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My Rows and Piles of Coins

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  • Posted November 4, 2008

    SVSU Teacher Candidate/Substitute Teacher/Mother/Book-Lover Review

    My Rows and Piles of Coins is an endearing book about a young Tanzanian boy who has a goal in mind and works towards it. Every Saturday, Saruni helps his mother, Yeyo, by bringing goods to the market in an old wheelbarrow. He is rewarded monetarily, but instead of spending his money, he saves it for his goal of a new red and blue bicycle. He loves Yeyo so much that he wants to use this bicycle to help her get her goods to the market. Each week he saves his money in his secret money box. Each week he places his coins in piles and rows and counts them to remember his goal. During the week, after school, Saruni practices riding his father, Murete's, bicycle. Even though he falls off often and is laughed at by his peers, he pursues his goals of becoming a good bicycle rider and of one day owning a bicycle so he can help his family. Saruni eventually saves up three hundred and five coins, about thirty shillings and fifty cents (in 1960s value). He proudly presents his money to the bicycle dealer who laughs at the idea of thinking that a new bicycle could be bought with so little. Later Yeyo notices his disappointment and he confesses all to her. An unexpected turn of events for Saruni leaves him with 'buying' Murete's bicycle and receiving his money back from Murete. Saruni sets his sites next on saving money to buy a wagon to hook to the back of his bicycle so as to help Yeyo carry more goods to market. <BR/>This story shows family love, unselfish motives, and determination to work toward a goal. The author's note at the end of the book explains the monetary values in the early 1960s along with definitions of the Maasai and Swahili words used in the text.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2009

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