Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav

Penny from Heaven

Cover of Penny from Heaven

Penny from Heaven

Borrow Borrow Borrow Borrow
Newbery Honor–winning, New York Times–bestselling, and as full of fun and adventure as it is of deeper family issues.

School's out for summer, and Penny and her cousin Frankie have big plans to eat lots of butter pecan ice cream, swim at the local pool, and cheer on their favorite baseball team—the Brooklyn Dodgers! But sometimes things don't go according to plan. Penny's mom doesn't want her to swim because she's afraid Penny will get polio. Frankie is constantly getting into trouble, and Penny feels caught between the two sides of her family. But even if the summer doesn't exactly start as planned . . . things can work out in the most unexpected ways!

Set just after World War II, this thought-provoking novel also highlights the prejudice Penny's Italian American family must confront because people of Italian descent were "the enemy" not long ago.

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 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."
Newbery Honor–winning, New York Times–bestselling, and as full of fun and adventure as it is of deeper family issues.

School's out for summer, and Penny and her cousin Frankie have big plans to eat lots of butter pecan ice cream, swim at the local pool, and cheer on their favorite baseball team—the Brooklyn Dodgers! But sometimes things don't go according to plan. Penny's mom doesn't want her to swim because she's afraid Penny will get polio. Frankie is constantly getting into trouble, and Penny feels caught between the two sides of her family. But even if the summer doesn't exactly start as planned . . . things can work out in the most unexpected ways!

Set just after World War II, this thought-provoking novel also highlights the prejudice Penny's Italian American family must confront because people of Italian descent were "the enemy" not long ago.

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 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."
Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
  • PDF eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.0
  • Lexile:
    730
  • Interest Level:
    LG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3

Recommended for you


Excerpts-
  • Chapter ONE 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? Wouldn't you fall right through and smack onto the ground? Like Frankie always says, angels have wings, so what do they have to worry about?

    My idea of Heaven has nothing to do with 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 Dodgers' dugout. That's the only advantage that I can see to being dead: You get the best seat in the house.

    I think about Heaven a lot. Not because of the usual reasons, 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," and when you're named after something, you can't help but think about it.

    See, my father was crazy about Bing Crosby, and that's why everyone calls me Penny instead of Barbara Ann Falucci, which is what's on my birth certificate. No one ever calls me Barbara, except teachers, and sometimes even I forget that it's my real name.

    I guess it could be worse. I could be called Clementine, which was the name of another Bing Crosby song that my father really liked. I don't think I'd make a very good Clementine.

    Then again, who would?

    CHAPTER TWO

    Uncle Dominic is sitting in his car. It's a 1940 Plymouth Roadking. It's black with chrome trim, and the hubcaps are so shiny, you could use them as a mirror. Uncle Dominic pays my cousin Frankie to shine them up. It's an awfully nice car; everybody says so. But then, it's kind of hard to miss. It's been parked in the side yard of my grandmother Falucci's house for as long as I can remember.

    Uncle Dominic lives right there in his car. Nobody in the family thinks it's weird that Uncle Dominic lives in his car, or if they do, nobody ever says anything. It's 1953, and it's not exactly normal for people in New Jersey to live in cars. Most people around here live in houses. But Uncle Dominic's kind of a hermit. He also likes to wear slippers instead of shoes. Once I asked him why.

    "They're comfortable," he said.

    Besides living in the car and wearing slippers, Uncle Dominic's my favorite uncle, and I have a lot of uncles. Sometimes I lose track of them.

    "Hey, Princess," Uncle Dominic calls. I lean through the window and hear the announcer on the portable radio. Uncle Dominic likes to listen to ball games in the car. There's a pillow and a ratty-looking blanket on the backseat. Uncle Dominic says the car's the only place he can get any rest. He has a lot of trouble falling asleep.

    "Hi, Uncle Dominic," I say.

    "Game's on," he says.

    I start to open the back door, but Uncle Dominic says, "You can sit up front."

    Uncle Dominic's very particular about who's allowed to sit in his car. Most people have to sit in the back, although Uncle Nunzio always sits up front. I don't think anyone ever tells Uncle Nunzio what to do.

    "Who's winning?" I ask.

    "Bums are ahead."

    I love the Brooklyn Dodgers, and so does Uncle Dominic. We call them Dem Bums. Most people around here like the New York Yankees or the Giants, but not us. Uncle Dominic is staring out the window, like he's really in the ballpark and watching the game from the bleachers. He's handsome, with dark hair and brown eyes. Everyone says he looks just like my father. I don't remember my father because he died when I was just a baby, but I've seen photographs, and Uncle Dominic does look like him, except sadder.

    "Got something for you," Uncle Dominic...
About the Author-
  • Jennifer L. Holm is the New York Times bestselling children's author of The Fourteenth Goldfish and, with her brother Matthew Holm, Sunny Side Up. She is the recipient of three Newbery Honors for her novels Our Only May Amelia, Penny from Heaven, and Turtle in Paradise. Her latest novel, Full of Beans, is a companion to Turtle in Paradise and stars Turtle's cousin Beans. Jennifer also collaborates with Matthew on three graphic novel series—the Eisner Award–winning Babymouse series, the bestselling Squish series, and My First Comics. Jenni lives in California. You can visit her on the Web at jenniferholm.com.
Reviews-
  • DOGO Books 20tkustwan - This book is really good! So far I've only read 75 pages and so far It has been GREAT! It's about a girl named Penny and how she spends her life in New Jersey and the timing of this book is in 1953. Penny lives with her Mom her Me-Me (Grandmother) and her Pop-Pop (Grandfather) Her mother has a few rules for Penny. One example is that her mom wont let her swim in the pool because she is afraid that Penny will catch Polio. Penny's life is somewhat hard because her uncle lives in a car, Her Nonny cries every time she hears Penny's dad's name. Also, her mom's side and her dad's side are like rivals so they won't speak to each other.
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 28, 2006
    Newbery Honor author Holm (Our Only May Amelia
    ) conjures a nostalgic 1953 New Jersey summer in this novel with a plucky 11-year-old narrator at its center. Penny divides her time between two extremes: her overprotective single mother (who is "afraid of just about everything that involves fun") and the maternal grandparents with whom she lives, and her deceased father's colorful Italian family. Despite her passion for the Brooklyn Dodgers and gentle comic voice, Penny emerges primarily as an observer witnessing the antics of her more zany relatives, including her favorite uncle Dominic who lives in his car, her scheming cousin Frankie (who doubles as her best friend) and her perennially black-clad grandmother Nonny, who lives to feed people and feuds with her daughter-in-law, an ex-Rockette. In the conflict between Penny and her mother's beau, the narrative offers a fresh take on a familiar plight. The relaxed pace picks up after an accident lands Penny in the hospital and she overhears a rumor about her father. Holm includes telling historical details, including information about WWII Italian internment camps and how Penny's mother will not allow her to swim in a public pool or visit a movie theater because of the risk of polio. Readers will enjoy observing Penny's growth, how she mediates a peace among her family members and offers a glimmer of heaven. Ages 8-12.

  • School Library Journal "Penny and her world are clearly drawn and eminently believable."
  • Booklist "Penny's present-tense narration is both earthy and observant, and her commentary on her families' eccentricities sparkles."
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Random House Children's Books
  • Kindle Book
    Release date:
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:
  • PDF eBook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 2 titles every 7 day(s).

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Enhanced Details

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Permissions

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Holds

Total holds:


Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
Penny from Heaven
Penny from Heaven
Jennifer L. Holm
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Clicking on the 'Buy It Now' link will cause you to leave the library download platform website. The content of the retail website is not controlled by the library. Please be aware that the website does not have the same privacy policy as the library or its service providers.

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel