My Book!

Photo by Lewis Hine, 1917. 7-year old truant newsie. Library of Congress.

Time Jump Coins is about time-travel magic, the history of Philadelphia and of coins, and figuring out who your true friends are.

Ten-year-old Joey (Johanna) finds a folder of Indian Head Pennies. There is one for every year from 1859-1909. When she rubs the 1889 penny she finds herself on the streets of 1889 Philadelphia, where she meets a magician and conjoined twin singers. It turns out she can travel to any year from the penny set just by rubbing the coin!

Joey doesn’t have any friends because of her “temper tiger”–she loses her temper easily. But Eli, who is assigned to sit next to her on the bus, seems to enjoy talking with her. He is super smart but sometimes has trouble with simple social interactions because he has Asperger’s Syndrome. Joey decides to share the pennies only with Eli, and they time travel together. Old Philadelphia can be a lot of fun! They see the first phone and climb up the arm of the Statue of Liberty at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition. They get to go on a sleigh ride through a Wissahickon winter wonderland. But when they visit a textile mill in Manayunk they learn all time travel is risky and dangerous.

Only Joey and Eli know the pennies are magic, but the pair do find an ally in Hal, owner of Hal’s Coins and Collectibles. Hal is an expert about coins, and Joey and Eli discover that all coins, magic or not, are interesting.

Joey and Eli make a good team. But the popular girls don’t think Eli is cool. Sometimes Eli drives Joey crazy, and sometimes it seems like Eli is just not that interested in being friends with Joey. Will Joey have to choose between the popular girls and Eli? Will their quirks drive them apart, or worse, get them stranded in the past forever?

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