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The Penderwicks on Gardam Street (Penderwicks, Book 2) Paperback – March 23, 2010

104 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in the Penderwicks Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This sequel to Birdsall's National Book Award winner, The Penderwicks, has even more charm than the original. The prologue hits the only maudlin note, flashing back to Mrs. Penderwick on her deathbed as she instructs her husband's sister, Claire, to make sure he finds love again after sufficient mourning. The Penderwick sisters--Rosalind, Jane, Skye and Batty--learn of this valediction four years later when Aunt Claire begins arranging blind dates. An emergency MOPS (Meeting of Penderwick Sisters) hatches the Save Daddy plan, in which the girls orchestrate dates so dreadful their father will see widowed life is best. Neighbors on Gardam Street include football-playing brothers Nick and Tommy (the latter plays Tracy to Rosalind's Hepburn), and two newcomers: a widowed professor and her toddler baby. Middle sisters Jane and Skye, who share a room but nothing else, steal the show by swapping homework assignments with hilariously catastrophic results. It's sheer pleasure to spend time with these exquisitely drawn characters, girls so real that readers will feel the wind through their hair as they power down the soccer field. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-8-The Penderwick sisters are back. Their Aunt Claire has come for a visit, bringing with her a letter from their late mother that encourages their father to date, and an immediate crisis ensues, as the girls assume that this is the first step on the treacherous road to having a stepmother. After frantic consultation, they implement the "Save Daddy" plan, designed to set him up with perfectly dreadful women so that he will not want to date again. Numerous subplots add to the domestic drama. Skye struggles with her temper on the soccer field. Rosalind and neighbor Tommy experience a frustrated romance. Skye and Jane switch homework assignments, leading to a school performance of Jane's Aztec drama, with everyone thinking that it was penned by Skye. While the solution to the dating dilemma can be seen from the beginning, the sisters are so caught up in their drama that they can't see who's right next door. Laugh-out-loud moments abound and the humor comes naturally from the characters and situations. Especially funny is the scene in which the youngest Penderwick hides in the car hoping to spy on one of her father's dates. Like much of the book itself, this scene resolves itself in a tender moment between father and daughter. This is a book to cherish and to hold close like a warm, cuddly blanket that you draw around yourself to keep out the cold.-Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ
Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 850L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Penderwicks
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling (March 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440422035
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440422037
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeanne Birdsall is the National Book Award-winning author of The Penderwicks and its sequel, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street (Knopf), both of which were also New York Times bestsellers. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts with her husband, three insane cats, and a stubborn Boston terrier named Cagney. Visit her website at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Learning All The Time on April 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
My kids and I absolutely loved the first book, so when I saw this at my local bookstore I paid full price to own this little gem immediately. I read it in one night, and it did not disappoint. I'm looking forward to reading it aloud to my kids, because I know they'll love it as much as the first.

The story begins with the Penderwicks' widowed father being urged to date by his sister (and deceased wife, via letter). The four Penderwick girls are aghast at the prospect of a stepmother, so they put a "Save Daddy" plan into action.

In addition to this, the Penderwicks must deal with new neighbors (a beautiful widowed professor and her toddler - yes, the book predictably goes there with the matchmaking, but it does so in such an engaging way that you won't mind, honestly), school projects, soccer matches, a visit to Jeffrey, Batty's mysterious "Bug Man", and changing friendships. Birdsall takes us through the Penderwick's adventures and mishaps with warmth, wit, and wisdom.

The colorful details really make this book shine. Like the complicated way they play Clue (not according to the rule book, that's for sure!), and they way they introduce Hound (the Penderwick's dog) to Asimov (the neighbor's cat), and Jane's conversation about chrysanthemums with Mrs. Geiger, and the cheerful kitchen chaos when the neighbor comes over for pizza. I also loved the stream of consciousness thoughts of the girls, especially Skye's.

My children, however, loved the Penderwicks in book one because their antics and thoughts made them laugh out loud. This sequel is sure to do the same.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin D. Geballe on April 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I loved the first Penderwicks book, but this one is even better. What I most liked was the way that the characters all changed so much over the course of the book. Each is growing in their own way, making it a pleasure to read. Also, the ploy holds together more tightly than the first book. By the last page, I didn't want it to end, but thankfully, it says on Birdsall's website that she is already working on the next one. Can't wait!
As a middle school teacher myself, I also think this book is far more useable in a classroom than the first. I know my students loved the first one, but this second one, especially since each character experiences their own mini-conflicts and resolutions, would be perfect for an English Language Arts class.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on September 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I can't exactly remember what it was that kept me from reading "The Penderwicks of Gardam Street" the minute it came out on bookstore and library shelves. As a children's librarian I certainly enjoyed Ms. Birdsall's previous title, The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy (Penderwicks (Quality)), which garnered itself a bright and shiny National Book Award. Then there was all that talk about a resurgence of "old-fashioned" children's books and how "Penderwicks" marked a nostalgia trend. I didn't like that notion, and maybe that feeling ate away at the good time I'd had reading the novel. Maybe I felt guilty for liking it so much. Maybe that's what slowed my hand when it came to reading and reviewing the next Birdsall title. "I've read the first one," thought I. "How much more different could it be?" But then all these librarians and teachers stared telling me how good the sequel was. No, not just good. "Better than the original." Those were the exact words I heard from three different pairs of lips. And the general rule states that if three different pairs of lips tell you to read something, it is wise to follow their advice. So I finally finally FINALLY got around to picking up a copy and reading it and . . . . shoot. They were right. It really is better than the original. And the original, for all my hemming and hawing, was pretty darn good in its own right too.

Under normal circumstances Aunt Claire's visit to the Penderwick girls (Rosaline, Jane, Skye, and Batty) is a time of fun and jubilation. But when Claire announces that it was Mr.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By MamaLu on June 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a worthy sequel to the first Penderwick book, which is a modern day classic along the old fashioned lines of Little Women-- but with several updated twists. In Gardham Street the girls are back home, and their father needs to begin a dating program, much against his will. Each of the girls has their own "issue" or "adventure" to deal with-- and each one has a lot of charm. I still find Mr Penderwick less engaging than the other characters, and I'm not sure his new wife isn;t a little super-sweet as well, especially when she is talking to her little son. But otherwise this book is just about completely perfect. Love the new neighborhood boy, and also the way the book recalls the first without requiring you to have read it in order to enjoy this one just as much. I'd say this has a more domestic, romantic quality than the first, but also a gentleness to it and an autumnal flavor. It has a shade more melancholy, but that's fine. After all, these are 4 motherless girls and yet they have joys, adventures and good times.
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The Penderwicks on Gardam Street (Penderwicks, Book 2)
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