Book of the Week Book reviews

REVIEW: The Penderwicks at Point Mouette


Author: Jeanne Birdsall

Ages: 10-14

As the Penderwick family is shredded (even if it’s only for two weeks), hot-tempered and smart 12-year-old Skye is left in charge of her younger sisters. Seems simple. Except that she has nearly been murdered by the neigbour’s dog, nearly murdered the neighbour and his dog, and forgotten how to stop 5-year-old Batty from blowing up… And dreamy Jane is obsessed with the weird boy from town, Batty with golf balls and Hound with seaweed. Plus an unexpected guest, a literally life-changing realization and a harmonica equals a mess.

The sisters are back! Unfortunately without much of Rosalind, but plenty of Hound. This is the third book in the Penderwick series.

As the sisters settle in by the beach, I sensed the coming of a situation we have all been waiting for (even if we didn’t know until we started reading this book): the sisters trying to match Aunt Claire up with a boyfriend. No more spoilers, but it is a bit disappointing. Maybe the next book reveals…

There is less of a direct objective in this book than in the previous, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely random. It isn’t as classic as the first, either, but I’m not complaining. We meet a new honorary sibling, Mercedes. I like her, despite the name. Quoted slighltly wrong, Skye: “What’s wrong, Jane?” Mercedes: “It’s my fault, for being an Orne.” She’s responsible for seven years.

Each character is unique, defined and relatable. Rosalind was one of the best written in previous books, so you might be disappointed that she only gets a couple of chapters. The author has talent, even if it is leveled down for tweenage books. The way we are introduced to Dominic and Mercedes, for example, really brain-washes a reader, the perfect situation to… Hahaha not going to tell.

This book is quite humorous, although, and I repeat, it could be just my love of Hound and hounds in general. Sweet bits, dramatic bits, funny bits, sad bits, really overdone bits: it’s a fun book. I know I shouldn’t refer to characters and events after the introduction, but one more time:

I have found a new respect for nerd-like-me Skye. This wisdom. This acuity. I would love to have this logical insight, and am saving it up for when necessary.

“I kissed Pearson last December. I told you that.”
“You did not tell me!”
“I thought I did. It was that time I gave him a bloody nose, even better than the one you gave yourself last week.”
“Did you kiss him before or after the bloody nose?”
“Before. He promised he’d finally stop asking me out if I kissed him just once. So I kissed him, then punched him.”

That clarity of vision. It’s completely logical. Win-win situation. Wow.

Some situations seem unlikely and over-dramatised, for example (forgive me for referring to the plot again):

I find it hard to believe that the family would be so traumatized and heartbroken from being split for just two weeks, although Skye seems to have every reason. I also don’t think that it’s very likely that one specific character would have had to be told by Skye what he was told; I think it was pretty obvious from the poem… No spoilers… This is so hard to write… And I think he was absolutely completely unnecessarily rude. Like, unrealistically. That was for those who have already read it and for some reason are reading this.

Jane has a crush again (rolly-eye emoji that I can’t find🙄). It seems that in this family, in their world, there is way too much kissing expected for eleven years of age through and way beyond however old Rosalind is. Like, once.

Honestly, I’m not sure if I liked this book more than the others before it. My memories are blurry, because it’s been a week since I read it. You know how it is, fellow amateur reviewers.

I’m rambling, but my point is: the sisters are back, with even more Hound than usual! It’s not a disappointment, although I think there are some huuugee coincidences. It’s slightly predictable, but it isn’t supposed to be the deepest creepiest confusingest of not-kid-friendly murder mysteries. I also believe that this review has the most references to actual situations and near-spoilers of any I have ever written.



I mean please. /10? like/not like? How hard is it? Or at least
Favourite line at least?
(“He promised he’d finally stop asking me out if I kissed him just once. So I kissed him, then punched him.” – Skye Penderwick)

By storiesnstuff22over7

Books, dogs & nerdy things

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