Sarah Sullivan's Reviews > Penny Dreadful

Penny Dreadful by Laurel Snyder
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's review
Dec 07, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: middle-grade

Laurel Snyder and I MUST have read and loved the same books as children, because between this and her earlier "Any Which Wall" she has captured the essence of two of my favorite genres of middle grade, paying homage to writers like Edward Eager, E. Nesbitt, Elizabeth Enright and many many others. Like the Penderwicks, this book feels simultaneously old-fashioned in style and contemporary in voice and setting. This book will appeal to book lovers (like me, I would have LOVED this book when I was little), for sure, though I wonder if a kid who wasn't an eager reader might get lost in the many references to other books.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Laurel (new) - added it

Laurel Hey, Sarah! I'm so glad you liked Penny.

I think you're right about it not being the perfect book for every kid. And in this age, when we're talking about reluctant readers so much, I thought about that pretty seriously as I was writing. I worried that the style/references would exclude people. But in the end, I decided that every book finds its reader and hopefully every reader finds his/her perfect book.

I hope it's okay for me to respond to you. I totally don't mean to defend anything. Just wanted to engage in conversation. It's an interesting subject.

Best, and thanks for reading,

Sarah Sullivan Laurel, thank you so much for your message!

I definitely agree that no book is for every reader (nor should they be!), and I know many people of all ages who will love this book. As an educator & former librarian, I simply try to be conscious of what the audience is for the books I read, especially in terms of books I'd use with kids. I would recommend Penny to many individual kids I work with, but I wouldn't choose it for a whole class. Well probably not, anyway. You never know what exciting opportunities might present themselves...

Thanks for reaching out & connecting with your readers! I look forward to reading your next book.


message 3: by Laurel (new) - added it

Laurel Yep, makes perfect sense!

I'll be interested to know what you think of the next one. It's... different.


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