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The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy (The Penderwicks #1)
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The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy

(The Penderwicks #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  45,305 ratings  ·  4,952 reviews
The Penderwick sisters busily discover the summertime magic of Arundel estate’s sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. Best of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, the perfect companion for their adventures. Icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is less pleased with the Penderwicks than Jeffrey, and ...more
Paperback, 262 pages
Published March 2007 by Yearling (first published June 14th 2005)
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Mary I would disagree, I read this when I was ten and I loved it- as did all my friends, I also read the first three books with my mom and she loved them j…moreI would disagree, I read this when I was ten and I loved it- as did all my friends, I also read the first three books with my mom and she loved them just as much as I did. Now my whole family is hooked on the series. I'm a teenager now and I still return to these books for a good read. I just bought the last book in the series this summer. The Penderwicks was a book that I adored throughout my childhood and continue to love(less)
Susan Grebe Yes!!!! I loved the book, but it does have a strange, old-fashioned quality. If the author didn't mention a TV, I would have thought it was set in 190…moreYes!!!! I loved the book, but it does have a strange, old-fashioned quality. If the author didn't mention a TV, I would have thought it was set in 1900. The personality of Mrs. Tifton (even the fact that she goes by "Mrs." Tifton, the father speaking in Latin, even the names of the kids- with the possible exception of Skye -, make it seem like it's from another era. (less)

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Average rating 4.15  · 
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Start your review of The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy (The Penderwicks #1)
Rick Riordan
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I’ll admit I approach award-winning children’s books with some trepidation. All too often, children’s literature awards denote books that appeal to adult librarians and book critics rather than to children. The books are like brussel sprouts on the literary table. We are told to read them because they are supposedly good for us, not because we will enjoy them.

I was happy to find that National Book Award winner The Penderwicks was an exception. Four sisters and their father take a three-week sum
...more
Miranda Reads
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
description

People sometimes make unexpected choices when they're lonely.
The Penderwick sisters are summering with their father on a "cottage" (aka part of the Arundel estate).

There's Rosalind (12), Skye (11), Jane (10) and Batty (4), and (of course) their dad and their dog (Hound Penderwick).

They girls soon discover that this summer will be one that they will remember forever.

Arundel is nothing like the neglected little cottage they imagined. Each of the girls have their own room, the sprawlin
...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
I'm upping to 5 stars on reread. This is a timeless, heartwarming middle grade story of the Penderwick family and their three week vacation one August in a rental cottage in the Berkshire mountains, in western Massachusetts.

description

It may not sound too exciting, but with the Penderwicks, everything is an adventure! The family consists of:

❧ Mr. Penderwick, a widower who loves plants and randomly speaks in Latin to his daughters;
❧ Rosalind, age 12, who's taken on the caregiver role for her younger sist
...more
Kathryn
May 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All my friends!!!
Absolutely one of the best books I have ever read!!! My heart is so full, having just finished the book--it really touched me deeply and I absolutely love it! After just a few pages, I knew I the Penderwicks were destined to become my dear book-friends (like the March sisters and Anne and Emily of old!) and indeed the whole story was absolutely darling, charming, sweet, refreshing--everything I'd hoped for and more (because it is also remarkably sensitive, thoughtful and--I hate to say it, rare- ...more
emma
there is no book more lovely and summery and sweet than this one. man oh man.

this is a story about sisters that my sisters and i used to read growing up, and it is just as delightful (this book makes me use words like delightful!!) at 21 as it was at nine, and ten, and eleven, and twelve. (i read this book a lot. like, a lot a lot.)

i love these four sisters, and their friend Jeffrey, and their dad and their dog Hound. i love this setting and this summer. i could read this book again and again (a
...more
Kristin Hackett (SuperSpaceChick)
4.5 stars - This books is wonderful! It has all of the magic of a classic and I love the relationship between all of the sisters. Plus Hound is such a fun character!
Melissa
Feb 15, 2008 rated it it was ok
A lovely set-up for a book, but the characters never felt real. Somehow all the ages felt off--Batty talked like someone much older than 4, I had to keep reminding myeslf that Rosalind was only 12, and Mrs. Tifton seemed like she was in her 50s, not early 30s. I just never fell in love with the characters. It was trying too hard to be sweet and charming.
I did like Hound though.
Calista
This is like a re-imagined 'Little Women' for the modern age. It is different and similar. There are 4 girls with a neighbor boy who have lots of adventures over a summer where they grow up a little.

The Penderwicks can't go to the beach for their month long summer vacation this year which is a little disappointing, until they see the huge cottage they are renting for 3 weeks on the property of a huge mansion. The boy in the mansion - Jeffrey, welcomes the chaos that the girls bring with their f
...more
Brian Yahn
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
The tale of the Penderwicks is the epitome of a middle grade masterpiece. Adults that just don't get it, a summer vacation in a strange new land, hopeless love, heartbreak, best-friends-at-first-sight friendships, a family so close you wish you were a part of it. Jeanne Birdsall takes everything you loved about your childhood and whittles it down to a couple hundred pages.

The Penderwick children have enough personality to fill a series and I look forward to continuing the series and seeing where
...more
Crystal Starr Light
Jul 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Crystal Starr Light by: Shannon
Bullet Review:

This was a lot of fun, very reminiscent of quirky, family adventure books I read as a child. I would heartily recommend to this age group or anyone who is a child at heart who loves fun.

That said, there were a few eye-twitching parts/moments that keep this from a higher rating.

Although I rated it 3 stars, this is not me hating on the book! It is me saying it was "Okay". A book I would definitely recommend, but not want to pursue further books in the series.

Full review:

The Penderwic
...more
m a r y l i z
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Oh my stars! This book was the sweetest, most touching thing I've ever read. <3

It completely captured the essence of childhood. Honestly, the book was such a sensitive and touching portrayal of childhood. It made me tear up more than once as I really saw the characters in such a raw, honest way. They felt so real and relatable.

The writing itself made me feel all cozy and comfortable. It was blissfully nostalgic, heralding back to the classic children's stories of the past. And it held a certain
...more
Joey T
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow O.o
Adorable book I loved everything about it and would recommend it for anyone!
Go... read it
Ann
May 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone!
Recommended to Ann by: Katie - thanks for the treasure!
What a wonderful treasure!
I really couldn't tell you exactly what it was about this book that made me want to come back to it at every spare moment. It's not like there is some huge climax, or that I'm waiting to see if my favorite character makes it to the end of an adventure alive - it's not that sort of book. And yet, it is. The Penderwicks are an absolutely wonderful, lovable and endearing family made up of four sisters (from ages 4 to 12 1/2), their loving father, and their happy and protec
...more
Donalyn
Feb 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: girls who love the good old days
The Penderwicks will go down in my memory as some of the great sister characters of all time-- right up there with the Marches and Hilary McKay's Cassons (sorry, Indigo- boys are great, too).

The plot is simple, the Penderwick sisters, their dog, Hound, and their widower father, rent a cottage for a three week summer vacation. The cottage is part of a large estate owned by the snippy, snooty, superior, Mrs. Tifton, and her son, Jeffrey.

The girls have many adventures, some planned, many accidental
...more
Kellyn Roth
Reread 5/10/18:

Oh, wow! This book is just as good as ever. I just love it. <3 Rereading it, I think the girls are probably a little more mature than their ages would warrant - except Batty, perhaps - but I can overlook that. Perhaps it will inspire children to try to be more grownup (in an acceptable childish way, of course) and become nicer people! ;P

Now that I can understand Latin, Mr. Penderwick is 100000x better. xD

Original Read(s)?:

This is simply one of the best children's books I ever read
...more
Brigid ✩
Dec 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
*Hugs book to chest* This was so cute and I enjoyed it immensely! I've been struggling to catch up on my 50-book challenge for the year so I've been trying to read some short middle grade books to meet my goal. I remember my teenage sisters liking this book a lot when they were younger, and my 10-year-old sister recently became enamored with them, so I decided to give the first book a try. And I'm so glad I did!

The Penderwicks has a very nostalgic quality to it––both the book cover and the conte
...more
Linda Hart
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a delightful book that will charm adults and children alike. The story captures that timeless magic of an imaginative and happy childhood spent exploring the outdoors experiencing adventures both humorous and frightening with family and friends. This is book 1 of a series and it stands alone with no cliff hangers that leave the reader without a satisfying ending. However I found myself growing very attached to the three-dimensional characters, and enjoyed the author's writing style so mu ...more
Laura
I read this out loud to my 4, 8, and 10 year kiddos. After reading all the glowing reviews, I was ready to dive in, head first, and read the entires series to my kids. I envisioned my kids seeing me as the coolest mom, ever, for sharing such an awesome book with them. I can testify, that it really is a fun book that caused us to giggle throughout the pages and we all earnestly looked forward to our lunch time reading sessions. It did hold a nostalgia that creates a longing to be transported into ...more
Els
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Did I have ten quadrillion things to do today? yes. Did I brutally sacrifice my academic, social, and family life to read, not even my beloved American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic, which I've been trying to find the time to read for half a year, but two cHILDREN'S BOOKS? yes. I did that. 700 pages of junior fiction. Who's the fool now, Els, my dear? ...more
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
Oh how I love the Penderwick family. This book reminds me of a sort of mash up between a modern Little Women (four sisters, who all have distinct personalities and roles in the family, and a wealthy neighbor boy who becomes one of them) and To Kill a Mockingbird (so many adventures, and a wonderful father who nonetheless is a little absent or at least absent-minded). It's charming. It's delightful. It's beautifully written. It feels like a classic, both in the way the story is told, it's simple ...more
MsAprilVincent
Dec 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, 2008
As I was reading, I had to keep reminding myself that the story is contemporary, that it doesn't take place in the 1950s or the 1820s. That's because the characters don't watch television, they're polite to adults, they care about their education, and they use their imaginations to fuel their leisure activities. They're awesome.

Four sisters--Rosalind, Skye, Jane, and Batty--are vacationing in the country with their father. They've taken over a cottage on a large estate, and they meet Jeffrey, th
...more
Olivia
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Awwwww. :)

While I wouldn't say that this really became a favorite, I'll definitely have to try to finish the rest of the series at some point, to see if (and how) the ships sail, etc.

I think my favorite character might have been Rosalind. She was so sweet and also relatable in some ways. But then, I don't know, I liked all the Penderwicks, and Cagney, and Jeffrey . . .

Solid book! :)
Erin
Dec 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009
Charming, charming, charming. This book, which in many ways could have taken place alongside Little Women, suited me perfectly! A summer vacation in a New England cottage, a hound named Hound, a tight-knit group of sisters who look out for each other, a kind and warm housekeeper! And it's nostalgic, to be sure, but not old-fashioned. In fact, it almost seems to take place in no time, in no place. There are computers and telephones, but they only exist quietly in the background; New York and Bost ...more
Shaun
Ah...this was okay. The writing was fine, and the characters had promise. Unfortunately, a quarter way through the book everyone and everything became way too predictable and contrived.

At times the characters felt believable and at others not so believable. To me the best characters are the ones who seem to act on their own accord, write themselves, and manipulate the author. And there were times when the Penderwick sisters felt like those kind of characters. But then...

Then there were other tim
...more
Manybooks
While the general premise and set-up of Jeanne Birdsall's The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy certainly does have a delightfully old-fashioned feel to it, the anticipated all-encompassing enjoyment that I had fondly expected (and that the glowing reviews of The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by very many of my Goodreads friends also seemingly were predicting) has, I am sorry to say, never rea ...more
Lilian
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
oh my word xDDD
Elisabeth
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
From the different times this had popped up in my Goodreads feed, I had somehow gotten the idea that it was an older children's book (say in the 1940s-1960s range). I was surprised to discover it was in fact published in 2005. I wasn't so far off, though, because The Penderwicks feels very inspired by older children's classics (like a modern cousin to Elizabeth Enright's books, for instance). Choosing to set the story on a sprawling country estate is a clever choice, because it allows the child ...more
Aria
OH MY GOODNESS, THIS IS AMAZING.
I absolutely love the old-fashioned feeling! It reminds me very much of The Melendy Quartet and The Moffats, which I loved as a child. I really enjoyed the gentle humor - I literally laughed out loud at so much. It was SO sweet, and EEEP WOW.
Jessika
Jan 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
What a fun and charming book!

This book has been on my TBR list for a while, and I have to admit that at first, it was the cover that drew me in, and then I definitely wanted to read it after finding out it was a children's book about a family of four sisters.

The Penderwicks is the perfect read for a sunny summer day. Once I began reading this, I was instantly drawn into the family's adventures, and to be honest, I was reminded of Little Women in that each of the sisters had her own distinct pe
...more
Small Review
I so completely love this book. If Anne of Green Gables and Little Women met, had a baby, and sent it to live in modern times the result would be this book. I adore every single thing about this book. Have you ever watched a show like Full House where you might snicker a little over how corny it is, but secretly you wish that could be your life? Maybe it's just me, but when I watched that show I wished I could live there with a dad who always knew the exact right thing to say to make me feel bet ...more
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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 on Gardam Street (The Penderwicks, #2)
  • The Penderwicks at Point Mouette (The Penderwicks, #3)
  • The Penderwicks in Spring (The Penderwicks, #4)
  • The Penderwicks at Last (The Penderwicks, #5)

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“And I don't know if Batty's gotten over it yet,' said Skye.

Mr. Penderwick looked out the window to where Batty was playing vampires with Hound. Hound was on his back, trying to wiggle out of the black towel Batty had tied around his neck. Batty was leaping over Hound's water bowl, shrieking, 'Blood, blood!'

'She looks all right,' he said.”
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“Don't kill her now, just when we've gone to all that trouble to rescue her," said Jeffrey.” 59 likes
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