The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

There had been bad moments at Arundel and there were more to come, but the total badness of this moment lived in the girls’ memories for a long time.  They and Jeffrey untangled themselves and struggled to their feet feeling like they were about to face a firing squad, one that had every right to shoot them.  For they were completely in the wrong, and whatever anger and punishment the firing squad—that is, Mrs. TIfton—wanted to mete out, they deserved it.

The summer adventures of “four sisters, two rabbits, and a very interesting boy” make for a delightful story!  The Penderwick girls and their absent-minded professor father can’t go to their usual vacation spot at Cape Cod.  At the last minute, a friend tells them about  a house to rent in the Berkshire Mountains.

Arundel is owned by the snooty Mrs. Tifton.  Her house is truly a mansion, and the gardens are beautiful!  The cottage the Penderwicks rent is perfect for them with enough rooms and a large yard for Hound, their dog.  The girls are excited to meet Jeffrey, Mrs. Tipton’s son.  They all become good friends, and the fun begins!

No matter how hard they try, Rosalind, Skye, Jane and even four-year-old Batty keep doing things that make Mrs. Tifton so angry!  She doesn’t think they are a good influence on Jeffrey.  When Dexter, Mrs. Tifton’s boyfriend arrives, it gets even more complicated!

This is a great book to read aloud!  The cover probably won’t get a kid’s attention, but when they get involved in the story—they will laugh out loud!  And they will want to read the other books in the series: The Penderwicks on Gardam Street, The Penderwicks at Point Mouette, and the brand new book—The Penderwicks in Spring.

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