Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Penderwicks

266904April 10th is National Siblings Day in the USA.  It is a day to celebrate siblings.  I think The Penderwicks is the perfect book to highlight such a day.  It is the first book in a series of fun books, although it is my favorite so far.  It introduces us to a very fun cast of characters.  The Penderwick sisters are very different from each other, which at times causes a little drama.  But at the end of the day they are fiercely loyal and love each other very much.  Their mother is dead and they must count on each other to fill that empty role.  Their father is a very loving and wonderful man as well.  Now for the girls, first you have 12 year old Rosalind.  As the oldest, she is thrown into the role of looking after her sisters and therefore is forced to be responsible.  Next comes Skye, who tends to let her temper get the better of her.  Jane is an aspiring author, penning stories following Sabrina Starr on various ridiculous adventures.  She reminds me a bit of Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables).  Finally we have 4 year old Batty.  She loves to wear butterfly/fairy wings and is constantly accompanied by the loyal family dog, Hound.  Batty is an animal lover to the core.  When the Penderwick family rents a cottage on the grounds of Arundel manor for a summer vacation, the girls immediately find adventure and trouble.  To their delight, the snooty owner has a young son, Jeffrey, who is a kindred spirit in many ways.  They instantly become friends, and for Jeffrey and perhaps the girls, life will never be the same.  This book is light and full of fun.  It is a bit of a throw back to the innocent stories of old.  It truly is out of time.  The setting isn't necessary for the innocence of childhood and the adventure we can have when we use our imagination and enjoy the outdoors.  The characters are really entertaining and definitely kept me interested right through the ending.  The plot isn't super complex and the story isn't much more than a summer adventure, but that didn't make it less enjoyable.  After all, it did win the National Book Award in 2005, so obviously the appeal is not just in my head.  It is a great book to read alone or together as a family.  The Penderwick family is truly unforgettable and vastly entertaining.  Happy reading!

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