Oli’s Book Blog and Giveaways: “Oli’s Uncommon Cents” by Deborah Allen with Illustrator Sophie Mattinson


Through the life and death of her grandfather, 12-year-old Oli receives a pouch that holds the lives of abandoned, but unique coins, coins adopted by her grandfather-and now hers. Bearing their mint inscription, In God We Trust, Oli’s coins entrust their lives with hers as she searches for the matters of the heart.

Set in Northern Idaho, near the Clearwater Mountains, Oli’s Uncommon Cents takes readers on unique journeys. These journeys introduce Oli to people who live in the back woods until winter snows drive them out, like the wildlife, all driven by hunger; these journeys introduce Oli to those who count on the charity found in Cardboard City; and journeys among ordinary people, people with scars, some hidden, some visible, and others revealed, especially after their lives become intertwined.

Despite the tensions with her controlling, and egotistical father, she manages to venture on an exploration of her own, and what she discovers are people that her father scorns. Oli’s explorations lead to life-changing lessons, and her most profound discovery is that some things in life have greater value than they’re worth.


Deborah Allen and Sophie Mattinson team up to create their first children’s novel. Two newcomers to the publishing world join their gifts and offer readers lessons from the heart as money talks as never before, discovering the real value of others by learning to listen.

Deborah Allen: I’m a children’s author, reading and writing for all age children, (although I’m partial to preschool and middle grade ages). Perhaps I’ll write some occasional blogs about kids crafts and play, anything that makes for fun and laughter.

As a child growing up in northern Idaho, Deborah Allen has plenty of stories to tell about survival, and the wilderness. Combining her love for writing, children and adventure, she creates stories that do more than take readers on unique exploits. “Every story invites a teaching moment where a life lesson can be taught”, Allen continues by explaining, “adventure is going places we’ve never been, life is simply the journey of the unknown, so why not learn what we can from each adventure”. Her MG fantasy novel, Oli’s Uncommon Cents, is the first book of the series where exploration and hardship collide, forming the perfect opportunity to entertain readers with heart-felt stories. Deborah Allen lives in Moscow, Idaho, with her husband Jim and their Rhodesian Ridgeback, Ruthie Mae.

Sophie Mattinson, Illustrator, created the illustrations and the cover art. She is a 17-yr-old high school senior.  Most accomplished in portraits, her imagination has really been challenged while conceptualizing illustrations for the coins, with the likeness of humans.

For more information about Deborah, please go HERE.




Deborah is going to be giving away three (3) books and a $20 Amazon gift certificate to four people who comment (4 items total, 1 per person).  The contest is open internationally and ends May 6th. 

Rules that are mandatory:

1) You must follow Deborah on her blog HERE.

2) Leave a comment on this post as to why you would like to win her book.

3) Please leave an email address such as:  the book  at  gmail dot com.

4) Leave a comment that you are following Deborah’s blog.


2. Book Blog Tour Schedule and May FREE-BEE Month on DEBORAH’S BLOG:

Here is the blog tour schedule:

April 20th  Living Better One Day At A Time
April 26th  JenheadJen
April 30th  Home Maid Simple
May 1st     One Desert Rose
May 7th     Mumwrites
May 8th     Jagged Edge Reviews
May 9th     kid-lit-reviews
May 11th   My Author Interview kid-lit-reviews

The month of May will be FREE-BEE month.  Each week Deborah will give away something that you AND your kiddos will enjoy.

Contest Rules:
Every comment posted on Deborah’s blog earns you a ticket in the drawing–you comment 10 times, you earn 10 tickets, it’s that simple.  At 3:00 every Friday she will draw the winner and post your name on my blog.

Here are the FREE-BEES:
Week 1 $20.00 Gift Certificate to Pizza Hut and a free book, Oli’s Uncommon Cents!
Week 2 $20.00 Gift Certificate to Amazon.com and a free book, Oli’s Uncommon Cents!
Week 3 $20.00 Gift Certificate to Toys R Us and a free book, Oli’s Uncommon Cents!
Week 4 $20.00 Gift Certificate to Dairy Queen and a free book, Oli’s Uncommon Cents!


My Review:

Attention parents (grandparents, too!) of middle school age children!  Oli’s Uncommon Cents, by Deborah Allen, is a wonderful book of fantasy that will entertain your children as well as teach them many different virtues.

Oli (Olivia Swank) is twelve years old and a true-blue tomboy (someone I can relate to).  She inherits her Geepa’s coin purse that contains five coins.  With the inscription, In God We Trust, those coins will have to learn to trust Oli with their lives.  Oli, her friend Ben, and the coins go on all kinds of adventures.  In the course of their adventures, they learn about self-worth, personal value, obedience, and choices.  They will find the reality of consequences to their choices, how their choices define their character, and the difference between worth and value.

In this particular novel, the choices also include the area of money.  Oli learns the real purpose of money, as well as the problems money can bring–greed versus generosity.

At first I was more fascinated by the fantasy aspect of the novel. But it is so much deeper than first realized.  There are so many virtues that children can learn and practice by reading this novel.  Some of which include trust, honesty, obedience, the value of money, not judging others by appearance, helping the homeless, choosing wisely, self-worth, and personal value.  What a treasure trove!

I loved the drawings.  I actually wish there had been more!  The coins are quite unique and very imaginative!

Though this isn’t specifically identified as a Christian book, it has Scriptural values that any parent or grandparent would like their children/grandchildren to learn and apply.  A great, fun read.

This book was provide by the author,  Deborah Allen, in exchanged for my honest opinion.  No monetary compensation was exchanged.


6 thoughts on “Oli’s Book Blog and Giveaways: “Oli’s Uncommon Cents” by Deborah Allen with Illustrator Sophie Mattinson

    • Thank you for visiting my blog. I’m glad you enjoy it. I really enjoyed Oli’s Uncommon Cents. Great fantasy for kids.

  1. Terrific review! It’s nice to find books that aren’t necessarily Christian fiction, but are good for our children to read. They seem to be quite difficult to find sometimes! Thanks for featuring this one. I will have to put it on the list for my boys. Even though they are older than middle school, they still enjoy reading good books 🙂

    • Deb’s book is a great children’s fantasy! I truly enjoyed it. Many Scriptural values. Check her out–she doesn’t get into vampires, witches, etc. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Appreciate it!

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