Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Penny from Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm

Penny from Heaven (2006)

by Jennifer L. Holm

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6752614,175 (3.87)13



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 13 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
Summary: Penny is an 11 year old girl in the summer of 1953. World War II is strongly effecting her summer, she can't even go swimming because her mother fears she might catch polio from the pool. This story depicts the struggles her family goes through because of the war.

Personal Reaction: This story was another one that really made me think. It is so easy to take the small things like going swimming for granted, but there have been times when even America struggled. The truth about her father's death broke my heart as well. This is a must read!

Classroom Extension: Older students could do a research project on WWII or they could write Penny letters throughout the book.
  shelbeydismuke | Nov 18, 2015 |
What Cherylann said here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/116107173. I imagine that there are enough humorous adventures to keep some young readers interested, especially if they can identify with the main character and the disharmony between the two sides of her family. I couldn't - I never would have been showered with so many presents big and small but rather expected to 'buck up' against misfortune.

I do appreciate that it seems to be almost fully true, fairly authentically based on the author's mother and her family. Several photos & notes are included.

Better approached, because of all the 'telling' narration, as primarily historical fiction rather than a family or coming-of-age story, though it does of course have those elements. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
Set in 1953 New Jersey, this book is the story of a half-Italian girl being raised, on the one hand, by her widowed mother and native-born American grandparents, and on the other hand, by her late father's large, raucous and slightly eccentric Italian family. (Not that her mother's family isn't a little eccentric too!) Without giving away the plot completely, I must say that one thing I learned was that Italian-Americans (particularly those who were born in Italy) also faced discrimination and internment during World War II. Even growing up in Connecticut among many Italian-Americans, I had not realized this. Penny has many things in common with young people of today, such as dealing with her mother's starting to date, the beginnings of her own attraction to a boy, etc.; but she also has to face over-protectiveness due to the fear of polio, and eventually an injury that few children nowadays would be exposed to. The book started a little slowly and when I got to the uncle who lived in his car (in his mother's backyard) I was thinking, "Oh, not more wacky eccentrics!" but the story picked up fast and I raced through to the satisfying ending. I think it will give a good picture of life in the early 50's to children of today. Highly recommended. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
A slow starter, but very enjoyable. The weakest I think of this year's Newbery bunch, but still very good. The style reminds me of Richard Peck's A Year Down Yonder. ( )
  JenJ. | Mar 31, 2013 |
This book is about a girl named Penny who has alot of problems, her mother is afraid to allow her to do things because she thinks she will get sick. This book presents real life events for children and people. Her father is dead but no one wants to tell her the truth.

Personal Reaction

This book is for any family who is going through hard times, and they need something or someone to identify with. This family is good for sharing with a child a death of a love one. And it shows that all families have problems and are not perfect.

Classroom Extension

1. Have children to act out a play - someone can be Penny, her mother and her friend.

2. Have children to come up with ideas for the summer

3. Have children to come up with a special day for Penny
  sharon65 | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jennifer L. Holmprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sealey, AmberReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Information from the Spanish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
...Every time it rains it rains

Pennies from heaven.

Don't you know each cloud contains

Pennies from heaven.

You'll find your fortune falling

All over town.

Be sure that your umbrella is upside down.

Trade them for a package of sunshine and flowers.

If you want the things you love

You must have showers.

So when you hear it thunder

Don't run under a tree.

There'll be pennies from heaven for you and me.

--"Pennies from Heaven" by Johnny Burke and Arthur Johnston
For our Henry, the best fella ever
First words
Me-me says that Heaven is full of fluffy white clouds and angels. That sounds pretty swell, but how can you sit on a cloud?
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375836896, Paperback)

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!

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:50 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

As she turns twelve during the summer of 1953, Penny gains new insights into herself and her family while also learning a secret about her father's death.

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
6 avail.
30 wanted
3 pay3 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.87)
2 7
2.5 3
3 36
3.5 16
4 49
4.5 9
5 37


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,854,611 books! | Top bar: Always visible