PENINA LEVINE IS A HARD-BOILED EGG by Rebecca O’Connell

PENINA LEVINE IS A HARD-BOILED EGG

Age Range: 9 - 11

KIRKUS REVIEW

Life for Penina is becoming more combative. Her bratty four-year-old sister, Mimsy, is continually tattling and getting Penina grounded for inappropriate behavior. Her teacher, Ms. Anderson, is threatening her with a zero when Penina, who is Jewish, has misgivings and refuses to complete a required assignment related to Easter. And best friend Zozo provides very little moral support, and is sure Ms. Anderson will “flunk” Penina for missing three days of school to attend the family Seders out of town. Unwilling to confront her parents, who are already angry with her, Penina confides her problems to Grandma while peeling hard-boiled eggs for the Seder. Grandma quietly intercedes to make sure Penina gets some adult support. Her parents intervene at school to clear up the misunderstanding between a first-year teacher’s misguided good intentions and a sensitive religious issue. Through it all, Penina’s resilience strengthens as her predicament becomes heated much the way an egg hardens as it cooks in hot water. Well-crafted multiple themes are integrated into a captivating, realistic middle-grade novel where conflicts are addressed, if not resolved, in pragmatic and convincing scenarios. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2007
ISBN: 1-59643-140-7
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Deborah Brodie/Roaring Brook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2007




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