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Penny from Heaven by [Holm, Jennifer L.]
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Penny from Heaven Kindle Edition

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Length: 290 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Age Level: 8 - 12
Grade Level: 3 - 7
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-7–Penny Falucci, 11, lives with her widowed mother and maternal grandparents, but her father's large, Italian family is tremendously important to her, too. It frustrates her that no one talks about his death, but as the summer of 1953 progresses, several events occur. First, her mother begins dating the milkman, and, when Penny's arm goes through the wringer on the washing machine, things come to a head. Finally, the secrets behind her father's death come out. Aunt Gina tells her about a minor incident that had horrifying consequences for him because of the restrictions placed on Italian Americans during World War II. Penny and her world are clearly drawn and eminently believable, made up of seamlessly interwoven details from everyday life. The period is lovingly re-created, from the fear of catching polio to Penny's use of the word swell. An author's note with photos is included. Recommend this novel to readers who enjoyed Ann M. Martin's A Corner of the Universe (Scholastic, 2002) for another intricate picture of a girl with knotty ties to an imperfect family in a not-too-distant past.–Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. Penny lives with her "plain old American" mother and grandparents, but she has an open invitation to visit her deceased father's Italian family, where the delicious aromas are as inviting as the boisterous relatives who welcome her. Against the backdrop of these contrasting 1950s households, the author of Newbery Honor Book Our Only May Amelia (1999) charts the summer of Penny's twelfth birthday, marked by hapless episodes as well as serious tensions arising from the estranged families' refusal to discuss her father's death. Penny is a low-key character, often taking a backseat role in escapades with high-spirited cousin Frankie. However, Holm impressively wraps pathos with comedy in this coming-of-age story, populated by a cast of vivid characters (a burping, farting grandpa; an eccentric uncle who lives in his car--"not exactly normal for people in New Jersey"). Concluding with a photo-illustrated endnote explaining Holm's inspirations in family history, this languidly paced novel will appeal most to readers who appreciate gentle, episodic tales with a nostalgic flavor. Hand selling may be necessary to overcome the staid jacket illustration. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product details

  • File Size: 17934 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0375836896
  • Publisher: Yearling (December 26, 2007)
  • Publication Date: December 26, 2007
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0010SEMV4
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #423,382 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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