Penny from Heaven
Jennifer L. Holm, , read by Amber Sealey. . Listening Library, $35 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7393-3111-8
A youthful voice serves Sealey well as narrator of this offbeat period piece chronicling the colorful experiences of 11-year-old Penny Falucci during the summer of 1953. Penny plans to have a dream summer vacation spending time at the local pool, eating butter pecan ice cream and listening to her beloved Brooklyn Dodgers on the radio with one of her many uncles or cousins. But not all happens according to plan when she suffers a devastating household accident. As Penny struggles to recover, she learns an ugly truth about her father's death years ago and comes to understand the estrangement between her mother's family and her father's boisterous Italian clan. Holm's plot has surprising twists and turns and plenty of evocative flavor, all of which give Sealey room to stretch a bit. Her crisp, even rhythm complements the pace of the unfolding drama. Ages 10-up.
Reviewed on: 10/16/2006