Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Penderwicks are back, but not together. Mr. Penderwick and his new wife Iantha are off to London. Rosalind, the oldest of the four girls, is going to the beach with a friend. Leaving the 3 remaining Penderwicks and their friend Jeffrey, in the care of Aunt Claire at a beach house in Maine. Skye as the OAP (oldest available Penderwick) is charged with keeping the girls safe and together. It should be easy, but when Aunt Claire is injured and Jeffrey doesn't come, Skye starts having doubts. And what was it Rosalind told her about Batty blowing up? Read this one as a family.

Doug's dad lost his job, so he's moving the family to a small town called Marysville, so he can start a new one. This means Doug has to start 8th grade in a new town with no friends. They move into "THE DUMP", a lousy little house that is filled with his dad's anger and the family's fear of what dad might do. This is why Doug has developed a bit of a wise guy attitude. The first person he meets, Lil Spicer, fortunately sees through his act, and she becomes his first friend.
The only place to go in stupid Marysville is the library. Here, Doug was looking for cool relief from the sweltering sun; what he found was a kind librarian and the biggest, most amazing drawing of a bird. It's a painting from John James Audubon's book, Birds of America. The discovery of this book, with help from the patient, yet persistent librarian, Doug finds a talent for drawing and composition. He also begins to find his place in the community when he discovers the value in himself. Other members in the community discover it too. Doug's straight forward narration takes you into the heart and mind of this memorable character.
Recommended for grades 5-8