A Penny on the Tracks

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pennyonthetracks_lg Alicia Joseph

Bink Books YA
210 pp. ● 5.5×8.5
$13.95 (pb) ● $8.99 (eb)
ISBN 978-1-945805-32-5 (pb)
978-1-945805-33-2 (epub)
978-1-945805-34-9 (mobi)


Publication date: October 2017

About the Book

Lyssa grows up without a father, and this is something she struggles with. Her mother is a single mom who works a lot. Lyssa often resents her mother for not being home as much as she needs her to be. Most of the other kids in the neighborhood have stay-at-home mothers. Abbey is one of those kids, though she would prefer her mother be gone for most of the day. Abbey doesn’t always meet her mother’s high standards, which is a struggle for her. The girls discover a Hideout in a remote area near train tracks, and much of their summer days are spent there. The girls embark on many endeavors at the Hideout, but placing pennies on the tracks and watching trains smash them is Lyssa’s favorite activity.

For Readers and Book Clubs:
Reading Guide




I was jerked from my sleep while the phone was still buzzing its first high-piercing ring. I glanced at the clock on the nightstand beside my bed. It read 4:17 a.m. I knew something was wrong.

The second ring was abruptly broken up and my mother’s muffled voice carried into my room. I was already sitting upright in my bed when my bedroom door squeaked open. My mother’s slight figure appeared as a shadow near my door.

“Lyssa? You up?” she asked.

“What’s wrong?” My voice was no louder than a whisper.

I watched my mother slowly make her way into the dark room. I couldn’t make out the expression on her face, but the stiff movement of the outline of her body was hesitant.

She turned on the lamp and sat down beside me. Her face was pale. She let out short, shallow breaths. It seemed difficult for her to look me in the eyes.

“What is it?” I asked. “What’s happened?”

Finally, my mother looked at me with pain in her eyes. “Lyssa . . .” She smoothed her hand gently across my arm. “Abbey’s dead.”

I took in her words without an ounce of denial. The reality of what my mother had told me was instant.

My best friend was dead.