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Penny from Heaven

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  5,624 ratings  ·  579 reviews
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 favorite uncle is living in a car. Her Nonny cries every time her father's name is mentioned. And the two s ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published July 25th 2006 by Books on Tape Childrens
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Colby Sharp
When I started reading this book I was thinking 4 stars. Why you ask? If I give all of Jenni Holm's novels 5 stars people are going to start thinking I have an author crush on her.

Penny from Heaven was way too good for four stars. It is 23 chapters of amazing. I felt like chapters 19 and 20 were as good as anything I have read this year. I listened to them on my way to school today, and I cried a solid 30 minutes.

Here is my list of authors that I think are better than Jenni Holm:






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Josie
Penny From Heaven
By Jennifer L. Holm
Published by Random House
2006
Historical Fiction

Jennifer Holm has taken her personal family history and crafted an excellent work of historical fiction in Penny From Heaven. Holm's book is funny, moving, and a joy to read. Incoming sixth graders, girls especially, will have a hard time putting it down. The writing is quick and smart and the characters are round and very dynamic. This, in addition to the vignette style chapters that comprise Penny's summer make
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Peter Panic
For some ungodly reason I keep reading Newberry books. At one point I wanted to be the Newberry specialist, but instead I became hooked on them since I figured out the formula. I'm especially surprised that this was nominated though. While it contained one of the three elements that secretly qualified it for what is ALWAYS ine a Newberry book (war) it wasn't that interesting and frankly the 50-isms would go over kids heads. Heck most of that crap was just foreign to me, if I didn't recall my mot ...more
Pamela
I love this book!! Warm – Endearing - Amusing – Honest: “Penny From Heaven.” Set in 1953 New York, it’s historically insightful and feel-good nostalgic. Jennifer Holm, inspired by her own American/Italian family, wrote this for a middle school audience. However, young and old alike will find this coming-of-age story a delight to read. And following the story in the author's notes, Holm includes the connections to her family, as well as many eye-opening facts about the era and Italian/American cu ...more
Mary
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 estran
...more
Quigmiss
Nov 27, 2008 Quigmiss rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I really really really liked this book!! i read it for a historical fiction book report, and history isn't my absolute fave,but it was not bad because penny falucci, a girl living in the fifties, has the same worries, thoughts and view points of life as most 11 and 12 year old girls. her dad died when she was really young so her many spontaneous, aunts and uncles always are trying to cheer her up whenever they're with her, which is most of the time.
my favorite falucci family member is aunt gina
...more
Ch_hayley Medsker
Penny From Heaven by Jennifer Holm is a story of a young Italian American girl growing up in New Jersey in 1953. Penny is orphaned by her father from the time she was a baby. Throughout the novel, 11 year-old Penny struggles with many questions about her father, whom no one will speak about. Thus, this leaves her questioning her own identity as well. While Penny lives with her mother and her “boring old American” grandparents, Me-me and Pop-pop, her life is consistently filled with her enormous, ...more
L-Crystal Wlodek
Penny From Heaven is a Newbery Honor book and is intended for students in grades 6-8. This book is based on the author’s own Italian American family. It depicts the 1953 time period when being Italian meant you were the enemy. The book also is rich in its description of families, more specifically about the things that separate them and being them together. Penny’s life is not easy, having a father that is deceased, an uncle living in a car, and the two sides of her family not speaking to each o ...more
Abby
I loved this book :) I think it is okay for 9 and up, but I liked it. It's been a while since I read it
L12_LaurieLaning
Summary
Appropriate for middle school readers, Penny From Heaven, a Newbery Honor Book award winner is written by May Amelia. This realistic fiction/historical fiction story is set in the 1950’s and told by Penny Felucci, a spunky11-year-old. She lives with her mother and grandparents because her father is deceased. Nobody speaks of his death but after a very languid story line, the details of his death finally come out.

Critique
This realistic fiction/historical fiction story puts the reader in t
...more
Heidi
Jan 09, 2013 Heidi rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ages 9-12
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chelsey Stotler
This book is told from the perspective of eleven-year-old Penny Fulucci. The setting is 1950 in post WWII New Jersey where Penny lives with her mother and grandparents. Penny’s father the one that named her “Penny” died when she was a baby. Penny’s fathers side of the family is Italian and gets to see Penny quite often. While visiting her Italian family Penny gets to spend time with her cousin Frankie and other relatives. They embrace Penny with their heritage. With time Penny finds out about he ...more
Breanna Haynes
I thought that the story was compelling and relatable to children. A lot of children go through family struggles, and this book covers that. It is also a book about going through adolescence and self-discovery. I also think that the information is presented very accurately. This book take place in the 50’s right after WWII and it really makes you feel like you are there. However, it still keeps the characters relatable. The plot is developed really nicely, and answers all of your questions. The ...more
Jan
This is a classic children's fiction novel, one that quietly and eloquently gives us a snapshot of what it is like growing up in an Italian American family living in Brooklyn just after World War II. Based upon the author's own family, we are introduced to eleven-year-old Penny, whose father has died mysteriously during the war. He was not a soldier, so all Penny knows is that he became sick and died. Although both sides of Penny's family love her, she must often walk a tightrope between her fat ...more
Laura
Now that the New York Times has deemed it acceptable for adults to read young adult books, I guess I can review without shame.

Anyway. Penny Falucci, a hardcore Brooklyn Dodgers fan growing up in New Jersey, is having a hard time as she turns 12 in 1953 -- her father died when she was a baby; her father's family and her mother's family won't talk to each other; her favorite uncle lives in a car in his mother's driveway; her favorite cousin is a budding gangster (he thinks being a criminal would
...more
Samantha
Penny from Heaven is a middle school/junior high novel is about a young girl named Penny in the 1950s. Penny lives with her mother and maternal grandparents. She has a relationship with her father's family, but her mother does not. She struggles with finding out the truth about her father's death, the way her life is evolving, and her own cultural identity. Her father's side is a stereotypical Italian family, while her mother's family does not seem to have a cultural identity. She gets into some ...more
Ellie eden King
Penny From Heaven is about a girl named Penny who lives with her mom and her grandma. It is set in the 1960's where lots of people are getting polio. For that reason her mom won't let her swim. To make matters worse her uncle lives in a car, her other grandma cries when she hears her dads name, and her mom hates her dads side of the family. Find out what happens when her and her cousin find treasure in her dads household. There is one lucky penny that saves her. This book is one of my favorites.
Katina
I enjoyed learning about Penny's two families. Penny's father has died and no one in her family has ever told her the real reason how. The book begins by explaining how Penny was given her name. "I think about Heaven a lot. Not because of the usual reason, though. I"m only eleven, and I don't plan on dying until I'm at least a hundred. It's just that I'm named after that Bing Crosby song, "Pennies from Heaven."She spends Sundays with her father's family enjoying the typical Italian feast. When h ...more
Saira Shah
A Penny From Heaven is an outstanding book! Penny from Heaven is the story of 12-year-old Penny Falucci, an Italian-American girl growing up in the 1950s. Her father died when Penny was very little. She and her mother live with her grandparents. Her grandmother, Me-Me, is a horrible cook, and Pop-Pop, the grandfather, is constantly working on the plumbing and causing leaks. Penny’s mother works very hard and is struggling to make a life for herself. This summer begins like any other with Penny a ...more
Carrie
This was a wonderful book. I absolutely loved it. My sister married into an Italian family, and so many of the stories ring true. Penny is a great protagonist, sweet but not too sweet, in fact, altogether realistic. It is a tragedy of sorts, but not one that leaves you sad. Be sure to read the authors notes and check out the pictures at the end.
Willa Gibson
I LOVE this book. It takes place in 1953 and 11 year old Penny is living with her mom, grandpa, grandma, and has plans for the best summer ever. But that doesn't go the way she wants it too.

(don't want to spoil book ;) )
GMCL Temecula
Newbery Honor-winning Author Jennifer Holm’s novel, Penny from Heaven, is historically accurate and full of details that guides the adult reader happily down memory lane. Ms. Holm based her story on her Italian grandparents’ lives and interviews with historian Lawrence DiStaci. Sources consulted are listed in the acknowledgements, and in the last pages of her work, Ms. Holm includes a well-done family photo album. Unfortunately, as a novel with an elementary-school-aged target audience, the stor ...more
Natalie Payton
Summary/Critique:
Penny from Heaven by Jennifer Holm is a chapter book that is set in the 1950s in New Jersey. The main character, Penny Falucci, is a young girl that has a huge Italian-American family. Penny’s father passed away and her mother is who Penny lives with now who shuns her Italian side family. Penny loves visiting her dad’s side of the family because they all live in the same house and are always having a great time. Penny and her cousin Frankie work for one of her uncles at a meat b
...more
Elizabeth Westlund
Penny from Heaven takes place in the early 1950's and follows eleven-year-old Penny who is grappling with a divide in her family. Her father died when she was young, and she currently lives with her mother and maternal grandparents. However, she spends a great deal of time with her extended family on her paternal side. She loves their boisterous personalities, her Nonny's cooking and her sometimes sneaky cousin Frankie. Penny is desperate to find out more about her father and the circumstances o ...more
Cherylann
I was underwhelmed by this novel. First person narration, in my opinion, usually means a strong protagonist. This protagonist did not have a strong voice. Additionally, I felt like the author spent a lot of time telling me what was going on instead of showing me the action and characters. Redeeming quality: The book focused on an aspect of World War II that I was unaware of. Since I walked away with a little more knowledge and a curiosity to find out more, I gave the book 3.5 stars.
Kristi Scramlin
Barbra “Penny” Falucci live with her mother, grandfather, and grandmother in her grandparent’s house where they have stayed ever since Penny’s fathers passing. No one in her others family talks much about her father so she goes to her other grandma Nonny’s house to learn about him from her aunts and uncles. Unfortunately, her family is split and do not get along. It is the summer of 1953 and Penny and her cousin Frankie deliver meat to their uncle’s customers, but Frankie gets into some trouble ...more
Alvina

Penny adalah nama panggilan kesayangan dari seorang gadis bernama Barbara Ann Falucci. Ayahnya, yang telah lama meninggal, amat menyukai lagu "Pennies from heaven" milik Bing Crosby, sampai-sampai memanggil anak satu-satunya dengan sebutan Penny. Ia dan keluarganya tinggal di Brooklyn, keluarga yang sangat-sangat besar terutama keluarga mendiang ayahnya yang memiliki darah Italia.

Penny tinggal dengan ibunya berserta Pop-pop dan Me-Me, kakek neneknya. Mereka tinggal tidak jauh dengan keluarga Fa
...more
Bradley Mavericks
This book is about an eleven year old girl in the 1930's and 40's who gets hurt and within all that she finds out about her family, her dead dad, and her unwilling grandparents.

It all starts with her grandparents and mom (they all live together) the two sides of the family are enemies, but the dad is dead. she ends up getting hurt but finds her family's past.

My favorite part was probably the end but i can't tell you that.

i loved the book this book is still my favorite book, and i read it
...more
Jean
In 1953, 11-year-old Penny Falucci looks forward to her summer. She loves butter pecan ice cream, swimming, and is a huge Brooklyn Dodgers fan. Penny lives with her WASP mother and maternal grandparents, but splits her time with her late father’s family. The father’s Italian family has a host of remarkable characters, including a whimsical uncle who lives in his car and likes to wear slippers instead of shoes. Her mother’s side of the family is a bit on the overly cautious side. Polio outbreaks ...more
Sam
Penny from Heaven is a book about a young girl in the 1950's. It is not only an interesting book, but it is educational. Penny is a young girl who has a crush, has a job, a loving family, and a normal life for the most part. Her cousin Frankie is a naughty boy and they get into lots of trouble together. Penny' s father died a long time ago and her mother refuses to go to her husbands side of the family and he past away. There is a mystery with penny's father and how he died. One day, penny got h ...more
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This book is awesome! 3 9 May 16, 2013 06:08PM  
Good Book 8 26 Jul 30, 2012 09:21AM  
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Jennifer L. Holm is a NEW YORK TIMES bestselling children's author and the recipient of three Newbery Honors for her novels OUR ONLY MAY AMELIA, PENNY FROM HEAVEN, and TURTLE IN PARADISE.

Jennifer collaborates with her brother, Matthew Holm, on two graphic novel series -- the Eisner Award-winning Babymouse series and the bestselling Squish series. She is also the author of several other highly pra
...more
More about Jennifer L. Holm...
Turtle in Paradise Queen of the World! (Babymouse, #1) Our Only May Amelia (May Amelia, #1) The Fourteenth Goldfish Super Amoeba (Squish, #1)

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“My idea of Heaven has nothing to do with fluffy clouds or angels. In my Heaven there's butter pecan ice cream and swimming pools and baseball games. The Brooklyn Dodgers always win, and I have the best seat in the house, right behind the Dodger's dugout. That's the only advantage that I can see about being dead: You get the best seat in the house.” 22 likes
“She dies two days later.” 0 likes
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