From the Publisher
“A thoughtful and often funny novel that should appeal to the world's many Peninas.” Booklist
“Well-crafted multiple themes are integrated into a captivating, realistic middle-grade novel where conflicts are addresses, if not resolved, in pragmatic and convincing scenarios.” Kirkus Reviews
“Like an older Amber Brown, Penina is a feisty and thoroughly enjoyable heroine with whom readers will easily connect. O'Connell's artful weaving of Jewish traditions and history throughout the novel make it all the richer, and the occasional illustrations complement the dynamic humor.” School Library Journal
“Careful explanations of Passover traditions ensure that gentile readers won't get left behind, and youngsters in general will sympathize with a kid who stands up for herself when she's wronged.” The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
School Library Journal
Penina Levine's new teacher has given an assignment to send cards as the Easter Bunny to kindergartners at a neighboring school, and the sixth grader is uncomfortable with it because she is Jewish. When she tries to fulfill the spirit of the task without compromising her beliefs, Ms. Anderson shows a remarkable lack of sensitivity and gives her a zero. Feeling that her parents won't understand, Penina keeps the issue to herself, but she finally confides in Grandma, who is both appalled at the teacher and proud of her "hard-boiled egg": her granddaughter who gets tougher when the heat is turned on. As soon as Penina's parents are made aware of the problem, calls are made to the principal, and the teacher quickly gets a lesson in appreciating diversity. Penina is afraid that Ms. Anderson will be angry with her, but the two come to respect one another. While the idea of a young teacher being so culturally obtuse in the 21st century stretches credibility, the story moves along at an entertaining pace. Like an older Amber Brown, Penina is a feisty and thoroughly enjoyable heroine with whom readers will easily connect. O'Connell's artful weaving of Jewish traditions and history throughout the novel makes it all the richer, and the occasional illustrations complement the dynamic humor.
Kim DareCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.