Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 3 - 5T4.046792
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!
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published on July 25, 2006 by Random House Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 037583687X
ISBN-13: 9780375836879
12 Book Reviews
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  • swirlycool
    swirlycoolTuesday, June 2, 2020 at 1:17 pm55 stars
    This book is a Newbery Honor book. This book is about eleven year old Penny. She wants her summer to be filled with butter pecan ice cream, swimming, and baseball. However, it won't be that simple for her. Through her troubles, she learns that even the darkest clouds may contain pennies from heaven, This book was really good, and I recommend it to people who enjoy other books by this author. This was a very interesting book, and I rate it 5/5.
    • swirlycool
      swirlycoolMonday, June 1, 2020 at 3:16 pm55 stars
      This book is a Newbery Honor book. This book is about eleven year old Penny. She wants her summer to be filled with butter pecan ice cream, swimming, and baseball. However, it won't be that simple for her. Through her troubles, she learns that even the darkest clouds may contain pennies from heaven, This book was really good, and I recommend it to people who enjoy other books by this author. This was a very interesting book, and I rate it 5/5.
      • jen2019
        jen2019Friday, December 13, 2019 at 1:49 pm44 starsFeatured
        I just finished reading a fantastic book called Penny from Heaven by Jennifer L Holm. This book represents a girl and her relationship with her family. The overall themes for the book are growing up and letting go of the past. It made me think about me and my relationship with my family by reflecting on those we have lost and how lucky I am to have such a big family. I give Penny from Heaven 4 out of 5 stars, that means people might start loving it. I primarily recommend this book to families of all ages. The characters in the book are of course Penny as the main character, 11 when the book start and 12 by the time that it ended. Her uncle Dominic, her dad’s brother, is her favorite uncle because dad died when she was just a baby. Her dad’s brothers treat her extra special and uncle Dominic is her all-time favorite. Since her dad died when she was just a baby, Penny had a good relationship with her mom and that’s another character. Her and mom also lived with her grandparents, Mom’s parents, Mimi the bad cook and Pop-Pop Mr. Deaf in one ear so he doesn’t hear good and he also talks loud. Penny has a lot of cousins but her best friend would be Frankie, they all go on adventures together. Her mom also had a boyfriend, Pop Mulligan who Penny hated at first but by the end she thought he was an okay guy, and if you want to know more read the story. The book takes place in a small town in New Jersey in 1953. The main settings are Mimi and Pop-Pop’s house, where Penny and her mom live as well. Another important place is her Italian grandmother’s, Dad’s mom’s house. Her Nonny’s cooking is a lot better than Mimi’s cooking that’s for sure. Her uncle Ralphie, one of dad’s many brother’s butcher shop where Penny and Frankie work for the summer is a very important place. A place Penny spent a lot of time in was the hospital because something bad happened to her and she had to stay there for a long time so it became pretty important. The writer’s style was very easy to read because Jennifer L Holm is Penny’s Daughter. She wrote about things that actually happened to her mom. Something that I liked was Penny and her mom’s relationship, their all each other has, expect for Mimi and Pop-Pop. Even when a new family member came in Penny was the most important thing to her mom. In conclusion, once again I recommend this book to families with young kids. There are a few things that I would change if I could, Mr. Mulligan having a few kids might be good too but I don’t mind if there’s just the three of them. But I liked that Jennifer L Holm wrote about her mom’s life. I give this book four out of five stars. This is also a great book for a family that lost someone and readjusting to a new life without the parent there all the time. Also I’d recommend this book for blended families because Penny’s family was blended by the end.
        • fywazusamy
          fywazusamyMonday, November 13, 2017 at 11:18 am55 stars
          Penny From Heaven is a great book! Its about a girl named Penny and she is not having the best summer. Her father recently died and she has no idea why! Even worse, both of her family's side hate each other and her mother does not let her do anything! Read this book to find out what happened to Pennys dad.
          • walykerero
            walykereroMonday, November 13, 2017 at 11:18 am44 stars
            this book is one of the best books ever. my teachers made me read it and i am so glad i did.
            • my225
              my225Friday, September 16, 2016 at 7:04 am44 stars
              Penny From Heaven Is and amazing book I really enjoyed it.It is about a young girl 11 years old and she wants to do what any normal kid wants to do on a hot summer day GO TO THE POOL...but her mothers fear for Penny is getting Polio. So Penny ends up working at her uncle's meat shop delivering with her cousin. Then one day something happens to Penny read the book to find out .
              • rozeb
                rozebSunday, October 6, 2013 at 8:23 am44 stars
                I really really like this book. It is super good. My very favorite character is Penny. I do not remember reading this that much.
                • katofallyra21
                  katofallyra21Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 3:03 pm55 stars
                  I have read this book twice so far, and it's so good! Praise for M(r)s. Jennifer L. Holm! :)
                  • katofallyra21
                    katofallyra21Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 2:36 pm55 stars
                    I loved the time period, and the great story!
                    • 20mpatton
                      20mpattonThursday, November 1, 2012 at 12:34 pm44 stars
                      This book is about a girl named penny who lives with her mom and grandparents. Her dad passed away and she tries to deal with it and her families rivalry. She is having a great summer untill something happens. If you want to find out more read it! I just finished it and it was great! I highly reccomend it!