Sunday, June 23, 2013

Penina Levine Is a Hard-Boiled Egg

Illustrated by Majella Lue Sue, Roaring Brook Press, 2007 and Square Fish, 2009

Sequel to Penina Levine Is a Potato Pancake

What' is this book about? Click here.

Association of Jewish Libraries Notable Book for Older Readers

A Passover Riddle by Edgar O'Connell:
What type of cheese might be served at the Seder?

“Penina is a feisty and thoroughly enjoyable heroine with whom readers will easily connect.”
School Library Journal

“O’Connell’s story works on several levels: as an informative recounting of contemporary American Passover customs; an example of how a well–meant assignment grounded in a majority culture can be perceived as offensive; and a portrait of a prickly preadolescent trying to navigate her way between two different worlds…A thoughtful and often funny novel that should appeal to the world’s many Peninas.”

“Well–crafted multiple themes are integrated into a captivating, realistic middle–grade novel”
Kirkus Reviews

Scroll down for discussion questions.

Book Discussion Questions

1. Penina believed she was right to refuse to write a letter from the Easter Bunny.  Have you ever gotten an assignment that you believed you shouldn't have to complete?  What was it?  Why did you feel that way?

2.      Penina and Mimsy don't get along very well for most of the story. If you were Mimsy, is there anything you could do to improve the situation?  What if you were Penina?


3.       Penina doesn’t tell her parents about the Easter Bunny assignment, but she does talk about it with her Grandmother.  Has there ever been a time when you felt more comfortable talking about something with your grandparents than your parents?  How did the situation get resolved?
4.       Sometimes Penina does things she really doesn't mean to do (like saying a rude word to her teacher).  How do you think Penina feels about it? Has that ever happened to you?  How did it make you feel? 
5.       Penina's family celebrates the Passover holiday each year and many of the things they say and do have become family traditions.  Are there any occasions when your family does the same things each year?  What are your favorite family traditions?
6.      When Penina is grounded, she sneaks over to talk to her friend Zozo, even though she knows she's not supposed to.  How is disobeying her parents different from disobeying Ms. Anderson's request to write a letter as the Easter Bunny?

Thank you, Lisa Dennis, for the thoughtful questions.