Penny From Heaven
Penny from Heaven (Newbery Honor Book)
Penny From Heaven
Jennifer L. Holm
It’s1953 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 favorite uncle is living in a car. Her Nonny cries every time her father’s name is mentioned. And the two sides of her family aren’t speaking to each other!Inspired by Newbery Honor winner Jennifer Holm’s own Italian American family, Penny from Heaven is a shining story about the everyday and the extraordinary, about a time in America’s history, not all that long ago, when being Italian meant that you were the enemy. But most of all, it’s a story about families—about the things that tear them apart and bring them together. And Holm tells it with all the richness and the layers, the love and the laughter of a Sunday dinner at Nonny’s. So pull up a chair and enjoy the feast! Buon appetito!

Book Details


  • Fiction
  • Juvenile Fiction

Age Level: 

  • 12 and up
Profile Picture

Penny Falucci is just a "run of the mill" kid. Well...except for her huge Italian family. Among her many uncles, mourning Grandmother, annoying cousin, and grumpy mother, Penny's life is a box full of crazy. Her father died when she was just a little baby. She never knew him. Though in a way, she was really close to him. Nobody tells her anything about him and she thinks her uncles just treat her like a princess is because they feel sorry for Penny. But when something extreme happens, she finds out a whole lot more info than what she wanted about her dad.

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