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The Hundred Penny Box by Sharon Bell Mathis

The Hundred Penny Box (edition 2006)

by Sharon Bell Mathis, Leo Dillon (Illustrator), Diane Dillon (Illustrator)

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966238,947 (3.69)16
Title:The Hundred Penny Box
Authors:Sharon Bell Mathis
Other authors:Leo Dillon (Illustrator), Diane Dillon (Illustrator)
Info:Perfection Learning (2006), Hardcover, 47 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Newbery Award, Aging

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The Hundred Penny Box (Picture Puffin Books) by Sharon Bell Mathis



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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
This is a book that deals with family dynamics, and the power of memories. Michael's great-great aunt Dew, who is a hundred years old lives with him and his parents. She has a box that has a penny for every year she was alive, and when she goes through her hundred penny box with Michael she shares her life story. Her story goes through restoration, the great depressions and much more. Michael's mother and Aunt Dew don't understand each other, and it causes conflict in the household especially when Michael's mom decided she is going to get rid of the box that holds the hundred pennies. It is a great story to show the importance of ones history to who one is and for understanding differing view points. I can see this leading to lots of classroom activities, in particular students making their own "hundred penny box" ( )
  Alangenberg | Dec 13, 2016 |
This book is about Michael. Who learns lessons about life through his great great aunt Dew and her hundred pennies. She collected a penny every year of life and the memories that came with it.

Personal Reaction:
This was an amazing book. This boy learned so much from pennies and someone who couldn't even remember his name. It really shows that the littlest of things can have the most meaning.

Classroom Extension:
1. Create our own penny box. Let the children create their own box to hold their memories in.
2. Ask the children what is their favorite memory, no matter what it may be.
3. Share with the children the lesson behind the penny boxes. So that they don't think that it is just something to have and put things in.
  t.smith12 | Nov 28, 2016 |
This book is about a little boy and his great-great aunt who love to play with her hundred penny box. The little boy has done it numerous times, but each and every time he is so excited to do it again. The boy becomes angry when he finds out that his mother wants to throw out the box because it is so old.

I feel like this book would be a great book for the teacher to read to the class in sections. It was a longer book, but it did have pictures that could be shown to the class. I would say the intended audience would be upper elementary.

This story used a lot of different dialects and figures of speech, so that could be a main focus when reading this book. ( )
  maddisonsitz | Sep 11, 2016 |
Summary: Michael and his family have taken in his great great aunt, Dew. She and her great nephew enjoy spending time together. Michael likes to listen to her stories. He especially enjoys hearing the stories she tells him while counting the pennies from her hundred penny box, a penny representing each year of her life. His mother wants to get rid of the wooden box and replace it with a different box, but Michael is against his mother. He tells her no and tries to keep her from taking his grandmothers beloved box, he knows how much it is to her.

Personal Reflection: I enjoyed reading this story. I gives insight to a situation from a young and strong boy. The love he has for his great great aunt is felt throughout the book. He cares for her and sticks up for her, even when it meant standing against his mother to ensure her happiness.

Extension Ideas: Talk about the forms of language/dialect used in this book. Extend on the feelings of all the characters in the story in a Literature Circle, and then decide on whether or not they agree with Moms efforts in making Dew's life new and get rid of all the old.
  aortiz | Nov 15, 2015 |
A poignant story about a boy and his great aunt, and the power of memory, family, and loss and oppression. Three generations of African Americans are living under one roof after Michael's parents take in Aunt Dew, his father's aunt. Aunt Dew raised Michael's father after the tragic early death of his parents, and she is almost as much a mother as she is a grandmother to Michael. Now she is too infirm to care for herself, so the family has moved her to their house so Michael's mother can tend to Aunt Dew. Unfortunately, his mother and his aunt don't mix well. His mother doesn't understand Aunt Dew's sadness, her frustration at not being able to take care of herself, and thinks that Aunt Dew dislikes her. Most importantly, Michael's mother doesn't understand the hundred penny box.

Aunt Dew began her collection when her husband gave her thirty-one pennies on her birthday, to represent each year of her life. From then on, Aunt Dew's husband or she herself added one new penny to her box on each birthday, and as Michael pulls them from the box, she can recount the significant events connected to that year and that penny. The hundred penny box is the secret to Aunt Dew's very identity, but Michael's mom doesn't know that. She wants to get rid of the box and replace it with a new, smaller one. Michael can't bear letting that happen. He will do anything to save the box, even defy his parents and hide it.

The book doesn't give us resolution on the fate of the penny box. Rather, it ends with Michael comforting a tearful Aunt Dew in her room, after his mother forced her to take a nap. He lays his head on her chest and listens to her sing her favorite song. The ending shows that the importance of the book isn't about the box, after all, but the relationship between Michael and his aunt. The old traditions and history are thus passed across the generations, through Michael's devotion and his aunt's stories. For such a small story, it holds a great deal of complexity. Michael's mother is a good woman, and has some valid points about pulling Aunt Dew into the future, because she is clutching the past. Yet she doesn't really understand the old woman. Michael is just a child, and truly naive about the situation, but he possesses a wisdom his mother does not. The characters and their relationships realistically depict how our relations to others can be both messy and deeply affectionate. Subtle messages about oppression and how the world has changed for African Americans are reflected in Aunt Dew's personal history. This is an intimate story, that teaches children about the universal dynamics of family and a particular moment in our history. The book allows readers to come to their own conclusions about the fate of the penny box. The story is well worth reading and discussing. ( )
  nmhale | Nov 4, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sharon Bell Mathisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dillon, DianeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In memory of my maternal grandparents: RICHARD FRAZIER, SR.--great Black patriarch and the woman he loved--his wife, MARY FRAZIER. This book is also for my brother: JOHN W. BELL
First words
Michael sat down on the bed that used to be his and watched his great-great- aunt, Aunt Dew, rocking in the rocking chair.
"Leave my hundred penny box right alone. Anybody takes my hundred penny box takes me!"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014240702X, Paperback)

Michael loves his great-great-aunt Dew, even if she can't always remember his name. He especially loves to spend time with her and her beloved hundred penny box, listening to stories about each of the hundred years of her life. Michael's mother wants to throw out the battered old box that holds the pennies, but Michael understands that the box itself is as important to Aunt Dew as the memories it contains. Winner of a Newbery Honor, this beautiful story will be available in a collector's edition featuring heavy interior stock embossing and silver ink on the cover, and a thread-sewn binding for added durability. A timeless story of the relationship between a boy and his elderly relative, this new edition is one that families young and old will treasure for years to come.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:58 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Michael's love for his great-great-aunt who lives with them leads him to intercede with his mother, who wants to toss out all her old things.

(summary from another edition)

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