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The Penderwicks at Last
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Penderwicks at Last is the fifth and final installment in the popular series by National Book Award-winner Jeanne Birdsall. This time the activity swirls around a wedding, so love, marriage, boyfriends past and present, are frequent topics, with a few mentions of kissing. There's some mild scariness when children go looking for ghosts in a spooky mansion, and brother Ben's home movies usually end with the main character dying; one death scene with a sci-fi theme is described as it's being filmed but isn't violent. Lots of positive messages about -- and role models for -- family loyalty, friendship, empathy, learning, creativity, and having a spirit of adventure.
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What's the story?
THE PENDERWICKS AT LAST are heading back to Arundel, the stately manor house where it all began. Youngest sibling Lydia, 11, has never been, but her older sisters' exploits there are family legend. Even better, a family wedding means all the Penderwick siblings will be together again. But some things have changed at Arundel. For one, the caretaker has a daughter, Alice, who's Lydia's age. Will the two decide to be friends during Lydia's visit? And some things haven't changed enough, like the sour Mrs. Tifton. Has she finally met a Penderwick she likes?
Is it any good?
Past and present, old and new, weave a cheerful tapestry together with laughter, love, and adventure that will beguile generations of young readers. As with the four previous books in the series, The Penderwicks at Last blends a timeless appeal that'll remind parents and grandparents of their own childhood favorites with a refreshingly modern sensibility. And as before, each one of the large cast of colorful characters, human and animal alike, bring something unique to the story. Seen through 11-year-old Lydia's eyes, the story keeps the pages turning, and kids will find a lot of appeal in adventuring outside all day long like Lydia does. Great for reading alone or aloud. The satisfying ending closes a circle in which there will always be Penderwicks.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how The Penderwicks at Last shows that the family members are loyal to one another. What are some things they do that show loyalty? Would you be willing to do the same things for a family member or friend?
Have you read any other books in the Penderwicks series? If so, which did you like best?
How do the Penderwicks show they love and care for their pets? Which animal character is your favorite? Why?
- Author: Jeanne Birdsall
- Genre: Family Life
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Friendship, Horses and Farm Animals
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
- Publication date: May 15, 2018
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 304
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.