The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy is a heartwarming tale that reminded me of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I loved the author’s ability to give each sister their own personality, and each girl shone in her own way, from responsible Rosalind, spunky Skye, imaginative Jane, and four year old Batty. The girls spend part of their summer on a family vacation at a cottage located on the Arundel estate, owned by a rather mean-spirited woman named Mrs. Tifton. The girls explore the lush gardens, make friends with the gardener Cagney, the cook, and young Jeffery Tifton, who develops strongly as an important character throughout the novel. Together they do their best to uphold the Penderwick family honor and stay out of trouble. Only one thing is for sure; this is a summer vacation they will never forget.
So much can be said as to how much I enjoyed this book, it definitely deserved the National Book Award it earned. I think boys and girls from grades 2-6 would enjoy this story on their own, or read together.