When the Penderwick family’s usual vacation to Cape Cod is upended by the last minute sale of their usual vacation rental, sisters Rosalind, Skye, Jane and Batty find themselves packed tightly into the car with their widowed father and large, lovable (though prone to eating things that aren’t normally considered edible, like maps) Hound Penderwick and headed to a summer cottage in the Berkshire Mountains for three weeks in August. When they arrive (after only a bit of getting lost), they discover that their cottage is on the grounds of Arundel, a gorgeous estate surrounded by lovely gardens owned by the aloof, enormously wealthy Mrs. Tifton.
When fanciful, aspiring writer Jane spies a boy in the window of the third floor, her two older sisters think she’s just making things up again. But when Skye crashes into a boy in a tunnel she discovers in the hedge between the cottage and the big mansion while out exploring (and blurts out an unfortunately worded description of Mrs. Tifton), it turns out Jane was right – there is a boy living in the house. His name is Jeffrey, he’s just Skye’s age, and he’s awfully lonely with Mrs. Tifton for a mother. Fortunately for him, his summer is about to get a lot more exciting with the addition of the Penderwick sisters to Arundel.
With the final Penderwicks book, The Penderwicks at Last, just hitting the shelves this spring, I decided it was finally time to bump this family up to the top of my reading list – and my only question is, why didn’t someone make me read these books sooner?!! This first in the series has everything I love – plenty of (mis)adventures, fast and firm friendships, wonderful animals (there’s not just Hound, but two rabbits, a daisy-eating bull, and even a couple of horses!), fiercely loyal sisters, a great dad, and a world – and family! – that I can’t wait to revisit in the second book. The Penderwicks feels like all the best books I love wrapped up in one – timeless as Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden, and Little Women, but with a generous dash of modern zip. Absolute perfection!
Like most people, I suspect, standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon filled me with awe, as I looked down on that incredible landscape carved by the Colorado River over millions of years. But the Grand Canyon is only one of North America’s many geological wonders, some of which I’d never heard of (Valles Caldera – a supervolcano whose eruption was roughly 1,000 times bigger than Mt. St. Helens) and others I knew of but learned a lot about from this book (like why the tides in the Bay of Fundy rise and drop about 50 feet every 6 hours). This is an amazing book filled with gorgeous photography and fascinating information. Anybody looking for a great coffee table gift book, check this one out before you buy!
Many folks have been asking if and when we were going to include eBooks and eAudiobooks as part of our adult summer reading program. The answers are yes and now! You can now get credit for those eBooks and eAudiobooks you check out from SELCO (sorry – no personal eBooks or eBooks from other libraries. Part of the whole summer reading thing is trying to increase the use of our stuff!) Details are on our summer reading page; you can submit the books you’ve read or listened to on the entry form. Have fun!