As a bit of perfectionist myself, I understand how Penelope feels. When I was in elementary school, I often did extra credit work, even though I didn't need the extra points for my grade. I worried about my handwriting to the point that I pressed so hard on the pencil, it was impossible to erase mistakes. (My family bought me pencils with extra-hard lead so that I couldn't make such permanent marks on the paper.) Even in college, I made notes and outlined each chapter in the textbooks, completing the review questions even if they weren't assigned by the professor. Although I have lightened up a bit, I still remember how it feels to want everything to be perfect and to hate when things don't run smoothly.
Penelope is "Penelope Perfect" because she sticks to her careful routine, skips recess to make sure her assignments are perfect, and keeps to-do lists close at hand. But when there is a thunderstorm that knocks out the power, her alarm doesn't wake her at the normal time and her day if off to a horrible start. Can such a terrible day possibly have a good ending? When she rushes into class late, everyone stops and stares. And when she gets her first ever B on a paper, it seems like the end of the world. But maybe Penelope can learn something important from this disaster.
There are suggested activities and discussion ideas at the end of the book, along with a brief description of perfectionism from a psychologist's perspective. Parents and teachers who are trying to help a child deal with this issue will be grateful for the support of this story and the additional resources in the back matter.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. Here is a press release with more details about the book. The author also has her own website.