Breaking out of their summer routine, the Penderwick sisters, along with their dad, stay at Arundel Cottage for a few weeks. With beautiful gardens and new friends, the girls' excitement builds as the days progress. Until, of course, trouble arises - mainly in the form of Mrs. Tifton and her creep of a boyfriend, Dreadful Dopey Dexter Dupree. Each girl must experience some personal sorrow, in addition to collective worry over the fate of their new friend, Jeffrey. As the plot develops, so too does the girls' knowledge of themselves and what it means to be "family."
Nonetheless, it is not the plot which makes this book wonderful - although it is both exciting and suspenseful. Nor is it the characters themselves who made me love reading it - though they are colorful, unique, lovable, realistic. No, it is the amusing dialogue and swift, spirited interplay between the characters, especially the sisters, which made Birdsall's story well worth reading. Few authors can capture everyday language and make it into something enthralling. Birdsall can. She wrote an excellent book, which I highly recommend to readers of all ages.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 10
Reviewer Age: 21
Reviewer City, State and Country: Logan, Utah USA