The Definitive Guide to

Love, Penelope

Written by Joanne Rocklin & illustrated by Lucy Knisley and Joanne Rocklin
Published by Amulet Books
Goodreads Rating - 3.6 / 5.0
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Mar 20, 2018
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What's Love, Penelope About

Publisher Summary

Penny is excited to welcome her new sibling, so throughout her mom’s pregnancy she writes letters to it (not it, YOU!). She introduces herself (Penelope, but she prefers “Penny”) and their moms (Sammy and Becky). She brags about their home city, Oakland, California (the weather, the Bay, and the Golden State Warriors) and shares the trials and tribulations of being a fifth-grader (which, luckily, YOU won’t have to worry about for a long time). Penny asks little questions about her sibling’s development and starts to ask big questions about the world around her (like if and when her moms are ever going to get married “for real”). Honest, relatable, and full of heart, Love, Penelope explores heritage, forgiveness, love, and identity through the eyes (and pen) of one memorable 10-year-old in a special year when marriage equality and an NBA championship made California a place of celebration.

What Kind of Book is Love, Penelope

What Should I Know As a Parent

Families are unique and have different expectations for the books they choose to read. The following is a list of concepts included in this book that some parents may wish to seek out or avoid.

LGBTQ: This book has two moms.

Note that this list is not exhaustive and there may be concepts in this book that are not included or have been insufficiently or incorrectly detailed here.

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Quotes from Love, Penelope

  • “I told her I had a lot of thoughts about the world and maybe I should write them down. I always feel better when I write things down.”

What Questions Should I Ask My Child

  • “How does Penelope feel after she has finally been honest about her “fabrication?” Why do you think that is?”

  • “What is your ancestral heritage? What are the traditions or ceremonies in your family related to your family history?”

Book Lists That Include Love, Penelope

Book Topics › school
Children's Books About School
Book Topics › family life
Children's Books About Family Life
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Who Wrote Love, Penelope

author & illustrator
Joanne Rocklin

Joanne Rocklin is the author of many books for children, including The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook, which won the Golden Kite Award, and Love, Penelope, which was an NCIBA Golden Poppy Book Award winner.

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Who Illustrated Love, Penelope

Lucy Knisley

Lucy Knisley is a critically acclaimed comic creator and author of the New York Times bestselling graphic memoir Relish.

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What Has Joanne Rocklin Said About Love, Penelope

  • Why did you choose to write the novel in journal form?

    I love writing in first person for the middle grades, and have done it in diary/letter form before. It is an age of increased introspection, an intense pondering of identity, and a growing desire to examine one’s place in the world, which the form allows. There are also many opportunities for humor (both conscious and unconscious) as my narrator expresses observations that are innocent, open, and sometimes erroneous.

What Has Lucy Knisley Said About Love, Penelope

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Lucy know that you want more details about Love, Penelope!

What Do Critics Say About Love, Penelope

  • “Rocklin captures a lesser-seen slice of contemporary American urban life: how the more troubling parts of our world trickle down to and affect upper elementary students as they encounter prejudice in its many forms. Penny’s optimism and resolve is a joyous testament to our complicated world.”

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  • “Rocklin’s novel deals honestly with the ways even the best friends and parents can disappoint, creating numerous genuine and moving moments.”

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Book Details

Publication Date:
March 20, 2018
Library of Congress Number (LCCN):
WorldCat Number (OCLC):
ATOS® Book Level:
Accelerated Reader® Points:
Accelerated Reader Quiz:
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Core Score - 92%
So, SO close to perfection!
Depth Score - 46%
Just the barebones.
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