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The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boyby Jeanne Birdsall
Synopses & Reviews
This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel's sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel's owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures.
The icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is not as pleased with the Penderwicks as Jeffrey is, though, and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will — won't they? One thing's for sure: it will be a summer the Penderwicks will never forget.
Deliciously nostalgic and quaintly witty, this is a story as breezy and carefree as a summer day.
"This timeless tale from a first-time author introduces the thoroughly likable Penderwicks, on vacation in a rental cottage on Arundel, a sprawling Massachusetts estate. Their spirited family dynamics and repartee call to mind those in Hilary McKay's novels, and the sisters' delightfully diverse personalities propel the plot. For instance, when they pull up to the estate's mansion, 10-year-old Jane feels certain she has spied a 'lonely boy' in a window and promptly begins a novel about him once they reach their cottage. Skye, 11, elated to have her own room with two beds (she plans to use both), immediately 'wrote the bed schedule next to her favorite word problem about trains traveling in different directions.' Batty, a shy four-year-old, faithfully wears her butterfly wings and is devoted to her dog, Hound (who 'insisted on licking faces in the middle of the night'). The girls' loving, amusingly distracted father is a botany professor with a fondness for spouting Latin phrases. Rosalind, the oldest at 12, has looked after the others since their mother's death (shortly after Batty's birth), and when she meets gentle Cagney, the estate's teenage gardener, he captures her heart. The 'lonely boy' turns out to be sensitive, sincere Jeffrey, a talented musician. Tension arises when Jeffrey's pretentious mother and her fianc decide to send the boy to military school. Certain to be as sorry as the sisters are when it's time to leave Arundel, readers will hope for a return visit from this memorable cast. Ages 8-12. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"So satisfying, the story begs for a sequel: it would be nice to see more of the Penderwicks." Ilene Cooper, Booklist (Starred Review)
Jacqueline Davies is the talented, award-winning writer of several novels and picture books. She lives in Needham, Massachusetts, with her family.Visit her website at www.jacquelinedavies.net.
and#160;and#160;and#160;In shaping this third book in the Lemonade War series, Jacqueline Davies writes: "In the first book, I focused on the brother/sister relationship. In the second one, I looked closely at the school/peer dynamic. I knew in the third one I wanted to return the focus to the family . . . and all roads pointed to the grandmother, the original caregiver in the story, who took care of Mrs. Treski when she was little and was such an important and stable part of Evan and Jessie's lives."
An unforgettable middle-grade debut that will steal your heart
Blue Gadsby’s twin sister, Iris, died three years ago and her family has never been the same. Her histrionic older sister, Flora, changes her hair color daily; her younger siblings, Jasmine and Twig, are completely obsessed with their pet rats; and both of her parents spend weeks away from home–and each other. Enter Zoran the Bosnian male au pair and Joss the troublemaking boy next door, and life for the Gadsby family takes a turn for the even more chaotic. Blue poignantly captures her family’s trials and tribulations from fragmented to fully dysfunctional to ultimately reunited, in a sequence of film transcripts and diary entries that will make you cry, laugh, and give thanks for the gift of families.
With the charm of The Penderwicks and the poignancy of When You Reach Me, Natasha Farrant's After Iris is a story that will stay with readers long after the last page.
Everything about this trip to Grandmaand#8217;s house was different:
First, because of the fire, Mrs. Treski, Evan, and Jessie had driven up to Grandmaand#8217;s two days after Christmas instead of the day before, missing Christmas with Grandma entirely.
Second, the fire had left a hole in the back kitchen wall big enough to drive a car through! And with Grandma in the hospital and not in her house, everything felt off.
Third, someone had climbed the long, slow slope of Lovell Hill to the top and had stolen the old iron bell hanging on its heavy wooden crossbeam.
Who on earth would steal the New Yearand#8217;s Bell? And how could Grandma, Mrs.Treski, Evan, Jessie, and their neighbors ring in the New Year without it?
Like a modern-day Beverly Cleary, Ms. Davies writes with heart, humor, and honesty about the inevitability of profound change and reveals just how well she understands the complex emotions of the children.
About the Author
Jeanne Birdsall lives in Massachusetss with her husband, four cats, a rabbit, a puppy, and a pet snail. She is working on another book about the Penderwick sisters.
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