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PENNY DREADFUL by Laurel Snyder


by Laurel Snyder & illustrated by Abigail Halpin

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-375-86199-4
Publisher: Random House

Not dreadful at all, this very pleasant book introduces rich, lonely ten-year-old Penelope Gray, who lives in a tightly controlled and boring world. In desperation, she makes a wish for a less boring life—not knowing that wishes can come true. When her father quits his job, her desires become real, but not quite in the way she expected. This engaging twist on the “rags to riches” story follows Penelope’s family from their house in the city to an inherited home in a small town. Having changed her name to Penny, she comes to love the new house and its surrounding cottages, which are filled with a lovable and highly individualistic cast. The plot seems quiet, but there is actually a lot going on with the relationships among these fully drawn characters. Penny’s new acquaintances and the ups-and downs of their friendships provide suspense, as does the possibility that the Grays will lose their new home. The novel’s theme of friendship will appeal to fans of The Penderwicks, The Mysterious Benedict Society and Hilary McKay’s Casson Family books. (Fiction. 9-12)