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The Peterkin Papers (New York Review Children's Collection) Hardcover – October 17, 2006

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Series: New York Review Children's Collection
  • Hardcover: 324 pages
  • Publisher: NYR Children's Collection (October 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590172124
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590172124
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #326,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“How sorry we have felt for those who knew not Lucretia Hale and the Peterkins…a masterpiece.”
The New York Times

“Lucretia P. Hale’s Peterkin family and ‘the lady from Philadelphia’ are standard characters in American fiction, and surely that is much to say of an author in these book-crowded days…Few writers leave behind them such a tribute to their greatness as the Peterkins are to Lucretia P. Hale, for the years pass them along to every new generation with the hint that human nature is about the same everywhere and all the time.”–Harper’s Bazaar

“People young and old, solemn and gay, rich and poor, will be glad to welcome a new edition of the Peterkin Papers. It is pleasant to meet the Peterkin family again…”–The Chicago Tribune

“[Lucretia Hale is] among the best of American women writers.” --Harper’s Bazaar

About the Author

LUCRETIA P. HALE (1820-1900) is best known as the author of a series of stories about a family named Peterkin, the first of which appeared in 1867 in the magazine Our Young Folks (later St. Nicholas Magazine). The series continued for nine years, and made the Peterkins a household name. In addition to writing, Hale helped her brother Edward edit the Old and New Magazine from 1870 to 1875. She was concerned with education and in 1874 was one of the first six women elected to the Boston School Committee, where she served two terms. Her last book, The New Harry and Lucy, appeared in 1892.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By K. Carroll on December 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My kids and I were laughing out loud through most of this book. The Peterkins are a lovably bumbling family who can't solve the simplest of problems. The first chapter confused us all a bit in the beginning. We thought we must have missed some small detail, because surely no family could be quite so foolish. Luckily for readers, the Peterkins really are extremely silly, which makes for a very entertaining read.

The early chapters provided a lot of funny tales. My kids retell the stories and have taken to asking things like "Oh my gosh, can you imagine what the Peterkins would do now?" The characters in this book are just fantastic, and by the time the reader gets to the story of the Peterkins' tea party, it's easy to understand the large turnout - who would miss a chance to meet these wonderfully goofy people?

I subtracted a star because there are some sections of the book that didn't age quite as well. We didn't get much out of the section about the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia; it was probably funnier at the time. There is also some commentary about skin color during their Egyptian trip that made us uncomfortable, but the comments are understandable in historical context.

Even though we didn't find every story equally enjoyable, there are some real gems in the book. I am so glad to have read about the Peterkins' attempts to grow wise, the accommodations made for a too-tall Christmas tree, and their extraordinarily unique response to a heavy snow. These stories alone would be worth the price of the book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By pushkins on October 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
don't overlook this little book...you don't have to read them all, but the image of the salted coffee, or the Peterkins trying to pack, or Elizabeth Eliza sitting on the porch to practice the piano is something everyone should have in his mind to provide a little chuckle from time to time.

And that sweet, patient Lady from Philadelphia...every fool needs someone like her for a friend. Everyone needs her for a good example of loving patience with all those goofs who are trying their best and still messing up.

This edition seems to have the nice old illustrations the edition I grew up with had, which is good. They really enhanced the stories.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rev. Alma Daniel on March 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
When I was a child my mother used to read me stories about the Peterkin family. Although I had only a dim recollection of what their antics were about, I remembered very clearly that whenever they got into trouble (which was each chapter) they went to the "Lady from Philadelphia" to help solve their problems. The phrase, "The Lady from Philadelphia" became a watch-word in our family for a person with intelligence and common sense.

I was delighted to find The Peterkin Papers on Amazon. These innocent stories are suitable for children from the age of about 3 on up, I think, since youngsters are so much more savvy these days, although I'm sure it was intended for older children when it was first published. I've started reading them to my 4 year-old granddaughter who doesn't understand why the Peterkins can't figure out things that are obvious to her!

Finally, my first-born child is named Peter. As an affectionate diminutive, I always address him as Peterkin.
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