Monday, July 11, 2016

Review: The Penny Predicament by Veola Vazquez

The Coin Chronicles, Book Two
by Veola Vazquez
Double Letter Press
Middle Grade
252 pages

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 the second book in the Coin Chronicles series. Although I didn't read the first one, I had no trouble diving into The Penny Predicament and didn't miss anything at all. In other words, this can be read as a stand alone with out any problem.

Jake King is a normal 12-year-old with normal 12-year-old problems until he eavesdrops on his parents and discovers his father has been laid off. Several weeks go by, and his father still has no luck in finding a job. Jake's mom is counting pennies at the supermarket and worries are running high. So Jake decides to take matters into his own hands.

This is a Christian novel but not the pushy kind. Rather, faith is subtly woven in so that it feels as natural as it does in any family. This is also a novel with lots of diversity, covering different races and cultures all with the ease that every day life often has. Kids nine and up will have no problem sinking into Jake's character as he battles troubles they'll recognize--acceptance, bullying, peer pressure. And Jake has a way of getting from one sticky situation into the next, which brings laughs and giggles at the right times.

There are cute illustrations dabbled through out the book, adding a little bit of fun. The pacing is a little slow at times but also gives a solid glance into Jake's life--all situation kids will recognize and sympathize with.

Summed up, this is a nice, solid read about a boy who tries to deal with things as best he can. Kids ages nine and up will be able to relate to Jake nicely and see how faith and a little imagination mixed with hard work can move things in unexpected ways.

All about. . .

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.

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