Welcome to all my new followers! Glad you're here. And now on to today's MMGM:
The Penderwicks at Point Mouette, by Jeanne Birdsall (Knopf, May 10, 2011, for ages 8 to 12)
Source: advance reader's copy from publisher.
Synopsis: It's summertime, and while Dad, Iantha and little Ben are in England, the girls (along with their friend Jeffrey) are heading for a cottage in Maine with Aunt Claire. All the girls, that is, except Rosalind (the oldest), who's going to New Jersey with a friend. It will be the first time the Penderwicks have been split up. Will Skye be able to handle being OAP (Oldest Available Penderwick)? Will she remember Rosalind's careful instructions about Batty? Will she be able to prevent disaster?
Why I liked it: Jeanne Birdsall is truly in touch with her own childhood. She's excellent at getting inside girls' heads, from the oldest to the youngest, even though it's written in third person. Also, this third volume of the series takes place in Maine and I love Maine!
The Penderwicks may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I find these books charming. Each one has a warm, old-fashioned quality. Nobody's texting or using a computer. They're outdoors and they're interacting. They're playing soccer or walking to the park or climbing on rocks. They meet a new neighbor who's a musician like Jeffrey. Jane tries to write a book about falling in love. Skye tries to keep everyone from getting hurt. Batty learns she has musical talent.
It helps if you've read the first two Penderwicks books, but it's not essential. This volume concentrates on Skye and, to a lesser extent, Jane. Rosalind gets the first and last chapters. But don't worry: Batty has her moment in the spotlight and it's a fun one. And their friend Jeffrey plays an important role. There's a coincidence involving Jeffrey which is a bit hard to believe, but it certainly didn't ruin the book for me.
All in all, a fun read and a lovely book for summer.
What do you think? Have you read any of The Penderwicks? Do you like them or not?
Have you read any other marvelous middle grade books this week?
Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is the brainchild of Shannon Whitney Messenger.
Shannon O'Donnell at Book Dreaming
Myrna Foster at The Night Writer
Sherrie Petersen at Write About Now
Brooke Favero at Somewhere in the Middle
Ben Langhinrichs at My Comfy Chair
Deb Marshall at Just Deb
Ally Beecher at Kid Lit Frenzy
Check out these other MMGM posts:
Anita Laydon Miller
Natalie Aguirre at Literary Rambles
Barbara Watson at Novel and Nouveau