Posted by: Lizzie Ross | July 22, 2011

Penderwicks’ Return

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street (2008), Jeanne Birdsall, 308 pp.

While I’m on vacation, I’ve scheduled these next three reviews in advance, all brief, but, with luck, informative and inspirational. These are perfect books for the beach, or the lake — or wherever your travels take you.

This one is a continuation of the Penderwicks series, with the four girls back home in western Massachusetts, attending school and dealing with problems large and small. The major plot line is about what will happen when their widowed father begins dating again. Horrors! Rosalind, the eldest, has read enough stories to know what having a stepmother could mean, and the girls do their best to foil their father’s plans.

School brings its own problems, as Skye and Jane trade homework assignments. Let this be a lesson to you: don’t let your fiction-writing sister compose the play you’ve been assigned to write. Such deception only leads to trouble.

Batty, the youngest, makes friends with the toddler next door, and the two spy on a mysterious Bug Man whom no one believes actually exists.

Easy reading here, but pleasurable all the same. I like this family — they read good books (more references to E Nesbit, Edward Eager, Jane Austen, etc.), and their Latin-spouting father is teaching me a few things. I look forward to the next installment, The Penderwicks at Pointe Mouette: something to put on the list for next summer.

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