Thursday, August 25, 2011

Family Stories

If you have been following the Penderwick family, you are in for a treat with the latest installment. The Penderwicks at Point Mouette is a summer story that takes place in Maine. Jeanne Birdsall, the author, lets you feel the ocean spray up against the rocks, hear the gulls calling, and enjoy summer as children are meant to; time to think, walk, explore, write, read, and imagine.

I fell in love with the very first Penderwicks book because of the love that is shared among the four sisters. There are typical sibling problems but first and foremost they look out for each other, care about each other, and try to be interested in each other. Into the four sisters lives enters a boy who is "adopted" by the girls as a brother. He fits into their adventures, and they truly care about his unfortunate life with his mother and stepfather.
The Penderwicks at Point Mouette has the three younger sisters visiting an aunt in Maine while their father is on his honeymoon with his new wife. The oldest daughter is on her own vacation in New Jersey, while Jeffrey, their "adopted" brother is forced to stay home. Eventually his mother relents and he comes to Maine, meets the very musical next door neighbor and finds that the youngest Penderwick may have some musical talent. (The rest of the family does not!) Their aunt is a great, patient friend to each member of the Penderwick family.

I highly recommend this book! If you like family stories, don't forget Saffy's Angel and all of the sequels (4) by Hilary McKay. Each book highlights a particular sibling, but the whole family is involved in all their escapades. These are contemporary stories set in England. I love the Casson family, especially the youngest child, Rose. Another interesting piece of information is the fact that each child is named for a color as the parents are artists. It may sound batty, but they are delightful.

Lastly, there are some older but wonderful family stories that shouldn't be missed! There are The Moffats by Eleanor Estes and sequels; The Saturdays about the Melendy family (and the sequels) by Elizabeth Enright; and The All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor.

Try some special family stories today! ~Joyce Laiosa

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