Elijah’s Coin: A Lesson for Life
A&N Publishing (2009)
Reviewed by Neha Kashmiri (age 14) for Reader Views (6/09)
Ever since Tom’s mother was killed in a tragic burglary, he has changed. He has decided that it’s a good idea to take what he wants and when he wants it. He has decided to steal from a store. He has it all planned out. He will go in the middle of the night, with his bike, sneak into the sporting goods store and take whatever he wants.
Except it all goes wrong. He didn’t know the store had a security guard- and such a strange one, too. Elijah King makes a deal with Tom. He won’t turn Tom in if Tom learns Elijah’s three lessons, on three different nights. Tom thinks that he will just play along. Elijah’s lessons are strange, but they make sense to Tom.
And then on the third night, Elijah doesn’t show up and Tom can’t find a trace of him anywhere. The only clues he has are a coin with G2G on one side and EK on the other and the other people Elijah said he has helped – a wealthy businessman, an important lawyer and a man who works in a shelter.
Tom follows the clues and listens to the people, all of them strangely kind for rich and powerful people, all the while living the lessons that Elijah laid out for him.
“Elijah’s Coin” by Steve O’Brien is a thought-provoking novel that will most likely change the way you look at life. It’s a lesson that actually teaches without being too much like a self-help book. Tom is a life-like character who changes dramatically over a course of one hundred and twenty pages. “Elijah’s Coin” is a short book, but it’s a book for absolutely everyone.