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Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite
Sebastian and the Mighty Token is a children’s book by Jonathan Day. Sebastian lives in New York with his mother and sister Lilly, surrounded by interesting people. His neighbor, Mr. Bernstein, is a widower who encourages Sebastian’s persistence in chess by giving him a token. Mr. Bernstein tells Sebastian the story about how he received the coin and urges him to pass it on to another person. Sebastian’s sister experiences an academic setback, and Sebastian gives her the coin to help her find inspiration. Once her current scholarly goal had been achieved, Sebastian helps Lilly decide who they should give the coin to next, but the person they choose may be a little less than a willing recipient of their gesture.
Jonathan Day has given his readers an inspirational book full of intellectually driven characters. Sebastian’s father seems to have left the family, and since he’s been gone, the children haven’t dreamed. Once they wear the token, Lilly and Sebastian begin dreaming again. Day’s book shows the spirit of community and the power of encouragement. As the token could only exercise a person’s attributes to their reasonable limit, it proved that the wearers of the token always had the strength to succeed. The token touches the life of each person who receives it, and the power behind it may motivate readers to pursue their goals bravely. Sebastian and the Mighty Token would be a beautiful gift for a teen or pre-teen who may be battling some inner or outer conflicts.