Last fall while browsing the local library I stumbled upon the first book in a series following the adventures of the Penderwick family. I read and enjoyed The Penderwicks so much that I immediately added its sequel, The Penderwicks On Gardam Street (published in 2008) to my TBR list hoping it would be equally as good. I was not disappointed.
"In the second book about the Penderwicks, the sisters are home on Gardam Street and ready for an adventure! But the adventure they get isn't quite what they had in mind. Mr. Penderwick's sister has decided it’s time for him to start dating—and the girls know that can only mean one thing: disaster. Enter the Save Daddy Plan—a plot so brilliant, so bold, so funny, that only the Penderwick girls could have come up with it. But in the meantime, they have some other problems to deal with. Rosalind can’t seem to get the annoying Tommy Geiger out of her hair—and she can’t stand him, really. Skye loses her temper on the soccer field in a most undignified manner. Jane’s love of creative writing leads her into deep waters. And Batty’s getting into mischief spying on the new next-door neighbor. As for Hound, he’s always in trouble. It’s high jinks, big laughs, and loads of family warmth as the Penderwicks triumphantly return!" (synopsis courtesy of Jeanne Birdsall's website.)
The Penderwicks On Gardam Street is another Penderwick adventure complete with plenty of action, drama, and mystery; as well as lessons in love, friendship, honesty, and humility. Like its predecessor, Gardam Street is a fast paced and fun read and although intended for young readers (age 9-12), it is also a great read for adults.
Having finished two books by Mrs. Birdsall I can honestly say I really enjoy her writing style. There is something about her characters and stories that remind me of older books (i.e. published 50+ years ago). Not to say they are old fashioned, because they're not, but I find them a step above many of the currently published and often popular children's fiction I see at the book store and library. To add to this Mrs. Birdsall's writing is so clear and creative that it wasn't until I finished the book I even realized there are no illustrations printed in the book! The writing is just so descriptive my imagination filled in pictures without me realizing.
In a very short time I've come to love the Penderwick family and their crazy adventures and I am excited that there are more to come. Mrs. Birdsall is currently working on the third book in the series of five. I can't wait until it becomes available. In the meantime, I'm planning to add the first two books to my personal library.
On a scale of one to five, one being horrible and five being excellent, I would rate The Penderwicks on Gardam Street a 4.5, I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.
Note: As a side note, fans of The Penderwicks series should check out Jeanne Birdsall's website. I found the additional information on the author and a FAQ section were particularly interesting.