The Penderwicks – Vintage Kidlit Summer Week #12

by | Aug 19, 2023 | Books, Reading, Vintage Kidlit Summer | 2 comments

My friend Faith Elizabeth Hough (who blogs HERE) and I decided to create a fun reading challenge called Vintage Kidlit Summer. If you missed any of the details on how this challenge works, just go here and find out! Basically, we’ve done 12 categories over 12 weeks, and each week had its own theme. All you had to do was choose a vintage/classic book that fit that week’s theme, read it, and share about it! (Especially on Instagram, using the hashtag #vintagekidlitsummer.) And we compiled our recommendations in this blog post!

Our Vintage Kidlit Summer has been amazing. I have loved all the wonderful comments of what you’ve been reading, and other Instagram and blog posts detailing different reader’s picks.

Our twelfth week’s theme was A New Book with a Vintage Feel, and for this theme I re-read The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall. It’s not really very new, I suppose—it was published in 2005—but it’s certainly much newer than our vintage books. 🙂

Here is what I said about the book on Instagram some time ago:

I remember the first time I read this book so distinctly. I was 14, it was a perfectly breezy day at the height of summer, and we stopped at a cute local bookstore. From the jam-packed shelves, I selected this book to buy, and spent the ride home drinking a milkshake and immersing myself in the appropriately breezy summer story!

I’ve read it all the way through three times now, listened to it on audio twice, and reread my favorite sections approximately zillions of times. 😊

I’m actually listening to the second Penderwicks book (also a huge favorite) on audio right now. As always, I pick up on different details listening to a story for the first time, and I’m enjoying the experience a lot.

Of all the Penderwick sisters, I’m especially partial to Batty, whose love of animals and tenderness makes my heart happy! The parallels between Batty Penderwick and Beth March are also fabulous, as this is a loose Little Women retelling.

I have discussed before (in detail) my love of the Penderwicks series, particularly its connections to Little WomenBut even if you discover The Penderwicks before Little Women (as I did), there is still so much to enjoy.

Instead of a plot description, which I’m sure you’ve read elsewhere, I’ll highlight some of the things I love in this book: Batty. Hound. The butterfly wings. The Arundel attic. (MY FAVORITE SCENE.) Churchie’s kitchen. Jane thinking that a writer must have visited the cottage. The banter between Skye, Jeffrey, and Jane. Rosalind’s sudden interest in the Civil War. 😉 The Fimbriata rosebush. The awkward birthday party. The wistful ending.

If you’ve never read this book … go read it!

What did you read for the Vintage Kidlit Summer this week? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Marion

    I chose “The star That always Stays”. Norvis is the main character in the book. Life for her and her family was not easy. The family kept it a secret that they were half French Indian The father kept telling the children “you don’t need to further your education ,you are part Indian. When the mother remarries the step father treats the children to a world of books and a better life. I especially liked how Norvis survived prejudices and rejection to keep her ambitions and dreams .

  2. Marilyn

    I chose “The Star That Always Stays”. The Nelson family had their problems. Norvia is one of the Nelson children. When her mother remarries after divorcing her husband,things get better. Norvia has a hard time in her new school. The girls snub her including her best friend Helen. The other parents do not accept that Mrs. Nelson is divorced. Virgil Ward,Norvia’s step- father is doing everything to make Norvia and her siblings welcomed. Norvia adjusts and follows her dreams and desires.


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