Sunday, June 20, 2010

50. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

This book is so reminiscent of Arthur Ransom's and E Nesbitt's books in which a group of basically good children have adventures and get into trouble along the way.  The grownups are on the sideline for the most part.  In a way, the story seems like it was written 100 years ago, when it was actually published in 2005.  There is a bit more angst than in, say, The Railway Children, but still pretty much a fun and light hearted story. 

The four Penderwick sisters go on vacation with their father and stay in a cottage on the Arundel estate.  They meet Jeffrey, whose mother owns the estate, and they have lots of summer adventures.  But Jeffrey's mother is a big snob and disapproves of the Penderwicks and their influence on her son.  Soon Jeffrey is facing leaving soon for military school where he will learn some discipline.  So there are a couple of mean adults in the book who make life difficult for everyone.  The oldest daughter, 12-year-old Rosalind, falls in love with a 17-year-old boy which makes for another intersting storyline that you wouldn't find in any of those older children's novels.  But the children are adorable, the dog is loyal and rambunctious, and the father is absent-minded.  What else could you wish for?  Fun story for children and adults who enjoy a light read.  There is a sequel but I haven't heard how good it is.
Rated:  4


  1. I loved the old-fashioned feel of this book. I keep meaning to read the sequel but haven't yet.

  2. I see a Newbery sticker on the cover - was it a winner or an honorary? Either way it sounds good. I vaguely remember The Railway Children, something about an empty train car. Is that right?

  3. Booklogged, I thinkg you're thinking of The Boxcar Children. The Railway Children just live by a train track.

  4. Sounds fabulous. I just added it to my wishlist.