The Penderwicks -this is definitely my favorite series I have read in a while. At the start of the summer, I read the first Penderwick story and loved it. A couple of weeks back, I read The Penderwicks on Gardam Street and I enjoyed it - but not as much as the first one. And I just barely finished the third book - The Penderwicks at Point Mouette - and, I think it is my favorite of the three.
I read Gardam Street a little bit ago so I am mostly going to focus on the third novel - but this is a fun one. Mr. Penderwick begins dating, and the girls try to find horrible dates for him so he will want to stop. Rosalind can not figure out her friendship with her best friend Tommy. Skye and Jane swap homework assignments and must deal with the mess that results, and Batty befriends the new next door neighbors - Iantha and her son Ben.
Point Mouette takes place in Maine at a beach house in the summer time. Rosalind is off in New Jersey with her friend Anna and Mr. Penderwick and his new wife have gone to England for a conference/honeymoon. So Skye, Batty, Jane, Aunt Claire and Jeffrey go for two weeks to Maine. With Rosalind gone, Skye is left in charge as the OAP (oldest available Penderwick) - which leaves everyone nervous - most especially Skye. The book weaves together stories of late night summer bonfires, broken hearts, new dreams and collecting lost golf balls while searching for moose.
I feel like this novel really brought the three younger sisters - and Jeffrey - to life for me. With Rosalind around (whom I love) the other sisters' stories were a little overshadowed and in this book all three of them "grew up" a little and their stories were front and center. I guessed the major plot point from the start, but that did not leave me feeling that it was too predictable; rather I was excited to read more to see how it would unfold. I thought that Birdsall wrote it in a way that was much more real and true to the emotions than I anticipated.
This is a fantastic series and I highly recommend it! This is definitely middle grade fiction - probably for around 8 to 12 year olds.