The Penderwicks at Point Mouette

Old-fashioned charmer will appeal to the whole family.

What parents need to know

Educational value

There is some underlying educational philosophy about the value of reading and studying music. 

Positive messages

The sisters in this family take their family duties seriously, particularly Skye, the OAP (Oldest Available Penderwick) in this story. They never question their responsibility and always step up when needed. The importance and contribution of music to the lives of Alex, Jeffrey, and Batty is notable.


Positive role models

These sisters love and respect each other and are not afraid to show it. Strong-minded Skye protects her sister by telling off the boy who broke her heart. Jane knows better than to let a boy treat her badly and in the end tells him so. 

Not applicable

A first kiss occurs between 10-year-old Jane and a handsome boy who never smiles. When he asks for a kiss, Jane complies and promptly falls in love for the first time.

Not applicable

Several currently in-print books are referred to, including Ivy+Bean and Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries. These book recommendations are appropriate within the context of a story about avid readers. Dunlop golf balls are mentioned when the kids go hunting for golf balls at a local course.



Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this third book in the Penderwicks series tells another sweet story about three kind sisters with good family values. This time it's all about how they spend their summer vacation on the coast of Maine. These unorthodox kids have good hearts, and although they run into some trouble, their intentions are always good.

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What's the story?

The Penderwick sisters (minus eldest Rosalind) set off for a summer vacation to the beautiful Maine coast with their favorite Aunt Claire and best friend Jeffrey. When Aunt Claire sprains her ankle, everyone pitches in, including new acquaintance and neighbor Alex, whose dog caused Aunt Claire’s accident.

Middle sister and budding author Jane briefly falls in love, and an outing leads to a mysterious coincidence that changes her relationship with neighbor Alex. With the help of Alex and Jeffrey, youngest sister Batty discovers her love of music and becomes the first Penderwick who can carry a tune. Without Rosalind, second oldest, Skye, becomes OAP (Oldest Available Penderwick), and the responsibility is almost too much, although she does a good job of running the house and keeping Batty safe and healthy.

Is it any good?


Beautiful writing and descriptions of the Atlantic Coast make this a cut above the average book for kids. The author creates unique characters with their own problems and personalities. Genuinely emotional and heartwarming moments may bring a tear to many an eye.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this book fits in the series. Is it as good as the first, The Penderwicks? Better or worse than the second, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street?

  • Families also can talk about why Jane falls for Dominic. Is it important to have a boyfriend at her age? Is it OK to kiss a boy you just met?

  • The family knows that eldest sister Rosalind would cut her vacation short if she knew Aunt Claire was hurt. Would you lie to your family if you felt you were trying to help? Jeffrey’s mother, Mrs. T-D, keeps a secret from Jeffrey and his real father. Do you think parents should always tell the truth?

Book details

Author:Jeanne Birdsall
Genre:Family Life
Topics:Brothers and sisters, Friendship
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Alfred A. Knopf
Publication date:May 10, 2011
Number of pages:304
Publisher's recommended age(s):8 - 12
Read aloud:8 - 12
Read alone:8 - 12

This review of The Penderwicks at Point Mouette was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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