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The Penderwicks in Spring

(The Penderwicks #4)

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  9,450 ratings  ·  1,278 reviews
Springtime is finally arriving on Gardam Street, and there are surprises in store for each member of the family. Some surprises are just wonderful, like neighbor Nick Geiger coming home from war. And some are ridiculous, like Batty's new dog-walking business. Batty is saving up her dog-walking money for an extra-special surprise for her family, which she plans to present o ...more
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published March 24th 2015 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
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 ·  9,450 ratings  ·  1,278 reviews

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Brandy Painter
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

The Penderwicks is not just one of my favorite ongoing series; it is one of my favorite series of all time. I'm always astounded by the depth of emotion and diverse, realistic relationship dynamics Birdsall is able to capture with these characters. The Penderwicks in Spring surpassed my expectations even though they were astronomically high already. It is now my favorite, having edged out The Penderwicks on Gardam Street.

Minor spoilers fo
It's three in the morning and I'm a mess. I didn't think that this book would have that kind of power over me. Well, maybe I kind of did, but some unexpected and expected things happened and I don't even know quite what to think about some of them-or whether I should give this book five stars, or four stars, or one star. My heart hurts.

Now there will be spoilers.

When you get a new book in a series, your fear is always that it will be different from the ones you know and loved before. It's even
"Listen to me, Batty. Dogs die. People die. Guinea pigs die! We do the best we can while they're alive, and then they die anyway. Right?"

Heavy stuffy, especially for a beloved children's series that typically features more cheerful subject matter. Yet these words are a catharsis for young Batty Penderwick, who has been weighted down with self-imposed guilt for (she believes) being the reason loved ones have died. From the beginning of the book, when newest Penderwick sibling Lydia insists on tel
8 July 2021

I can't think of another book that addresses depression in a child. Grief as the reaction to loss comes up fairly often, but not so much despair. Here is a child overwhelmed and unable to ask for help, and a loving family bewildered and puzzled.

Of course, problems are resolved, confusion is cleared up, and all comes right in the end. It's wonderfully comforting because the mood is so realistically awful for a while. Cathartic as hell.


2 May 2015

Neither of the girls wanted to read th
Adrienne Pettinelli
I would like there to be infinity Penderwicks books.
Hannah Atwater
Oct 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, owned


After waiting for 4 years, I finally read it, and loved, and it was all over in one day. And now the wait is back for at least another 2 years.


I thought going in that the book being narrated by only Batty and Ben would bother me, but I actually liked it. We still got to hear about the other sisters, just not as much.

Ok. About Skye and Jeffrey. I have shipped them since who knows when, and if they don't get together in the last book I'm going to be so mad.


Jeanne Birdsall sai
Ruth E. R.
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Life just doesn't get any better than the Penderwicks. There are no books that I want to savor as much as these. Jeanne Birdsall can take as long as she wants to finish writing the fifth and therefore final book of the series. This family only exists on written pages, and I want to stay with them always. I laugh out loud with them, and my heart breaks with them. Bringing to life such a quality family takes time.

Jeanne Birdsall is a master at transforming the ordinary into something extraordinary
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
The Penderwicks are my favorite series of books. I have literally grown up with Rosalind, Skye, Jane, and Batty! I was Jane's age when the books first came out and I will be her age when the last book comes out. Every car trip includes listening to the Penderwicks, which me and my sister can recite from heart! This book has been long anticipated, can't wait to read what Mrs. Birdsall has in store for America's favorite family. These books will become classics for the future generations! Counting ...more
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
I didn't think I was going to enjoy a story with Batty as the main Penderwick, but boy oh boy was I wrong. I laughed. I cried. I just loved this so much! ...more
Jul 11, 2014 added it
Shelves: mg-fiction
I love this series, and I loved almost everything about this book. It is so beautifully written, I sank right into it in the first couple of pages and was carried all the way through with a feeling of deep comfort. It could easily stand on its own, but of course it's even more fun to have read the earlier books beforehand. I looooooved Batty and Ben, the two younger Penderwicks who get to be PoV characters this time round. And oh, did I sob at the climax of the book - I can't remember the last t ...more
Feb 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kidlit
I was first introduced to the Penderwicks when I was in 4th grade and my family was going on a vacation that involved a long car ride. I don't remember what time of year or where we were going, but I remember my mom telling me to pick out some audiobooks to listen to on the trip. And while my parents listened to some deathly boring nonfiction (it was about cod. Like, the fish. I don't know why I remember that), I got out my little personal CD player and listened to the first Penderwicks book. I ...more
Apr 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
I was really disappointed by "The Penderwicks in Spring". I was expecting them to be little, like in the other books (which I adore) but instead they had aged five years! Why? Now it's only Batty and Ben, my least favorite characters! And Sky and Jane are (for me) barely in it. I'm all mixed up about what's happening in the story. It doesn't have the same Penderwick charm as did the other books. I can't say I didn't like it but it still isn't the rare diamond in the sea of rocks to me. It's just ...more
m a r y l i z
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
// Re-Read May 2018 //

Just as meaningful and emotional as I remember. Oh, how I love the Penderwicks. <3

Now to just wait for the FINAL BOOK to come out. #help

/ / /

Wowowowow...this book made me feel so many feelings. I absolutely loved it, maaaaybe even more than the first book. Or at least just as much. ;)

Review coming soon! (Hopefully during spring break, once I can get to my computer again.)

5 stars!
Apr 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grades
The Penderwicks are back for another adventure. This book takes place several years after the last. Batty is now almost 11, Ben 8 and there's a new Penderwick - two-year-old Lydia who rules the roost! It's spring in Massachusetts which means lots of things Batty hates: book reports, teenagers swarming the house, memories of Hound who died 6 months ago. Spring also brings the return of Rosalind from college and Skye and Batty's birthdays. Batty is looking forward to having a heart-to-heart chat w ...more
Jan 13, 2015 rated it liked it
I loved, loved, loved the first three Penderwick books, which all took place within a year or so of each other. This one, however, was set so far into the future that everything seemed alien and strange. I disliked receiving perspective solely from Batty (and occasionally Ben). The older sisters, Rosalind, Skye, and Jane, are distant and rarely heard from. I found Birdsall's attempts to cover what happened in the six-year gap between books three and four awkward. The introduction of monetary pro ...more
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
At long last, we have received news of the Penderwicks.

Jeanne Birdsall has consistently avowed that it takes her three years to write a Penderwicks novel. The Penderwicks at Point Mouette came out in 2011. So (allowing for the vagaries of the editing and publishing process) the next volume of Penderwickia will arrive in stores next month right on schedule.

Interestingly, even more time has passed within the world of the Penderwicks than in our world. When last we saw them, Rosalind, Skye, Jane,
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Jeanne Birdsall's MG books about the Penderwick family are always a delight, and this fourth in the series is no exception. Admittedly I didn't cry over it, possibly because everyone else I know who's read it told me that I would cry and therefore I was forearmed against it (or possibly because I have a heart of stone) but if I were the sort to cry over books, I know exactly where in the story I would have done it. Birdsall's characters -- children, teens, adults -- are so warmly and vividly dra ...more
Book Riot Community
I preordered this book last year, and when it arrived last month I realized I needed to reread the first three books in the series to get the full experience. Then I realized that my two daughters were old enough to understand the books now, so I started reading the first book out loud to them at night. We inched our way through the books with me reading one chapter a night out loud while The Penderwicks in Spring mocked me from the dining room table where it sat like a centerpiece. A few days a ...more
Jenn Estepp
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kidlit, comfort-food
I will admit, straight up, that I am not at all objective about the Penderwicks. I love them - and these books that relay their adventures to us - rather fiercely.

And with that out of the way ... Oh, man, y'all. This is wonderful. It made me cry at least four times and when I finished I just smiled in a daze and clutched it to my heart. Literally. But! Funny and sweet and charming and pretty much everything that you would expect a new Penderwicks to be. Love.
Deborah O'Carroll
I want to be able to write like this.
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I wonder if this was my favorite! It was so good, and sad and sweet at the same time. I loved it.
Vikki VanSickle
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book focuses on Batty, who is now eleven. She has recently discovered a hidden talent for singing and cannot wait to share it with her family on her birthday, which also happens to be when Rosalind returns from college and Jeffrey is visiting from Boston. Despite a large revolving cast, the characters are clear and the reader never feels overwhelmed. Birdsall’s gentle third person narration gives us wonderful insights into her characters, some which tug at the heartstrings and others that m ...more
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, novels, kiddos
This book tore me apart and rebuilt me line by line. I don’t understand how Jeanne Birdsall can keep writing Penderwick books that somehow top the excellence of previous entries in the series, but somehow she does.

Like the previous three Penderwick books, The Penderwicks in Spring is funny, joyful, heartwarming and fun. On top of that, this one adds a dollop of heartbreaking pathos. Birdsall has been upfront about her desire to create a Little Women for today’s generation, and of all the Pender
May 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's possible that my box of tissues and I stayed up until 2:00 in the morning to finish reading this. ...more
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I dearly loved getting to know the Penderwick Family in books 1-4. Can't wait for the 5th and final book to arrive. ...more
It's a Penderwicks book, I don't think I can rate it less than 4 stars.

So, I had trouble with this book when I started reading it. It skipped 5 or 6 years into the future and most of the original sisters were in their mid to late teens, making them no longer the main characters. Now, I'm good with seeing what happens when they're older, buuuuut with it jumping so far ahead, I think some of the magic was lost. Not to mention all those years which could have been books of their own. If there was a
Melissa McShane
Read for the 2016 YA/MG Book Battle.

This book was simply charming. I fell in love with the Penderwick family, both immediate and extended. Birdsall has a real gift for characterization that shows throughout the story, even in the most marginal of side characters (like the kindergarten twins who fall in love with Ben). I had some trouble keeping the three older sisters separate at first, but I’m sure that’s because I haven’t read any of the other books in the series—a deficiency I plan to remedy
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, mg-newbery

THIS BOOK. I can't get over how much I loved it. And I can't get over how much I laughed.
How could such a person as Oliver come from a state with so many great rocks?
Trust me, it's funny. And:
"But if anyone knows how to break up with someone you're not exactly with, I wouldn't mind a hint."

"I know, I know," said Ben, raising his hand like he was in class. "It's this thing Nick taught me."
I held my sides. I barked like a seal.
Carrie Gelson
Reading about the Penderwicks is soothing. It's celebratory. It is like coming home after a long trip and being absolutely charmed by the known, the ordinary, the nuances of family. I love every little detail on every page. ...more
Andrea Cox
Amazing and deep for a kids’ book. I like that the author chose to write about themes of death, romance, and familial changes. This story and its adorable, adventurous Penderwick children are important helpers to teaching children how to handle life changes.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Penderwicks: Sky and Jeffrey 6 35 Aug 08, 2017 02:10PM  
The Penderwicks (in general) 1 6 Oct 26, 2016 12:11PM  
More books like the Penderwicks? 4 52 Jul 18, 2016 03:30PM  
Henrico Youth Boo...: The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall 1 1 Mar 11, 2015 05:56AM  

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Jeanne Birdsall grew up in the suburbs west of Philadelphia, where she attended wonderful public schools. Jeanne had lots of great teachers, but her favorites were: Mrs. Corkhill, sixth grade, who encouraged her intellectual curiosity; Mr. Tremonte, eighth grade algebra, who taught Jeanne to love and respect math; and Miss Basehore, second and fourth year Latin, to whom Jeanne (and Mr. Penderwick) ...more

Other books in the series

The Penderwicks (5 books)
  • The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy (The Penderwicks #1)
  • The Penderwicks on Gardam Street (The Penderwicks, #2)
  • The Penderwicks at Point Mouette (The Penderwicks, #3)
  • The Penderwicks at Last (The Penderwicks, #5)

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