November 1, 2006
The Penderwicks - by Jeanne Birdsall
This is a delightful story about four young, smart, and funny American girls, their Latin-speaking botanist father, and their faithful dog, Hound. The Penderwick family organized a summer vacation, sight unseen, to a cottage called Arundel somewhere on the Northeast coast of the U.S. Little did they know that Arundel was actually just the guest cottage to a mansion, belonging to the decidedly TERRIBLE Mrs. Tifton (thanks for correcting me, Mollie), and her very interesting son Jeffrey. The story centers on the Penderwick girls' adventures with Jeffrey and Hound, and is a rollicking good adventure for lovers of smart realistic fiction. The writer doesn't dumb down her language, so the reader must be smart her/himself to follow along. This is a charming story, a classic-to-be, and in fact was a winner of the National Book Award.