Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE PENDERWICKS by Jeanne Birdsall

THE PENDERWICKS

A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy

By Jeanne Birdsall

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: June 14th, 2005
ISBN: 0-375-83143-6
Publisher: Knopf

Echoes of Alcott contribute to the intimate charm of this story of “summer and magic and adventure.” Not since the Marches have readers met more engaging girls than the Penderwicks: Rosalind, 12, pretty and practical; Skye, 11, smart and blue-eyed; Jane, ten, aspiring author, whose alter ego, Sabrina Starr, is fearless and clever; and butterfly wing–wearing Batty, four. Dear Father is a botanist, fond of spouting witticisms in Latin; Mommy is in heaven. This year, vacation will be spent at the cream-colored cottage at Arundel, estate of snooty Mrs. Tifton, whose house is “like a museum, only without armed guards.” Unless she has a change of heart, Jeffrey, her gentle, music-loving only child, is doomed to be sent to Pencey Military Academy, “Where Boys Become Men and Men Become Soldiers.” Despite a few mishaps, the children become fast friends and partners in the sorts of lively plots and pastoral pastimes we don’t read much about these days. Their adventures and near-disasters, innocent crushes, escaped animals, owning-up and growing up (and yes, changes of heart) are satisfying and not-too-sweet. (Fiction. 8-12)