Penny From Heaven, Jennifer L. Holm

The year is 1953. Penny wants to be just a normal, pecan ice cream-eating, swimming, baseball-playing kid. All of that is hard to do with the two sides of her family not speaking to each other. No one ever mentions her deceased dad, not even her dad’s big, Italian family whom she eats dinner with every Sunday.

Penny’s mother won’t let her swim at the pool for fear she will catch polio. Instead, Penny and her cousin Frankie work at her uncle’s store. They deliver groceries to customers around town. When Penny isn’t delivering groceries, she spends time with her Uncle Dominic in his car, usually listening to a Dodger’s game.

Penny is unhappy when her mother starts dating the milkman. Her mother pays more attention to him then her, or at least that’s how Penny feels. But when her Uncle Dominic unintentionally hurts her arm in a wringer, all attention is on her. Penny stays in the hospital for weeks. Although he’s the one she was counting on the most,  her Uncle Dominic never visited her. After the accident, he seemed to disappear.

Penny From Heaven is a splendid book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Penny is a lovable character that will make you cry and laugh along right with her. I recommend this book especially for middle grades, but all readers would enjoy this wonderful book.


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