Penny From Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm

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Synopsis

Jennifer Holm's New York Times bestselling, Newbery Honor Winner is the story of a summer of adventures and secrets that will change everything, at a time in America’s history, just after World War II, when being Italian-American meant confronting prejudice because you'd been the enemy not that long ago .

It’s 1953 and 11-year-old Penny dreams of a summer of butter pecan ice cream, swimming, and baseball. But nothing’s that easy in Penny’s family. For starters, she can’t go swimming because her mother’s afraid she’ll catch polio at the pool. To make matters worse, her dog, Scarlett O'Hara, is sick. Her favorite uncle is living in a car. Her best friend is turning into a criminal. And no one will tell Penny the truth about how her father died. 

Inspired by three time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer Holm’s own Italian American family, Penny from Heaven is a story about families—about the things that tear them apart and the things that bring them back together.

Includes an Author's Note with photographs and additional background on World War II, Internment camps and 1950s America, as well as additional resources and websites.

Booklist:
"Holm impressively wraps pathos with comedy in this coming-of-age story, populated by a cast of vivid characters."


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Jennifer L. Holm

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Brother-and-sister team MATTHEW HOLM and JENNIFER L. HOLM have never run for office, although Jennifer has had breakfast at the White House (She's sorry about the orange juice incident. She hopes the tablecloth wasn't historically significant). Today, Jennifer is the New York Times bestselling author of several highly acclaimed novels, including three Newbery Honor-winners, Our Only May Amelia, Penny from Heaven, and Turtle in Paradise. Matthew Holm is a graphic designer and freelance writer. To find out more, visit Babymouse.com.
 
Published December 26, 2007 by Random House Books for Young Readers. 290 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Penny From Heaven

Kirkus Reviews

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Penny, almost 12, is caught between two extremes: her mother’s small, uptight, WASP family, and her dead father’s large, exuberant, Italian one.

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Publishers Weekly

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A youthful voice serves Sealey well as narrator of this offbeat period piece chronicling the colorful experiences of 11-year-old Penny Falucci during the summer of 1953.

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BC Books

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A riveting tale of a young girl's life in post-WWII America.

Apr 12 2007 | Read Full Review of Penny From Heaven

BC Books

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Penny from Heaven is the story of 12-year-old Penny Falucci, an Italian-American girl growing up in the 1950s.

Apr 12 2007 | Read Full Review of Penny From Heaven

BC Books

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Penny from Heaven is the story of 12-year-old Penny Falucci, an Italian-American girl growing up in the 1950s.

Apr 12 2007 | Read Full Review of Penny From Heaven

Common Sense Media

She lives with her mother and grandparents, who live a rather dull and straitlaced life.

Jul 01 2006 | Read Full Review of Penny From Heaven

Flamingnet

She had to balance her father's side of the family, all Italians and her mom's side of the family.

Mar 29 2007 | Read Full Review of Penny From Heaven

Youth Services Book Review

This partly leads to her being seriously injured and as the truth about her families’ and her father’s pasts are revealed, Penny’s whole idea of who her family members are gets turned on its ear.

Aug 06 2008 | Read Full Review of Penny From Heaven

Reader Rating for Penny From Heaven
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