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The Penderwicks at Last


Series
The Penderwicks

by
Jeanne Birdsall

Edition
Library edition
Publisher
Penguin Random House
Imprint
Knopf
ISBN
9780385755672
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$7.20   $6.00
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Nine years, five older siblings, a few beloved dogs, and an endless array of adventures—these are the things that have shaped Lydia’s journey since readers first met her in The Penderwicks in Spring. Now it’s summertime, and eleven-year-old Lydia is dancing at the bus stop, waiting for big sister Batty to get home from college. This is a very important dance and a very important wait because the two youngest sisters are about to arrive home to find out that the Penderwicks will all be returning to Arundel this summer, the place where it all began. And better still is the occasion: a good old-fashioned, homemade-by-Penderwicks wedding.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

304

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

5.5: points 10

Lexile

850L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

15

JLG Release

Oct 2018

Book Genres


Topics

Family life. Sisters. Siblings. Friendship. Weddings.

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist*, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, The Horn Book Magazine

School Library Journal

Lydia, the youngest Penderwick sibling, is now 11 and takes center stage in this fifth and final entry in the National Book Award—winning series. And what a stage she has: the story is set at Arundel, the legendary estate which, for Lydia, has previously existed only in her sisters’ stories. The last time the entire family was at the estate was 15 years ago; now they are gathered for Rosalind and Skye’s double wedding. Lydia is eager to explore the place “where the possibilities for adventure are endless.” She finds a kindred spirit in Alice Pelletier, who lives in the cottage where the Penderwicks stayed and whose father is Cagney, the object of Rosalind’s preteen crush, now a history teacher and the estate’s caretaker. Lydia and her siblings are less pleased to see another Arundel native: Mrs. Tifton, who remains a rigid and humorless foil for the Penderwicks’ exuberance. The wedding serves as a seamless device to bring back more characters from previous books who arrive at the ceremony with pleasant surprises. Birdsall’s writing, effervescent as ever, turns routine moments into delightful vignettes: Lydia finds an abandoned chair leg under a couch, “stoically waiting for the rest of its chair to come back.” While Birdsall provides enough backstory for this entry to stand on its own, she rewards fans of the series with a meeting that brings the saga full circle and a closing image reassuring readers that the Penderwicks, like imagination and adventure, will live forever. VERDICT A richly satisfying curtain call for a beloved series.—Marybeth Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY

Horn Book

The Penderwick series finale (most recently The Penderwicks in Spring, rev. 3/15) is a summertime reverie set at the real-but-still-magical-seeming Arundel estate where it all began fifteen years before. Preparations are underway to celebrate eldest Penderwick sibling Rosalind’s wedding to Tommy; she and Skye (who’s working on her doctorate in astrophysics) are twenty-somethings, with Jane (waitressing and writing her novel) and Batty (studying music in college) close behind, leaving youngest Penderwick half-sister Lydia to take center stage. The fifth grader is known for being the dancer in the family and for being the Penderwick who likes everyone—and whom everyone likes, including the dreaded Mrs. Tifton, who threatens to disinherit her son, Jeffrey, if he even thinks about marrying a Penderwick. (And as it turns out, there is a surprise wedding in the book.) As with the previous entries, Birdsall maintains an out-of-time sensibility throughout, with Lydia and her new friend Alice (daughter of the estate’s caretaker Cagney, whom readers may remember from the first novel) often coming across as younger than today’s typical ten- or eleven-year-olds. Although fans of the series will be sad to say goodbye, they are likely to breathe happy sighs of contentment as Lydia and her friends and family members go “prancing, leaping, gamboling into the future.” -Monica Edinger, Horn Book

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Lydia, the youngest Penderwick sibling, is now 11 and takes center stage in this fifth and final entry in the National Book Award—winning series. And what a stage she has: the story is set at Arundel, the legendary estate which, for Lydia, has previously existed only in her sisters’ stories. The last time the entire family was at the estate was 15 years ago; now they are gathered for Rosalind and Skye’s double wedding. Lydia is eager to explore the place “where the possibilities for adventure are endless.” She finds a kindred spirit in Alice Pelletier, who lives in the cottage where the Penderwicks stayed and whose father is Cagney, the object of Rosalind’s preteen crush, now a history teacher and the estate’s caretaker. Lydia and her siblings are less pleased to see another Arundel native: Mrs. Tifton, who remains a rigid and humorless foil for the Penderwicks’ exuberance. The wedding serves as a seamless device to bring back more characters from previous books who arrive at the ceremony with pleasant surprises. Birdsall’s writing, effervescent as ever, turns routine moments into delightful vignettes: Lydia finds an abandoned chair leg under a couch, “stoically waiting for the rest of its chair to come back.” While Birdsall provides enough backstory for this entry to stand on its own, she rewards fans of the series with a meeting that brings the saga full circle and a closing image reassuring readers that the Penderwicks, like imagination and adventure, will live forever. VERDICT A richly satisfying curtain call for a beloved series.—Marybeth Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY

Horn Book

The Penderwick series finale (most recently The Penderwicks in Spring, rev. 3/15) is a summertime reverie set at the real-but-still-magical-seeming Arundel estate where it all began fifteen years before. Preparations are underway to celebrate eldest Penderwick sibling Rosalind’s wedding to Tommy; she and Skye (who’s working on her doctorate in astrophysics) are twenty-somethings, with Jane (waitressing and writing her novel) and Batty (studying music in college) close behind, leaving youngest Penderwick half-sister Lydia to take center stage. The fifth grader is known for being the dancer in the family and for being the Penderwick who likes everyone—and whom everyone likes, including the dreaded Mrs. Tifton, who threatens to disinherit her son, Jeffrey, if he even thinks about marrying a Penderwick. (And as it turns out, there is a surprise wedding in the book.) As with the previous entries, Birdsall maintains an out-of-time sensibility throughout, with Lydia and her new friend Alice (daughter of the estate’s caretaker Cagney, whom readers may remember from the first novel) often coming across as younger than today’s typical ten- or eleven-year-olds. Although fans of the series will be sad to say goodbye, they are likely to breathe happy sighs of contentment as Lydia and her friends and family members go “prancing, leaping, gamboling into the future.” -Monica Edinger, Horn Book

Grades 3-5
Intermediate Readers
For Grades 3-5

A wide variety of novels and accessible nonfiction for younger elementary readers who love a good story comprise this category of 12 books per year. The focus in these titles is primarily on the text, though some novels may feature illustration.

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Interests
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