Book Reviews of Pocket Change

Pocket Change
Pocket Change
Author: Kathryn Jensen
ISBN-13: 9780027477313
ISBN-10: 0027477312
Publication Date: 4/30/1989
Pages: 171
Edition: Library Binding
Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.

5 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Macmillan Publishing Company
Book Type: Hardcover
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reviewed Pocket Change on + 19 more book reviews
When her father's behavior becomees erratic and violent, sixteen-year-old Josie suspects that it may be connected to his wartime experiences in Vietnam. She knows he needs help, but everyone around her acts as if nothing is wrong - until the night when his violence threatens to turn deadly, and Josie's love and courage are tested to the utmost.
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Review from School Library Journal -
A haunting portrait of a father, tormented by flashbacks of the Vietnam War, and his family, frightened and uncertain about how to cope. Preoccupied with school, waitressing, and a boyfriend, 16-year-old Josie Monroe suddenly realizes that her father has become a stranger. The family suffers financially and emotionally as Mr. Monroe struggles with a newly-awakened memory of killing a Vietnamese girl. He slips from reality into combat paranoia. Josie's young stepmother reacts by denying, and then by wanting to flee the situation. With the support of her boyfriend, Josie confronts false rumors about her father, locates his military records, and contacts a veterans' counseling center. When her father barricades himself in his house, Josie's persuasion and the accidental near-shooting of his young son shock Mr. Monroe into seeking treatment. Suspense builds carefully and steadily; characters provide a case-study range of reactions; and the secure affluence of Groton, Conn., contrasts dramatically with the sinister jungle of Vietnam in Mr. Monroe's flashbacks. Josie is a resourceful, realistic heroine who wants to understand but must also grapple with fear, anger, and frustration over her father's irrationality. Teen readers will ponder Josie's melancholy observation that repressed memories eventually surface just as "coins pocket change wear through cloth." --Gerry Larson, Chewning Junior High School, Durham, N.C.