Book #28: Penny from Heaven

My 11-year-old wanted to read Penny from Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm for her book club.  Actually, she went to the book club without reading it, got excited by the discussion, then asked me to read it aloud to her.  I’ll admit, I wasn’t super excited about it.  My daughter couldn’t remember most of the details and the blurb on the book didn’t draw me in, but I promised and we went ahead.

Did you know how badly Italians were persecuted in the U.S. during World War II?  Me neither.  They weren’t allowed to own certain kinds of radios, they were often forced to register themselves with the government if they weren’t born in the U.S. and were ostracized in their communities.  Reading this book reminded me so much of Picture Bride by Yoshiko Oshida.  Japanese were interred in camps within our own country during WWII?  What the heck?  Why was this never covered in American History in high school?  Same feeling.

Penny is a nice girl, but nothing about her really stood out, so I didn’t connect with her as much as I hoped.  Yes, her Italian family is quirky and the mystery about her father is frustrating, but it felt like she just existed as a backdrop to their stories.  I like how things turned out in the end and there was some excitement along the way, but I wish Holm had written Penny as a more interesting girl overall.

Goodreads rating: 4 stars

Author
Jenny

About the Author

has written 281 articles on Red Hot Eyebrows.

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