The Penderwicks at Last — Review & Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.”

~ Mark Twain ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

It’s always a good idea to look to successful writers for advice. HERE are 10 rules for writing by Michael Morpurgo, a pretty successful writer whose work I admire.

Anne R. Allen always has good stuff. The hints HERE for writing a good synopsis will help make the process less painful.

I have been working with critique groups for years. I get a LOT of great suggestions, but not every suggestion is for me. One person in the group has made the comment more than once, “I fixed this last time we read this manuscript!” Excuse me while I get my hackles down. Anyway, Janice Hardy has a great post HERE on this topic.

Almost every time I post, I give away a book. If you are reading this and would like to win, the only way to do that is to leave a comment below. It doesn’t need to be a long or involved comment — just a comment. And if you want more chances, you can share the link to my post and tell me that you did. I will give you extra chances to win. And I never share your information. If you aren’t yet a subscriber, please go to the upper right on this page and sign up. It’s free and easy and, again I will never share your information. Then you will receive an email each time I post and never miss a chance to win a good book.

Last week, I offered a gently-read copy of Out of Left Field by Ellen Klages. This week’s winner is Carol Baldwin. Congratulations, Carol! I will get your book out to you this week. Carol is a North Carolina writer and writing teacher. You can learn more about her HERE at her website. Please keep reading, because I have another wonderful book to give away this week.

Cover-Penderwicks-At-Last-450wI ran across a series of books some years ago about a family called the Penderwicks. The books had an old-fashioned look and sound to them. I read one or two and then kind of lost track of the series. Recently, I came across the last book in the series, The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall,  as a review choice for the San Francisco Book Review, so I snapped it up. Here is the review I wrote for them.

Lydia and Batty are going to Arundel to prepare for Rosalind’s wedding to Tommy. The rest of the family will follow. For the older Penderwick girls, Arundel is a kind of homecoming. For Lydia, it is a storied place, but somewhat intimidating, although once she makes a new friend, Alice, most of Lydia’s fears are overcome or forgotten. The two girls act as tour guides to readers who are coming to this book without having read the prior books in the series and are not familiar with Arundel. As more family and friends arrive and the wedding preparations heat up, there is a lot of excitement and, of course, some difficulties to overcome and a couple of nice twists to ramp up the fun.

Jeanne Birdsall

Author Jeanne Birdsall has brought this family saga to a satisfying close. Her use of a wedding as a vehicle to bring everyone together and allow for a very natural walk down memory lane is handled deftly. This book (and this series) has a wonderful, old-fashioned feel to it while in a contemporary setting and will be particularly attractive to those who love series like The Boxcar Children and the books of Maud Hart Lovelace.

I have a gently-read hardback for one of you. All you need do is be a follower or subscriber (it’s free!), have a U.S. address, and leave a comment below. If you would like extra chances, please share the link to this post on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media outlet and let me know you have done that. If you are reading this in your email, please click HERE to get to my blog, then click on the title of the post, and leave a comment. And don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.


19 thoughts on “The Penderwicks at Last — Review & Giveaway”

  1. I try to watch comments like that critique partner of yours because we have someone who is constantly submitting the same chapters as she fixes them. You’re right, that comment is not helpful. Glad you liked this book so much. I only read the first one, which I enjoyed. I’ll let someone else win since I haven’t gone on with the series.


  2. This author’s books were an important part of my kids’ reading days. We still have a couple of them here, but most we passed along to new readers. I think this book’s cover is fun and kids will enjoy these characters. I shared on twitter, Facebook, pinterest, google+, and tumblr. Thanks for the post today.


  3. Loved the post on writing the dreaded synopsis. I’m probably the worst ever at that task. The Penderwick’s series still has a lot of fans. The writing style is not fast paced and it’s a perfect choice for summer. A wedding does sound like a good way to bring this series to a close. I hate to say it but keep me out of the drawing this week. I’m close to reaching the bottom of my reading pile and will be ready to start a new one soon.


  4. I just finish this and will be putting up my Spotlight later this summer! Loved it so much–and more than expected, which is always nice. I’d love a copy of my own, so I will keep my fingers crossed!


  5. I haven’t read any of this series, but it sounds like a cozy one, one you like to curl up and take your time with (each book). I’ll have to check them out — when I’m caught up with my reading stack. I’ll pass on winning a copy now.

    On another note, I can’t imagine someone in a critique group saying “I fixed this for you” even once, much less more than once.


    1. Cozy is a good word for this series. You will like them when you get to them. I’m not making up the thing about the critique group. It happens a lot with one person. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


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