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Penny from Heaven (Newbery Honor Book) Hardcover – Import, 25 July 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 183 ratings

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Product description

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

About the Author

Jennifer L. Holm is the author of several highly praised novels, including Our Only May Amelia and the Babymouse series. She lives in Fallston, Maryland, with her husband, Jonathan Hamel, their son Will, and a rather large cat named Princess Leia.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Random House Books for Young Readers (25 July 2006)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 037583687X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0375836879
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 8 - 12 years
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 454 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 13.72 x 2.41 x 21.62 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 183 ratings

About the author

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Jennifer L. Holm is the NEW YORK TIMES-bestselling children's author of THE LION OF MARS and THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH. She is the recipient of three Newbery Honors for her novels OUR ONLY MAY AMELIA, PENNY FROM HEAVEN, and TURTLE IN PARADISE and a Scott O'Dell Award for her novel FULL OF BEANS.

Jennifer collaborates with her brother, Matthew Holm, on two graphic novel series -- the Eisner Award-winning Babymouse series which has more than 3.4 million books in print (!) and the bestselling Squish series. SQUISH is now an animated tv series on HBO MAX!

For more information, visit her website at

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
183 global ratings

Top review from India

Reviewed in India on 1 September 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book
By #booklover on 1 September 2018
A really touching story about the life of a young girl and the discrimination of the Italian people. It is worth buying. You can read this book for fun 😊
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Top reviews from other countries

Andrea Maier
4.0 out of 5 stars eine schöne Familiengeschichte aus dem Amerika der 50er Jahre
Reviewed in Germany on 30 December 2009
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Jacqueline H.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in Canada on 9 December 2015
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Amy Kundinger
5.0 out of 5 stars Jennifer Holm does a wonderful job of weaving in history providing context that makes ...
Reviewed in the United States on 6 July 2018
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5 people found this helpful
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B. Felkins
4.0 out of 5 stars touching read about life in the mid-20th century and this book did not disappoint. The Italian family compare and contrast to th
Reviewed in the United States on 24 July 2015
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4 people found this helpful
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Nahomi Dominguez
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite book of all time!
Reviewed in the United States on 3 December 2020
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2 people found this helpful
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