Penny Books on “Esterhazy Online” by Kenneth Kerr

By now we all know that the penny is on the way out. But how many of us would have thought to write a book about it? Melville resident, Susan Harris not only thought about it, she moved into action by writing and publishing two books about our historical coin.


Susan is a former teacher, and EsterhazyOnline caught up with her at a book signing in Yorkton a few weeks ago. Her paperback book “little copper pennies” is subtitled “Celebrating the life of the Canadian one-cent piece (1858-2013), and is already proving to be a winner.

“When I heard the news that the penny was about to retire, I thought if the penny could speak what would it say of its adventures?” Susan said. “I started to make up stories about it, travelling from province to province, being in somebody’s pocket, hearing their conversation and things like that. So I just played around with the idea, and my husband encouraged me. I started to interview people to add stories to the book, people who could remember stories back in the 1920′s, and children, and friends and family, and I got a lot of unique spins on the penny, more than just its monetary value.”

The book has been well-received in book stores, online, in schools, and by the media. Rave reviews and media appearances seem to be the order of the day for Susan. It is not surprising really, for her work is an inspired fusion of skilled storytelling, sheer nostalgia for a national icon, and a fantastic sense of timing.

The book (and the children’s version) is available from the author (, Kindle, Kobo, Chapters, Indigo, Coles, McNally Robinson, Friesen Press, Amazon and major bookstores internationally.

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2 Responses to Penny Books on “Esterhazy Online” by Kenneth Kerr

  1. peta130 says:

    I have a question. If meilntg pennies for copper is illegal, then how do the gold and silver buyers buy quarters and dimes that are silver and have them melted? Isn’t this illegal too? Every pawn shop and smelter in town will by my 1964 and older quarters. Doesn’t make sense to me.

    • admin says:

      Hi there, thank you so much for your question. I’m so sorry to be answering so late, but I only just saw your question. The short answer is that the coin buyers who melt coins are indeed engaging in an illegal activity. Only the Royal Mint has the right to melt coins. However, if the Royal Mint does not have knowledge of what buyers are doing then they cannot take action, and people will get away with it. So it boils down to reporting illegal activity to the Royal Mint. Let me know if you have any questions, and have a great day. Cheers.

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