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PENINA LEVINE IS A POTATO PANCAKE by Rebecca O’Connell

PENINA LEVINE IS A POTATO PANCAKE

By Rebecca O’Connell (Author) , Majella Lue Sue (Illustrator)

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59643-213-0
Publisher: Roaring Brook

As the fall semester of her sixth grade year winds down, Penina’s woes overshadow any Hanukkah celebration. Her beloved teacher, Mrs. Brown, is unexpectedly resigning, and her best friend, Zozo, is going on vacation, leaving Penina with nothing to do except dodge Mimsy, her annoyingly cute, pesky little sister. Behind in creating presents for her family, Penina wishes the eight nights of candle lighting would reflect more on the meaning of the holiday’s remembrance of the Maccabees’ struggle than gift-giving, at least until she is ready. And when Grandma tries to support Penina’s cantankerous and moody behavior by claiming to her exasperated mother that Penina is “Grandma’s revenge,” the remark sparks a hurtful misunderstanding—fortunately followed by a quick reconciliation with hugs, kisses and potato pancakes. As she struggles to understand her immediate world, Penina draws strength from her close friendship and family support. In this prequel to 2007’s Penina Levine Is a Hard-Boiled Egg, O’Connell’s feisty, endearing tween character allows readers a glimpse into a typical Jewish-American modern household. (Fiction. 8-10)