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Penny from Heaven

By: Jennifer L. Holm
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Jennifer Holm's New York Times bestselling, Newbery Honor Winner is the story of a summer of adventures and secrets that will change everything, at a time in America’s history, just after World War II, when being Italian-American meant confronting prejudice because you'd been the enemy not that long ago .

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 dog, Scarlett O'Hara, is sick. Her favorite uncle is living in a car. Her best friend is turning into a criminal. And no one will tell Penny the truth about how her father died. 

Inspired by three time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer Holm’s own Italian American family, Penny from Heaven is a story about families—about the things that tear them apart and the things that bring them back together.

Includes an Author's Note with photographs and additional background on World War II, Internment camps and 1950s America, as well as additional resources and websites.

Booklist:
"Holm impressively wraps pathos with comedy in this coming-of-age story, populated by a cast of vivid characters."