The Penny: A Novel

by Joyce Meyer

Hardcover, 2007



Call number



FaithWords (2007), 256 pages


Jenny Blake has a theory about life: big decisions often don't amount to much, but little decisions sometimes transform everything. Her theory proves true the summer of 1955, when 14-year-old Jenny makes the decision to pick up a penny imbedded in asphalt, and consequently ends up stopping a robbery, getting a job, and meeting a friend who changes her life forever. Jenny and Miss Shaw form a friendship that dares both of them to confront secrets in their pasts--secrets that threaten to destroy them. Jenny helps Miss Shaw open up to the community around her, while Miss Shaw teaches Jenny to meet even life's most painful challenges with confidence and faith. This unexpected relationship transforms both characters in ways neither could have anticipated, and the ripple effect that begins in the summer of the penny goes on to bring new life to the people around them, showing how God works in the smallest details. Even in something as small as a penny.… (more)


Audie Award (Finalist — 2008)


Original language


Physical description

256 p.; 9.5 inches


0446578118 / 9780446578110

User reviews

LibraryThing member MrsRJ
How many times have you walked past a penny on the ground without so much as a second thought? Jenny Blake did just that, and then for some unexplainable reason, turned, ran back and retrieved the penny from the hot asphalt. At the tender age of 14 Jenny had no way of knowing the significance of
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her actions on that blistering summer day in 1955.

The Blake family lived in St. Louis, which during the 50's and early 60's was a hotbed of racial tension. So when Jenny, a white girl, befriends Aurelia,
a black girl recently integrated into the same school, she must keep the friendship a secret. Although Aurelia's family welcomes Jenny into both their home and church, the same acceptance could not be found within the Blake household. Jenny's father in an abusive, horrible man, that mistreats his daughters in every conceivable way. Working for Miss Shaw, the local jeweler, Jenny begins to see Christianity at work, in small ways that others barely notice. Yet, no matter how hard she prays, her fathers abuse continues and she struggles to understand why God seems to be ignoring her pain. With Miss Shaw's guidance, and Aurelia's unwavering friendship she continues building her faith, one step at a time. Little by little God's truth is revealed to her....."God doesn't always make something go away because we pray, He often gives us the strength to stand up to it." And that knowledge changes her life and that of those around her.

The authors indelible ability to recognize the miraculous wonders of God, even the smallest of details, is but one of the many things that makes "The Penny" a beautifully moving reading experience. Despite your religious convictions, this is a wonderful story where the authors reveal their inspirations subtly and slowly, never preachy, over-bearing or offensive, "The Penny" is much like the soft-spoken, loving direction one receives from a beloved parent. There's something for everyone in this heart-felt, inspirational story. The narration is exceptionally well delivered, adding depth and conviction to the reading experience.

I highly recommend this novel to any reader that simply enjoys a strong, powerful story. (Just make sure you don't start listening (or reading) until you have several hours of free time... you will not want to put it down.)

Happy Reading!
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LibraryThing member rmostman
A wonderful coming of age story, very similar to The Secret Life of Bee's in many ways.

Set in the 1950's, and I believe the south, a young girl, Jenny, picks up a penny on the street which sets a huge chain of events into motion. Jenny who is abused by her father, and her mother ignores it,
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believes the horrible thoughts her father is putting into her head. Jenny gets a job at a local jewelery store, after the penny incident, she is hired by the mysterious Ms. Shaw. Which they eventually confide in each other to reveal their painful pasts.

She also meets a wonderful African American family, and the fathers love for blues, the families love for church, makes room for Jenny and puts some love in her.
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LibraryThing member dmorrison
Incredibly inspirational book, couldn't put it down, loved it!
LibraryThing member kristioverly
This is an amazingly moving and touching novel which makes you take a deep look at your life. You will not see something as simple as a penny in the same way again. A great story about a young girl who refuses to give in to the mental and physical torments she is forced to endure, especially once
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she realizes that God truly does love her no matter what. A very great reminder of the power of God's love for each and every one of us.
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LibraryThing member CoraJoanBurgett
A touching story about 14-year old Jeny Blake who picks up a penny embedded in the pavement. She has o idea that this penny is from heaven and will change her lie! God leads her to new, loving friends who help ease the shame and abuse -- the secrets in her life.
LibraryThing member Poohbear1972
A very heartwarming novel. I just loved this book. Once again Joyce Meyer did not disappoint.

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