Sunday, 1 December 2013

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E)

 September 2013, Corgi, 304 pages, Paperback, Review copy

Themes: family life, the chaos and love of 4 sisters, a besotted dog, a stranger, having a parent date, implications of potential new step-mother, deceptions, realisations, burnt cheese sandwiches, stars, ignoring the obvious, unusual emotions, not being your usual self, unexpected events, car battery, a special rock, spies, a spying mission gone wrong, blankets and a car, cute baby, a significant duck, being in trouble, school play, homework, being true to yourself, having confidence, acknowledging fear and facing it head on, family traditions,

Content: Mild tween crush, lots of humour and mixed emotions, tissues definitely needed

The Penderwick sisters are at home on Gardam Street and ready for an adventure!

But the adventure they get isn't quite what they had in mind. Mr Penderwick's sister has decided it's time for him to start dating - which can only mean one thing: disaster.

Enter the Save Daddy Plan - a plot so brilliant, so bold, so funny, that only the Penderwick girls could have come up with it. But does Mr Penderwick really need saving, and can the sisters solve their own problems at the same time?

Nayuleska's thoughts 
I cried at both the prologue and the end. The prologue answered my question of what happened to Mrs Penderwick, which I'd had since book 1, as well as me needing a tissue. I needed another tissue at the fitting epilogue, which I'd read once already. I am unrepentant! I was tired, cranky, and wanted some good news so I peeked at the end to see if my assumptions were correct. They were, and I stand by my decision to read the end before I'd reached it. It made the awesome story of the fun and crazy sisters even more entertaining as I kept looking for clues.

More so than book 1 the Penderwick sisters act both like themselves and out of character. Each has at least one main issue that they have to wrestle with. For a time they suffer in silence alone, making it a real pleasure to watch them let other people in. All 4 of them are involved in crazy tricks and behaviour, although, like book 1, it has to be said that Rosalind is joint favourite with Batty. As the eldest Rosalind has a responsibility to her sisters, but that responsibility makes life tough for her. I adored her acting out of character because it flummoxed everyone who knows her. Skye and Jane's scheming had me shaking my head, while Batty remains adorably cute, with excellent taste of toys and logic. Now I have to wait for book 3....

You can find out more on Jeanne's website.

Suggested read
Reading book 1 is a no brainer. The Penderwicks (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E) 

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