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Comment: exlibrary hardcover book in mylar jacket with light wear, shows some light reader wear throughout ,all the usual library marks and stamps.
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Penny Dreadful Hardcover – September 28, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–5—Ten-year-old Penelope Grey lives in a mansion with her loving but busy parents and spends much of her time reading books about kids who do interesting things. She engages in some of the same activities, but nothing Big ever happens to change her boring life until she throws a paper wish into her backyard well. A week later, her father announces that he has quit his job, and soon the Greys are on the verge of losing their house. This isn't what Penelope had envisioned at all. A new wish goes into the well, and that afternoon a telegram arrives informing Mrs. Grey that she has inherited a house in Thrush Junction, TN. Everything isn't rosy once they arrive—the house comes with tenants who are not to be charged rent and a large loan to repay—but it is also replete with quirky neighbors and the freedom for children to make friends and explore to their hearts' content. Penelope quickly becomes Penny, falls in love with her new home, and is determined to find a way for her family to stay—maybe if she locates a rumored long-lost treasure everything will be fine. The characters and atmosphere in this entertaining read are reminiscent of Polly Horvath's books, but for a slightly younger audience. Penny is earnest, endearing, and full of hope for the future.—Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA
(c) Copyright 2011.  Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Penelope Grey lives a lovely life in the city, with a stone mansion, servants, toys, and plenty of books. Perhaps she is a little short on friends. And her parents are very busy. But lovely. Then one day, her father comes home and informs his family he has quit his job. This declaration of independence leads Penelope and her parents to Thrush Junction, Tennessee, where Mrs. Grey has inherited a house, but as they quickly learn, it comes with a massive second mortgage and lodgers, who, according to the terms of her aunt’s will, can live in the connected apartments without paying rent. There are a few quibbles here. The Greys could have gotten to Thrush Junction a little faster, and Mr. and Mrs. Grey sometimes seem out of touch with their situation (would Mom really not know there was a lien on the house before moving?). But Penny is a wonderful character, and the kids she meets in Thrush Junction make a perfect “our gang” to have just the sort of small-town adventures Snyder sets up for them (all illustrated in delightful pencil drawings that appear throughout). The tone harkens back a bit, but the fun is reminiscent of the very books Penny gives a shout-out to—Betsy-Tacy, Ballet Shoes, and The Penderwicks—and what could be nicer than that? Grades 3-6. --Ilene Cooper
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375861998
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375861994
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,601,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lawral Wornek on October 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a hard book to summarize because the beginning is so incredibly different from the rest of the book. It all goes together. The difference doesn't cause any jarring shifts for the reader, and circumstances in the opening make the rest of the book make sense, but this is not a book about a little rich girl who moves to the county, as the first couple chapters would have you believe. Yes, Penelope has grown up rich, but finances quickly deteriorate in the Grey household after her father leaves his job. As the whole family figures out how to live without a chef, a housekeeper, or even a steady income, this becomes a book about figuring out what is really important. Houses and furniture can be let go; your family (and your books!) you take with you. Once that family gets to Thrush Junction, however, this becomes a book about finding yourself, making friends, and feeling and helping others to feel welcome. It's about community.

But I didn't think any of this while I was reading. While reading Penny Dreadful, this was just a book about Penelope, who wanted to go out and experience life. She needed to become Penny instead, and in Thrush Junction, she finds just the right people to help her do just that.

Thrush Junction is populated with a bunch of oddballs, many of whom live at Whippoorwillows with the Greys. Penelope, who has never really had friends before, must come out of her shell, and Luella is the perfect girl to drag her out. As Penelope, now Penny, learns how to have and be a friend, Luella introduces her to the rest of their little town.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm almost exuberant about how much I liked this book. I read Penny Dreadful aloud to my daughter and her playmates over the course of a week, and thoroughly enjoyed their reactions and involvement in the story. It is also -- unlike a large share of even children's books -- easy to read aloud, thanks to Ms. Snyder's comfort with language; the writing is never forced or overwrought. While written for 9 to 12 year-olds, the elements of the story are appropriate for any elementary schooler.

The book embraces the fairytale/princess fantasy all girls know and turns it on its head to suggest an anti-princess fairytale alternative. In lieu of an emphasis on beauty or romance or glamor, Penny Dreadful suggests relationships with family, friends and community are in fact vastly more rewarding. This clever parable got my daughter and her friends talking about their own choices and priorities!

Penny Dreadful is clever and fun. Do take the opportunity to enjoy it and be delighted by it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Have you ever been really bored so you make a wish and everything changes? Penelope Grey has! After her dad quits his job, Penelope's family moves to the country to forget all their problems and stress. This is where they find old past stories,unexpected jobs, hidden talents, SO many adventures, and true friends. Penelope even changes her name to Penny! They take long walks through the town, build a fort in the woods even go on a treasure hunt! Through all this, they still have lots of bills to pay. Will they have to leave and go back to the city?
Penelope, or Penny now, is ten-year old girl who is calm, quiet, and behaving. But once she makes friends with Luella, she starts sneaking out of the house, lying a little bit but she's still as wonderful as can be.
The theme of this story is leaving all your problems behind to live a new and better life. It may be hard to forget everything and leave it alone, but sooner or later life will be so much better.
I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!! Every chapter is wonderful! It's interesting, adventurous, and so awesome! It's hard to make the reader actually feel what the main character is feeling, but Laurel Snyder did it. This book good for all kids to read. I only wish it was longer or had a series because it's so good.
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Format: Hardcover
I had never heard of this book or the author before deciding to give it a shot as bedtime reading for my six year old daughter. From the cover copy I saw it shared traits with books we've read to her so far such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Holes, Half Magic. These books each feature young protagonists and the element of magic. The twist in Penny Dreadful is that by the end we're not certain if magic ever really played a part in what took place or if certain critical events were instead the result of chance. Did Penny wish things into being or did they coincidentally take place shortly after she wished for them? With Penny being such a vague wisher, asking for improved circumstances rather than for something specific to change them with, we can't be 100% sure. The story takes a little while to get going in the eventful sort of manner that children enjoy. I thought my little one might grow impatient with the set-up and ask for another book. But she remained sufficiently intrigued so we kept reading. Once Penny and her parents leave The City and move to the interesting house they have inherited, the narrative picks up steam. In her new home the formerly rich and sheltered Penny learns the value of friendship and using her inner resources to get by in a world where everything is no longer handed to her on a silver platter. Her feisty best friend Luella is the character my daughter was most amused by and related to best. Her pivotal role is basically to introduce Penny to normalcy and childhood experienced the way it ought to be done, with joy and exuberance and curiosity and daring. Before meeting Luella, Penny knows of adventure through books. After, she finds that no adventure is greater than life itself.
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