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 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!
Jennifer L. Holm is the grandniece of Alice Amelia Holm, a Finnish-American girl born on the Nasel River in Washington state during the nineteenth century. The recent discovery of her grandaunt’s diary and her ancestors’ adventures in the Pacific Northwest inspired the character of May Amelia from her Newbery Honor Book Our Only May Amelia, available on audio from Listening Library. Ms. Holm produces television commercials and lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York, where she is working on her next book.
About the Author
Jennifer L. Holm is the author of the 1999 Newberry Honor book, "Our Only May Amelia." In addition to writing novels for young adults, she produces television comercials and lives in Brooklyn, New York.