Somewhere, there are families like the Penderwicks. Lucky them. The rest of us just get to read about them. Lucky...

READ REVIEW

THE PENDERWICKS AT POINT MOUETTE

From the Penderwicks series , Vol. 3

Music and melodrama waft on the ocean breezes as the Penderwicks spend time on the Maine coast, in the third installment about this charming family. 

Well, most of the Penderwicks. Dad’s on his honeymoon; eldest sister Rosalind is away at the Jersey shore. Joining the three remaining sisters and their beloved aunt is dear friend Jeffrey, introduced in the first novel. Skye, second eldest, is now overseer of her sisters and isn’t happy about it, especially when the third, Jane, develops a crush on a most unworthy boy. Then Batty, the youngest, confounds everyone by discovering musical talent that no Penderwick has ever displayed. Most dramatic of all is the startling revelation that slowly reveals itself in the musician living next door. Readers who enjoyed the previous books (The Penderwicks, 2005; The Penderwicks on Gardam Street, 2008) will like this one, too, because of its cozy familiarity, and Birdsall writes with a warm, sure hand. The girls are, as usual, kind, endearing, self-possessed, self-aware and comforting. Readers will also be happy, though wary, about the surprise disclosure but will likely see it coming. That’s OK. Penderwick fans like their stories old-fashioned, replete with coincidences and gently soap-opera–esque elements.

Somewhere, there are families like the Penderwicks. Lucky them. The rest of us just get to read about them. Lucky us. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: May 10, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-375-85851-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An eminently satisfying story of family, recovery, and growing into manhood.

REBOUND

In this prequel to Newbery Award–winning The Crossover (2014), Alexander revisits previous themes and formats while exploring new ones.

For Charlie Bell, the future father of The Crossover’s Jordan and Josh, his father’s death alters his relationship with his mother and causes him to avoid what reminds him of his dad. At first, he’s just withdrawn, but after he steals from a neighbor, his mother packs a reluctant Charlie off to his grandparents near Washington, D.C., for the summer. His grandfather works part-time at a Boys and Girls Club where his cousin Roxie is a star basketball player. Despite his protests, she draws him into the game. His time with his grandparents deepens Charlie’s understanding of his father, and he begins to heal. “I feel / a little more normal, / like maybe he’s still here, / … in a / as long as I remember him / he’s still right here / in my heart / kind of way.” Once again, Alexander has given readers an African-American protagonist to cheer. He is surrounded by a strong supporting cast, especially two brilliant female characters, his friend CJ and his cousin Roxie, as well as his feisty and wise granddaddy. Music and cultural references from the late 1980s add authenticity. The novel in verse is enhanced by Anyabwile’s art, which reinforces Charlie’s love for comics.

An eminently satisfying story of family, recovery, and growing into manhood. (Historical verse fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: April 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-86813-7

Page Count: 416

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An introduction to teen social and emotional issues that takes care not to delve too deeply into the darker side of things.

THE PERFECT SCORE

From the Perfect Score series , Vol. 1

Middle school students contend with standardized tests.

Flawed and gifted in equal amounts, Natalie, Randi, Trevor, Mark, Gavin, and Scott, whether they know it or not, are all looking for solutions. Multiple points of view within the conceit of an investigation of a standardized-test cheating scheme focus on each student’s personal, social, and familial issues, tackled in different ways with support from their teachers and friends. However, many of the fixes are formulaic or temporary—for example, though they’ve made friendships or improved in reading, there are no plans in place for the kids with behavioral or learning disorders—and readers will have to think outside of the book and past the happy ending to realize that the problems haven’t been fully solved. While the negative impact of standardized tests on students is addressed provocatively, the sometimes-facile treatment of other problems—an abusive brother, parental judgement and criticism, relative poverty, ethical conundrums, friendlessness, dyslexia, impulse control—lends the book a superficial air. (Race is not an issue explored, as the book seems to subscribe to the white default.) Still, readers will be drawn in by the lively voices and eventful lives of these likable and engaging students and may gain some insight and empathy into the plights of others.

An introduction to teen social and emotional issues that takes care not to delve too deeply into the darker side of things. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93825-6

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more