THE PENDERWICKS AT LAST by Jeanne Birdsall, (May 15, 2018, Alfred A. Knopf, 294 pages,for ages 8 to 12 )
I loved every minute of this delightful novel for middle grade readers. If you're looking for gentle (but not prissy), funny (but not goofy) family stories, and especially if you devoured the first four books from Jeanne Birdsall, you'll adore this lovely middle grade novel. Perhaps even more so because it's the last of the five-book series. It's ostensibly about Rosalind's upcoming wedding -- a homemade event that the Penderwicks decide to hold at Arundel, where it all began. Rather fitting, I'd say.. There's also an important subplot about making new friends when you're a shy tween.
This book reminded me of my own childhood. And of spring melting into summer.. The child you first met as a toddler in THE PENDERWICKS IN SPRING, Lydia or Lids, as her older sisters call her, is now a tween.
And wow! All the girls from the first books are actually... grown up. Or growing up. Even Batty, who's now in high school. The return to Arundel and the presence of Jeffrey and even Mrs. Tifton (the villain of the first book) made me smile. Best of all, Rosalind's getting married! But we see it all from Lydia's point of view.
A well-developed plot, realistic characters who feel like people you know, and cameos from all your favorite characters, like Hitch, the three-legged dog, add to the charm. Picking up this book each time (I can no longer read a book in one sitting, unfortunately -- see previous post) was like joining a fun gathering of loved ones. Every day, I eagerly looked forward to my precious afternoon reading time.
Jeanne Birdsall's website