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The Penderwicks at Point Mouette

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • ISBN-10: 0375898980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375898983
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)

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 www.jeannebirdsall.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By M. Lee on May 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As a mother who screens everything her 11-year-old daughter reads, I've often found myself rummaging among my old Enid Blyton, Alison Uttley and E. Nesbit books for heart-warming stories written in proper sentences, and not like they were movie scripts. Like many other sentimental parents, I found Jeanne Birdsall's "The Penderwicks" series to be a godsend in that direction: the adventures of the Penderwicks sisters (and now one baby brother), read like updated, hipper versions of "Little Women", "Swallows and Amazons" and "Famous Five." If Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy were to go on vacation, their summers would make equally engrossing reading. Those who have also enjoyed "The Penderwicks" would also like "The Callahan Cousins" by Elizabeth Doyle Carey.

We were lucky enough to get our hands on "The Penderwicks at Point Mouette" the day it was released - my only complaint is that said daughter devoured it in less than two hours, but that is surely an indication of what a good story the author tells. The first two Penderwicks books are as thumbed-through as my own childhood books were, as many times as I've re-read them. I expect this third book to share the same fate. Definitely one for the Kindle as well! In the words of said daughter:

"The book, `The Penderwicks at Point Mouette' by Jeanne Birdsall is the perfect third book in `The Penderwicks' series.

"For the first time in all their lives, the Penderwicks are to be separated: Rosalind is going to New Jersey; Ben, Iantha and Mr. Penderwick are off on Iantha's and Mr. Penderwick's honeymoon in England; and, finally, Skye, Batty, Hound, Jane and Jeffrey are going to stay with the Penderwicks' Aunt Claire.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is a wonderful combination of old-fashioned appeal and modern expression. Here's what I mean. The old-fashioned part is the gentleness, mildness and charm of the sisters and of the stories. Loyalty, responsibility, affection, good manners, restraint, emotional openness - these are the types of virtues displayed by the girls and valued in the book. It's all very Rebecca/Heidi/Pollyanna/Anne of Green Gables, and boy there's nothing wrong with that.

But, the actual old-fashioned books, for all of their charm, can be dense, slow, overwritten and sometimes even tedious. They were written for readers with more time, patience, and attention span than may be the case today. Well, here's where the Penderwicks really shine. These books are written for a more modern, more direct, less prolix sensibility. Dialogue is effective, but sharp and to the point. Plots are satisfying, but straightforward. Resolutions are unambiguous. Sentiments are clearly expressed. Part of this, of course, is a nod to the ages of the likely readers. But part of it also reflects a commitment on the part of Ms. Birdsall to tell her story charmingly but also efficiently and directly.

Now, I have to admit I've sort of had enough Batty, but that's always the case when you have one very young cutesy character. And sometimes the girls' individual obsessions go right up to the edge of tolerable, (O.K. Skye, you'll be a fine OAP - it's just two weeks). And sometimes the inside family jokes can just be a little too too. But these are quibbles of a minor order. After all, these are nice kids and it's fun to read about them and to root for them. Isn't that enough?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By pnoyce2 on May 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In this third book in Jeanne Birdsall's delightful Penderwick saga, sisters Batty, Jane, Skye, and Rosalind now range in age from five to thirteen. While the sisters' widowed father is off on his honeymoon and Rosalind is on vacation in New Jersey, the three younger sisters and their fatherless friend Jeffrey go to stay on the coast of Maine with their favorite aunt.

As the Oldest Available Penderwick, Skye, 12, almost buckles under the responsibility of keeping everyone in the family alive and whole. A series of disasters occurs, with one sprained ankle, one bloody nose, one bad case of writer's block, and one broken heart. And all of these small catastrophes are only the prelude to the summer's biggest event, a revelation that has the potential to be life-changing.

Although Skye's early panic seems overdone for my taste, as the speed of the action picks up, so does the conviction of the writing and the quality of the humor. Birdsall's humor always arises naturally (and seemingly effortlessly) from the characters' quirks and special qualities. She also does a masterful job of juggling four points of view and multiple sub-plots.

The Penderwicks' world is the world of free time and independence. The girls write books, toast marshmallows, view seals, sell golf balls and search for moose. They clean the house and try their hand at cooking. Jane writes love poems to a skateboarder, Jeffrey discusses marriage, Batty sends notes to Rosalind sailing out on the tide, and Skye worries that Batty is going to blow up for some reason. Despite occasional clashes, the sisters manage to stay devoted to one another without ever seeming saccharine. These characters are not goody-goodies: they're lively and argumentative and full of stormy feelings and drama. Any young reader, but especially those who are playful and innocent, should delight in getting to know the Penderwicks.
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