those who venture into the wilderness to beware of taking dogs with them, in the story the wolves do not attack people, their target are the dogs accompanying the people. It’s rare that a wolf would attack a person without cause. I just wanted to clear that confusion.

  7. I really like this cover. The light and dark contrast are striking. It looks very appealing and sounds very interesting!

  8. what a great idea for a children’s story. It is hard for children to cope with the death of someone. This sounds as though t has a wonderful message.

  9. This sounds like a great book. I like stories of how young people deal with the loss of a loved one. It sounds like Oli’s grandfather left her something very special. I enjoy books with a good message. You may also want to check out “Looking For Bapu” by Anjali Banerjee Erik. Thanks again for a great review and recommendation.

  10. Sounds like a truly interesting book. And the book cover looks haunting.

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