Monday, 12 March 2012
Review: The Penderwicks
Author: Jeanne Birdsall
Publication Date: August 15th, 2004
Genre: Junior Fiction, Adventure, Realistic Fiction
One summer the Penderwick family decides to rent a cottage on the estate of Arundel. Mr Penderwick, his four daughters and their dog Hound all pile into the family car to travel to their temporary home. The eldest Penderwick, Rosalind, is twelve years old and the practical one in the family. Skye is eleven and is brilliant at math but has a short temper. Jane is ten and has the wildest imagination, which she puts to use in the books she writes. Batty is only four, and never goes anywhere with out the butterfly wings she wears. Mrs. Tifton is the owner of Arundel, and is also the most unpleasant person the children have ever encountered. But her son, Jeffrey, becomes fast friends with the girls and even becomes an honorary Penderwick. As the girls and their new friend spend the end of summer having fun, they just can’t manage to stay out of trouble.
A lot of times on the Internet you’ll see people saying how a TV show made their childhood or how your childhood was horrible if you’ve never heard of this movie. For me, my childhood was amazing not because of any of those things, but because my friends and I could make anything into something magical. I think that the The Penderwicks captured childhood beautifully. It was a very realistic portrayal of what it means to be a kid. Like The Invention of Hugo Cabret, it read like fantasy even though it wasn’t. It also felt like a classic even though it was written in 2004. The sisters’ ages range from four to twelve, which I really liked. It was nice to have such a broad perspective. The book is told in the third person, but the point of view alters between the four girls. I enjoyed the lively Penderwick sisters, from shy Batty to lovesick Rosalind. All of the girls were delightful and charming. The girls find themselves on little adventures throughout the book, while dealing with Jeffrey’s overbearing mother. It was so much fun and I’d recommend it for all ages. Overall, this was a great little book that reminds you that adventure can happen anywhere.
“‘Good-bye, dearest Jeffrey and Churchie and summer and magic and adventure and all that’s wonderful in life,” said Jane.”