Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall

"Their mother had been here in the hospital with the new baby for almost a week."

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Summary: The four Penderwick sisters are faced with the unimaginable prospect of their widowed father dating, and they hatch a plot to stop him.

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf; 308 pages

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Penderwick books are wonderful wholesome books to give children whose parents are very strict about content. They are still fun and adventurous too!

Jen said...

Mmmmmmmm, do I need to go back and read the first one before I read this?

*a little pink from not having read the first one, which I know was good*

Teresa said...

Having read both of them, I didn't feel the first was necessary to enjoy the second. There are a few references, but nothing that truly impacts your understanding of this book.

I enjoyed this book a great deal, more than I cared for the first. Newbery? Someone will have to convince me of that.

Nancy said...

As I read this I kept thinking this is a modern day "Little Women" because of the close family. (I know in reality there are more differences than similarities.) I agree with anonymous this is a safe book plus it is good book. It should probably be popular for a long time, but don't think it is a strong contender for the Newbery.

Becky said...

A charming story with an old fashioned feel (although it is set in present day). I enjoy the closeness the sisters share, and I love the neighborhood gang. However, I agree with others. I'm not sure this is a Newbery, but it is a classic.

Annie R. 12yrs old said...

Be pleasantly surprised by this story! The next Penderwick tale is just as good as the first. Enjoy a great sequal about a family of four girls and one terrific father.

Mary, the viracious reader, 10 yrs old said...

I liked this book but it is not in my top twenty. I thought it was not as good as the first. It has a good story line but it didn't move along very quickly.

Jill said...

Having not read the first one, I truly enjoyed this book all the same. I thought it was cleverly written. Each girl was given their own unique personality, and those personalities were build on the entire book. What a feel-good book! I think I may go read the first one now!

Clare said...

I did not read the first one but thoroughly enjoyed this one! This was a cute story with age appropriate content, and numerous quirky twists. I think I loved it!

Jen said...

SPOILERS BELOW!

I must admit this book did not ring true for me. It's just too... ummm... squeaky clean. As Anonymous mentioned, it's a good book for kids whose parents are strict about content (though it does have 13 year-olds dating, and I'm not sure how many strict parents would go for that). It's a Ward Cleaver Meets the Modern Suburbs, and I'm not yet convinced that it seemed plausible. Certainly the apprehension of Bug Man left me wholly dubious.

This would have worked for a 70's sitcom, mind you... but we've already seen the Brady Bunch marathons. They too jumped the shark. I do like the close relationship of the sisters and the father-- and even Iantha and Ben-- but this simply does not gel into a believable tale for me. Perhaps if I'd read the first one I would have felt more kinship to the characters or been able to suspend belief better for the plot.

This is not a classic, IMHO. It is an imitation classic. It smells like synthetic vanilla.