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Penny from Heaven Paperback – December 26, 2007
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Penny doesn't have a father, but she has the next best thing. A gigantic Italian-American family with more uncles than she can count and more love than she knows what to do with. When Penny's mother married into the Falucci clan it was a classic case of a WASP out of place. After her father's death, her mother and grandparents do not mingle with her dad's crew and vice-versa. Now Penny's about to turn twelve and all sorts of interesting things are happening. She's beginning to notice boys and to chafe under her mother's overprotective nature. She has a summer job and is getting into more and more trouble with her cousin Frankie. Her dog dies, her hair gets paint stuck in it, and her mother has started to date the least cool fellow in the world: the milkman.Read more ›
Eleven-year-old Penny's summer begins as most summers have before. She lives at home with her mother and grandparents. The house is quiet, mom works long hours as a secretary, and Penny's grandparents are slightly eccentric. Me-me (Grandma) is kind, but a horrible cook who favors wholesome "American" food like meatloaf and liver. Pop-pop (Grandpa) is given to inappropriate comments and overestimating his plumbing abilities.
Fortunately, Penny has her deceased father's siblings, cousins, mothers, nephews, nieces, aunts and uncles to spoil her, feed her, and employ her in the family store. They're a large, Italian-American family with lots of love, food, kids and quarrels. But the Faluccis have something in common with Penny's other family--they won't tell her the secret about her father's death. Everyone--from her mom's family to her father's--gives Penny a vague answer: Penny's father died in a hospital.
Penny spends her summer hanging out, playing baseball, and delivering groceries with her cousin and best friend, Frankie, a twelve-year-old boy on the verge of real trouble with the law. She's having a good time until something dramatic happens. Her mother begins dating. And not just anybody...She begins dating Mr. Mulligan, the milkman.Read more ›
When her mother begins dating again, Penny's secure world begins to tilt. A terrible accident brings family secrets to light but then allows Penny and her mother to move on.
This is not a novel with sweeping action sequences. It is a warm and gentle read about family.
Fans of books like Pam Munoz Ryan's Esperanza Rising and Holm's earlier book, Our Only May Amelia will especially enjoy this read.
Penny lives in an oddly fractured world. Her life with her mother and grandparents is both different and separate from her time with her father's family. Her father's family is more colorful and lively, and the food that they eat is much, much tastier. And her uncles buy her presents all the time. There's a poignant scene in which her Uncle Dominic gives her Dodgers tickets for the game on her birthday (her first game ever), and she begs off of her mother's carefully planned celebration. What's wonderful about the scene is that Jennifer Holm conveys both Penny's 12-year-old longing and excitement, and her mother's wistful resignation.
I'm not generally a fan of stories that are episode driven, rather than being plot-driven. However, I will make exceptions for characters that I really like (e.g Anne of Green Gables), and/or truly excellent writing (e.g. the Melendy books by Elizabeth Enright). Both of these exceptions (engaging writing and characterization) apply to Penny from Heaven.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful writer, wonderful characters, great story.
A "don't want to put down book".
Penny from heaven is one of the greatest books ive read all year! beautiful descriptions, relatable, and a great main character that everyone will fall in love with. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Anne Meiman
One of my daughter's favorite books. Can't seem to go wrong with Jennifer L Holm.Published 6 months ago by Emily Anne
It was a great book and I read in about a week. I look forward to Holm's other books! (They all look great.)😀Published 6 months ago
I thought this book was so good that I couldn't put it down. I was growing up about this time and was about the same age as Penny. Read morePublished 9 months ago by joyce c
Book purchases for grandchildren and they thoroughly enjoyed reading them.Published 10 months ago by Brenda S. Geist
Loved it fun and fast read! Loved all characters . Would recommend to all
Good sorry and felt real. Awesome