Penny for a Hundred

Penny for a Hundred

by Ethel Pochocki, Mary Beth Owens (Illustrator)
Publisher: Bethlehem Books
Trade Paperback, 31 pages
Price: $9.95

Historical Setting: Maine, 1944 A. D.

It is 1944 and nine-year-old Clare is old enough to help her family in the Maine potato harvest. This year, with many of the local men off to war, German POWs are brought in to help with the crop. Clare and her family are not sure of the strangers, but it soon becomes clear that these men aren't so very different from young American soldiers. For Christmas, Clare is determined to recreate at least one holiday tradition for Peter, a POW who has befriended her. Her gift—and Peter's present in return—strengthen the bonds of an unlikely and gentle friendship.

A beautiful picture book illustrated by Mary Beth Owens.

Product Sample:

Early one morning in mid-July 1944, Clare woke and ran to the window, and there they were. She had been waiting for weeks for the potato field to blossom. Now, at last, she could see a handful of white flowers dotting the green vines. By the end of day, they would be covered with the blossoms. Her father said they would be out by the fifteenth, just as the peas were ready by the fourth, and he was right. Her father was so smart.

From this day until October, their life would revolve around potatoes. Now mounding and hoeing and fertilizing, and then, the harvesting. The thought of it made Clare wiggle with excitement. It would be the first year she was old enough to pick with the other workers. Everyone in Aroostook County in northern Maine either owned a potato farm or picked potatoes. It was their livelihood. School let out for three weeks in the fall so children could help with the harvest, and this year she too would be with them, working outdoors and earning money. She could hardly wait!

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