Review by Miss Dewey at Orenda
Five paw prints!!! Penny has a pretty good, if not unusual, life. She lives with her Anglo/Protestant mother and her mother’s parents, all of whom are very quiet. She goes to the local public school and summer vacation is about to begin. This means she will have more time to spend with her father’s Italian/Catholic family that lives a few blocks away. Her father’s family is anything but quiet. There are always kids running around making noise. There are always adults having loud conversations (Italians don’t argue, they just have loud conversations), especially about food. And there is more than enough going on in her father’s family to keep Penny and her cousin Frankie busy all summer. But there is just one problem. Penny’s father is dead and no one will talk about him. All she knows is that he died during World War II. But this summer Penny wants to learn what happened to her father, and she might not like what she hears. Penny From Heaven is a wonderful story about a girl, her family, and what happened to her family because of the American government’s fear of the “enemy” during World War II. Most Americans know how poorly the American government treated Japanese Americans during the war, but very few people know that Italian Americans were treated poorly too, including Penny’s father. To learn more about World War II visit http://www.nps.gov/nwwm/ or visit http://www.nps.gov/features/nama/feat0001/index2.html to watch a short video.