Author: Jeanne Birdsall
Series: The Penderwicks #1
Genre: YA, children's
Copyright Date: 2005
Cover: Sort of wood-cut looking, in white blue and yellow. It shoulds three girls and a rabbit on the bottom, one girl, a rabbit, and a dog on top. All are running, and all available shoelaces are untied. A gold National Book Award Winner decal is attached.
First line: "For a long time after that summer, the four Penderwick sisters still talked of Arundel."
Best part: Made me want to re-read all of the books I loved as a child.
Worst part: The ending felt a little rushed.
Imaginary Theme Song: "Summertime" by Billie Holiday
Grade: A solid B.
Recommended for: Fans of books written for young people, especially those who remember YA before the Harry Potter craze.
Related Reads: This book brought so many to mind - Sarah, Plain and Tall and The Four-Story Mistake may have the most in common with this topically. For something written for a slightly older group, Saffy's Angel by Hilary McKay is outstanding. Finally, there is a sequel, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street.
Batty Penderwick, the youngest, won't take her wings off. Her best friend is Hound Penderwick.
Jane Penderwick, the next youngest, writes books featuring the dashing Sabrina Starr, rescuer of creatures great and small.
Her sister Skye Penderwick has an insatiable curiosity for everything except whatever she is supposed to be doing.
And Rosalind, the oldest, tries her best to keep her head and look after her sisters.
Travel with the sisters as they take their summer vacation in the Berkshires with their dog and their dad.
If you miss children's books that remind you of a simpler time and rekindle your sense of wonder and fun, run, do not walk, to your nearest locally owned bookstore. Don't delay in picking up The Penderwicks. Read it to your kids on the beach, or read it to yourself on the train. It won't disappoint. The Penderwicks was Ms. Birdsall's first book, I hope many sequels and other books will be forthcoming.