Children's Books

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NOVEMBER 9, 2006
The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy
This is a very sweetly written tale of four young sisters, who spend their three weeks of summer vacation in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. They and their widowed father rent a cottage on the Arundel Hall Estate. Arundel Hall is a beautiful mansion with lovely gardens. Mr. Penderwick, who is a botantist, is excited about studying the plants of Arundel Hall. Rosalind, Skye, Jane, and Batty, are all excited about exploring the gardens and grounds surronding their cottage. One of their adventures, they run into Jeffrey Tifton, the son of the owner of Arundel Hall. Jeffrey is pleased to meet the Penderwicks, and he is glad to now have some friends to play with. Jeffrey is a lonely boy. His mother is often busy with high society duties and so the Penderwicks are a refreshing change for him. Jeffrey's dream is to attend the Boston Conservatory of Music. His mother is set on sending him to Pencey Military Academy, so that Jeffrey can become a great soldier like his grandfather. Throughout the time that the Penderwicks are staying at Arundel Hall, they and Jeffrey learn many things about each other. Jane discovers that she does have the ability to write, Rosalind, that she has the capacity to listen, Skye, that she can actually be friends with a boy, and Batty, that she has wings that are meant to be flown. Jeffrey, too, also realizes that he has wings on which to fly. Mrs. Tifton, as well, comes to terms that Jeffrey has a mind of his own and that he needs a chance to grow. This story received star reviews in both School Library Journal and Book List and is a National Book Award Honor. It is reminiscent of such stories as "The Secret Garden," and "Little Women." If you are looking for just a good story with well-developed charaters, this is a book for you. This book is good for children in grades 3-6.

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