Book Review | Penina Levine is a Hard-Boiled Egg
by Rebecca O’Connell

Score: 3.5

There are certain aspects of this story that did not ring true to me. I found it hard to believe that a sixth grade public school teacher would have her class writing Easter bunny letters for a group of kindergarteners at a Catholic school where a friend teaches. I also found it difficult to believe that in this age of diversity training, this same teacher would not understand a Jewish student not wanting to write such a letter for religious reasons. I guess Ms. Anderson missed those classes during her teacher training.

In spite of all that however, I thoroughly enjoyed this book because Penina Levine is a thoroughly enjoyable character. My children experienced similar issues during their school years and had to develop strength of character, as Penina’s, in order to make teacher’s understand that their religious differences did not make them weird. Penina Levine stands up for herself accepting all consequences to prove her point. You have to admire her while shaking your head at the absurdity of the situations in which she finds herself.

I hope there will be more books about Penina Levine, her sister Mimsy and her entire family. They will all belong on our children’s bookshelves, as Penina Levine is a hero for us all.

I recommend this book for all Jewish libraries and libraries everywhere.

Grade Level: 3-6

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