An Ode to The Penderwicks | Series That Changed My Life Pt 2 // A Moment of Fangirling

Greetings readers!

For a while now, I have been considering how I was going to write this. First it took a major amount of motivation for me to sit in front of my laptop and then it took some more effort to think about what to write. It has taken me a while to find the right words to express myself in terms of this series. There is so much about it that I want to say and yet I am at a loss for words when I start. So pardon me, if this post is a mess of rambling, I love these books too much to not talk about them, and I hope that with this post someone else decides to give it a shot too.

The Penderwicks At Last by Jeanne Birdsall  Today is my Blog Tour stop for this amazing book! I completely and utterly adore this series. It has everything I've ever wanted! Sisterhood! Humour! Dogs! Heartbreak! And adventure!!! Be sure to click the link in my bio to read my blog post and enter to win a copy! (US only)  Any Penderwick fans out there? What is your favourite Children's book?  #thependerwicksatlast #bookstagram #jeannebirdsall #mgbooks #childrensbooks #kidlit

How The Penderwicks Found Me:

A very long time ago, when little Rendz was in the third grade, she hated reading. Perhaps it was because she not really good at it, or she preferred to spend her time drawing, inventing and dreaming. But school demanded that Rendz read, so she read and she never came to like it. She even tried out The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe! Her favourite movie as a book! Unfortunately, it was the movie-tie-in addition…so she just looked at the pictures.

Rendz clearly had a problem. Her teacher noticed.

Come the end of the school year, Rendz had not read more than 2 chapter books, that which was required of her. Her teacher, Mr. M, was cleaning out a drawer of books he had collected over the years. Many of them were yellowed, a little torn and bent. Being the excellent teacher that Mr. M was, he gave each one of his students a book that he thought they would enjoy.

When he called out to Rendz and she approached his desk, she noticed–and would never forget–the knowing smile on his face. He told her, “I want you to take this, Rendz. I want you to read it this summer and next year, when you see me in the halls, I want you tell me what you think. I have a feeling you will like this.”

Rendz took that book and studied the cover. It was a little yellow, bent in one corner and looked as though someone stabbed at it with a fork in another corner. And it had a big gold circle covering the cover art.

She did not read it that summer. Nor the next. Nor the next. And Mr. M forgot to ask her about it.

Fast forward 4 years…

It’s fall and Rendz is bored out of her mind. There was nothing on T.V. She was in no mood to draw and it was too wet to leave the house. Her mom, promptly told her to pick up a book if she was that bored.

So Rendz went to her shelf and saw nothing of interest. But there was one book, slightly sticking out. It had a white cover with a gold circle covering the art. She picked up The Penderwicks and remembered her conversation with Mr. M all those years ago. While Rendz was a bigger reader now than she was back then, she still wasn’t sure that this book would entertain her.

Still, she opened the book and read.

And fell in love

Fast Forward Another two or three years…

Rendz discovers that The Penderwicks has two published sequels out in the world! She finds them in a bookstore and proceeds to gobble them up at home.

Fast Forward a Week…

Rendz discovers she still has to wait 6 months for the fourth book!

Fast Forward 7 Months…

Rendz is left emotionally charged and utterly elated from reading The Penderwicks in Spring. And is then devastated when she realizes she is going to have to wait 3 years for the final book.

Fast Forward 3 Years…

Rendz has gone through the emotional trials of rereading the first four books to prepare herself for the final instalment.

Fast Forward One Day…

She finished. Rendz sits on her bed. Clutching all five books to her chest. Crying silent tears whilst smiling like a fool.

This was ten years in the making, people. Ten years. 


So it took ten years for me to get to where I am today with these books. But the question of how they changed my life does not come with an easy answer. I love this series for so many reasons, and while they might not be totally life altering, it had a heck of an impression on me.

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy (The Penderwicks #1)

Okay in my little third grade defense, what kid is going to want to read a book with a title THAT long.

Anyways, this book means everything to me. It has the sisterhood relationships that I experienced with my own two older sisters. It has adventure. It has mischief. It has love. It has loss. It has no magic, but it feels like magic to me! It even has those punches of second hand embarrassment that I’m pretty sure everyone can relate to in some way.

The characters are AMAZING. Each Penderwick sister has a distinct personality. They have their quirks, their flaws and their dreams. Even their dog has a personality which shines through and gives me a chuckle. Rosalind, Skye, Jane and Batty are so different but share a painful past, yet they are one loving, big, funny family. And I cannot forget the honorary Penderwick, Jefferey. Who’s life is completely transformed by his encounter with the Penderwicks.

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street

The sequel starts off with the most heart-breaking prologue.

I cry and sob for a good ten minutes after I read it. This one really explored their painful past, the sisters’ relationships with their father and the idea of expanding the family.

Mr. Penderwick is literally the greatest. (No offense, Dad) He is so kind, intuitive and down right funny. He is not perfect, but so darn close. My heart. MY HEART.

This one is also chalked full of the Penderwick personalities. Rosalind is a little moody, with reason, but I still adore her. Skye and Jane are probably the best duo of this book. Then Batty and Hound are just…SODARNCUTEIWANTTOGIVETHEMSUCHABIGHUG!!!!

This one makes me tear up from sadness, laughter and just pure joy.

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette (The Penderwicks, #3)

This one is still of my fave despite it not featuring Rosalind, the eldest Penderwick. It still is incredibly funny and adventurous. Skye takes a shining position in this book as she is burdened with such heavy responsibilities.

Jefferey goes through another life changing event. When you read it, you might think it to be very unlikely to happen in real life, but this is fiction, people!

I just LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE this one. I cry. I laugh. I revel in the magic of this book.

The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwicks in Spring (The Penderwicks, #4)

This one just makes me sob.

I can’t even write about it without tearing up. I am literally in tears right now. This one really pulls on the heart strings. Just yanks them out. It is so painfully beautiful.

The older three Penderwicks are now well into their teens, so this is Batty’s time to shine. And shine does she. My precious Batty.

Alongside her is Ben, one of the new Penderwick additions and Lydia, the newest of the new.

I don’t know what to say other than that this book is incredibly sad, but so so so uplifting. I make no sense.

The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwicks at Last (The Penderwicks, #5)

The end of an era. Starring Lydia, with cameos of the older Penderwick sisters. While I missed reading from the perspectives of the original four sisters, I still loved Lydia’s adventure. She was fun and quirky and her journey is definitely one I enjoyed. But the best part of this book was the nostalgia. Going back to book 1’s setting. Seeing all the sisters grown up. Reading about the wedding. I felt like a proud mom and I 10000% teared up!

I AM NOT LYING WHEN I SAY I FELT LIKE A MOM. 

And of course this one has its fair share of sad and tender moments, that just rip your heart out and gently patch it back up.



The Short Version:

I absolutely adore these books.

They have just the right amount of humour, sadness, craziness and love that you need in your life. Whether or not you have siblings, I guarantee you can find something to relate to in this book.

These books simply make me happy, and sometimes that’s all I really need.

It has been quite a ten year journey.


Let me know what you think! WHO HAS READ THE PENDERWICKS AND IS WILLING TO TALK ABOUT IT WITH ME? What children’s books do you love to read over and over again? What book makes you simply happy?

Happy, happy reading!

~ Rendz

The Penderwicks At Last |Blog Tour – Review & Giveaway

Greetings readers!

I am so, so excited to be a part of this tour. The Penderwicks series my Jeanne Birdsall is one of my favourite children’s series ever! I will one day put up a post describing the significance of these stories to me, but for now let’s stick to my review!

Today I will be presenting to you my thoughts on the long awaited finale of this series! (I waited three whole years for this!) Make sure you head to the end of the post for a chance to win a copy! It is US only, but I do believe there are a few Penderwicks fans in my audience!

The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall

Pendwicks at Last Cover

Pub. Date: May 15, 2018
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Pages: 256
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudibleB&N,
iBooksTBD

The finale you’ve all been waiting for: The Penderwicks at Last is the final, flawless
installment in the modern classic series from National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author Jeanne Birdsall!

Nine years, five older siblings, a few beloved dogs, and an endless array of adventures–these are the things that have shaped Lydia’s journey since readers first met her in The Penderwicks in Spring.

Now it’s summertime, and eleven-year- old Lydia is dancing at the bus stop, waiting for big sister Batty to get home from college.

This is a very important dance and a very important wait because the two youngest
sisters are about to arrive home to find out that the Penderwicks will all be returning to Arundel this summer, the place where it all began. And better still is the occasion: a good old-fashioned, homemade-by-Penderwicks wedding.

Bursting with heart and brimming with charm, this is a joyful, hilarious ode to the family we love best. And oh my MOPS– Meeting of Penderwick Siblings– does Jeanne Birdsall’s The Penderwicks at Last crescendo to one perfect Penderwick finale.

*Thank you, Penguin Random House CA for providing me with a copy. All opinions are my own*

This final book revolves around the youngest Penderwick sister, Lydia, who had a minor role in the previous novel, The Penderwicks in Spring. Despite this book being about a new character, we are taken back to the setting of book one and even though much has changed, including the older Penderwick sisters, there is still a lot of fun to be had!

What I Liked: 

Characters: The characters were the most important reason why this series means so much to me. In this book we follow only one sister, but the other Penderwick personalities were definitely present despite being more background characters!

Lydia: Lydia was a spark of pure delight (though don’t tell her I said that because she might argue against it XD). As the youngest of the Penderwick family, this was Lydia’s first trip to Arundel and after hearing all the incredible stories that her sisters told, she was excited to see the actual estate herself. Lydia was quite charming, she was a dancer and found a reason to bounce and twirl and step, whatever the occasion. Contrary to the sassy attitude she evoked as a toddler, the 11 year-old Lydia was quite curious and always found the best in people. She, like all her siblings, had a distinct personality. She was a dancer, free-spirited and quite imaginative, but also stubborn!

Alice: Alice was also quite fun to follow. Much to Lydia’s delight, they became fast friends on this summer vacation and she showed Lydia all the secrets of the estate. Alice herself was also very funny and blunt. Her tendency to say exactly what is on her mind was hilarious and I loved her competitiveness with her brother, Jack. Although we don’t get to exactly walk in her perspective, she always added more humour and mischief to the scene.

The Writing: 

While I wouldn’t say that Birdsall has a purple/flowry prose, she does have a way with words. She knows how to make me feel wonder as I’m reading about the adventures that Lydia is having. But I think where she really wins with me is that she gives everything a personality. She most certainly gives them to humans, but also to the creatures and animals surrounding the characters. There is always, always a dog personality on scene and in this book comes a sassy chicken. I’d like to say that Jeanne Birdsall’s writing is pure joy put in words!

Bringing Back the Old:

Since this book didn’t star any of the original Penderwick sisters, I really enjoyed every moment when Jeanne would remind us of those times. Since she used the same setting from the first book, it was really nostalgic visiting the old gardens where the sisters had had so many adventures before. This was–of course–Lydia’s story and her experience in Arundel is slightly different. However, despite the fifteen year distance between book one and this book, readers will get to see many familiar faces and revisit many familiar places!

The Ending:

Before reading the ending, I knew that Jeanne was going to do something special. She wasn’t exactly going to leave it open (which it is, but also not), but she wasn’t just going to say this is the end. So when I did read the ending, my heart burst. Like it literally burst. She 100% did THAT. It might not even be something many readers notice, but I did and JEANNE, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I’ll leave a hint for those who don’t catch it after reading it, so please remember: the tunnel.

Honourable mention: Not only does Jeanne throw in many Narnia references, which fulfilled my little fangirl heart, she also has one character travelling to Canada! So you know Patriotic-Rendz came out and was squealing with glee!

What I Disliked:

I am going to knock off 0.5 and I’m not 100% sure why. It was just something I couldn’t fully grasp with this story. I laughed, I teared up a bit, it had everything, but maybe it’s the speed to the finish. Everything moves so quickly (and I’m complaining because I really would have liked to read about the wedding XD).


Overall, I am overjoyed. This truly was a spectacular finale to one of my favourite series. It had all the right humour, the best personalities, the touch of nostalgia and the bittersweet knowledge that this is the end. I absolutely adored this series and this final installment is cherry on top!

Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars (It’s really a 5….I’m being picky!)

Recommend: I WILL SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOF TOPS. IF YOU LOVE SIBLING RELATIONSHIPS, ANIMALS AND ADORABLE FAMILIES THEN READ THESE BOOKS!



About Jeanne:

Jeanne-Birdsall-Photo-214x300

Jeanne Birdsall grew up in the suburbs west of Philadelphia, where she attended wonderful public schools. Jeanne had lots of great teachers, but her favorites were: Mrs. Corkhill, sixth grade, who encouraged her intellectual curiosity; Mr. Tremonte, eighth grade algebra, who taught Jeanne to love and respect math; and Miss Basehore, second and fourth year Latin, to whom Jeanne (and Mr. Penderwick) will be forever grateful.

Although she first decided to become a writer when she was ten years old, it took Jeanne until she was forty-one to get started. In the years in between, Jeanne had many strange jobs to support herself, and also worked hard as a photographer, the kind that makes art. Some of Jeanne’s photographs are included in the permanent collections of museums, including the Smithsonian and the Philadelphia Art Museum. Her work can be seen in several galleries, including the R. Michelson Galleries in western Massachusetts.

Jeanne’s home now is with her husband in Northampton, Massachusetts. Their house is old and comfortable, full of unruly animals, and surrounded by gardens.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Giveaway!

Details:
– 3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE PENDERWICKS AT LAST
– US Only

Enter:

Rafflecopter Link


Follow the Tour Schedule:

Week One:

5/7/2018- Bri’s Book Nook– Review
5/8/2018- Christen Krumm– Review
5/9/2018- RhythmicBooktrovert– Review
5/10/2018- Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers– Review
5/11/2018- Reading with Rendz– Review (You are here!)

Week Two:

5/14/2018- Little Red Reads– Review
5/15/2018- Buttons Book Reviews– Review
5/16/2018- Will Read Anything– Review
5/17/2018- Two Points of Interest– Review
5/18/2018- The Desert Bibliophile– Review

THE PENDERWICKS AT LAST


Let me know what you think! Have you read any Penderwicks books before? Which book was your favourite? How excited are you to read the finale? What sibling-hood would you love to be a part of?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

3 Days, 3 Quotes Tag: Day 2

Greetings readers!

I was tagged again the other day by Kyera @ Kyera’s Library! She too has an incredible blog with so many fantastic reviews and bookish posts! Drop by and giver a visit soon.

Rules

• Thank the person who nominated you

• Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote for each day)

• Nominate three new bloggers each day

Time for the second round of epic quote-sharing! This is from one my favourite series ever. Seriously. If you guys need a feel good, fast, light read. READ THE PENDERWICKS BY JEANNE BIRDSALL!

Quote 2:

“Am I odd? Is there something wrong with me, like Mrs. Tifton said?”

Skye knelt down on the wet grass and looked straight into Batty’s eyes. “No you stupid idiot, there’s nothing wrong. with you. You’re perfect.”

― Jeanne BirdsallThe Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy

Related image
via Goodreads

I adore this book. I adore this line. In context it would have made much more sense, but just trust me you would love it too, if you read it. Growing up with two older sisters, I relate a lot to these characters. I have that sister bond, it’s like being in a super cool club and am yet simultaneously excluded from the cool older sister club. Skye Penderwick reminds me a lot of my sister Kez and her relationship with Batty reminds me of my bond with Kez many years ago. In our eyes, we were both stupid idiots yet perfect at the same time. Ahhh…the good times.

I Tag….

Angelica @ Book Cover Girl

Darque Dreamer Reads

Shanah @ Bionic Bookworm

*Feel no pressure to participate*

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

read

Favourites!

Greetings readers:

n3lyz8gsource: giphy.com

Today I have decided to share with you some of my Favourites about reading. Some have been with me for long periods of time or in some cases are recently favourited. Each of these books or people have impacted my life in some way, shape or form. It could vary from being extremely entertaining or inspiring or the “reason I read” kind of book or author.

There a countless books in the world, so many I have yet to read. So while this may be a list of my favourites, know that this list will only grow bigger and bigger.

Genres

#1. Fantasy

I will admit it, when it comes to reading I will always, ALWAYS go to Fantasy first. I rarely read out of fantasy (but I do so no worries my other genre loving peeps). Fantasy (like many who use this cliche) is my escape. When I look around me and see how messed up this world of ours is, I want to leave. But I can’t, so I turn to books, with other worlds, with their own set of screwed up problems, with their adventure and resolution.

I go there for magic.

Any type of magic in the book world, whether it be elemental or witchcraft/wizardry or pulling rabbits out of hats, instantly has my attention. I love to read about magical human beings (or maybe not human), who have the ability to wield forces that are unrealistic. If I had a magical power it would be all magic (don’t you dare ask me to pick and choose).

I could go more in depth and reveal my soul deep love for fantasy and write how it has allowed me to grow, learn from mistakes and have courage. But that will come another time. For now I’ll let you know that most of my points will always lead back to my desire to wield magic.

#2. Science fiction and Dystopia

#3. Historical fiction (I have a sweet spot for Sherlock Holmes spin offs even though I have yet to read a Holmes novel)

#4. Contemporary. I will be honest I am not a big contemporary reader. The stories don’t bore me (at least not usually) but I am always looking for an adventure, something different and outside of realistic element aka fantasy. I do try to read at least one contemporary a month to explore the reading realm.

#5. Paranormal/Supernatural. I hardly read from this genre because I find each story to be the same. Guy is super hot and muscular (not a complaint) and is a powerful demon/vampire/angel who is sent to kill girl who has hidden power or guy spontaneously saves girl from enemy/herself as she discovers her power. Some fight scenes, kissing scenes and cheesy romantic lines later and they all lived as happily as demons can live! But I’m a hypocrite. This is my guilty pleasure genre. Something about the predictable end and well…MAGIC always keep me hooked!

Favourite Books/Series
As I said this is the current list. With time, some titles will change many more will be added but for now I will share the current list. (Note: Eventually each or at least some of these mentions will get their own appreciation post)

#1: The Chronicles of Narnia  by C.S. Lewis

#2: The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

#3: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

#4: The Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

#5: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

#6: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

#7: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

#8: Accidentally Fabulous series by Lisa Papademetriou

#9:  The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

#10: Snow Like Ashes trilogy by Sara Raasch

And many more but I will cut the list here. There will be some huge rants about some of the books listed above.

Favourite Authors

#1. Marissa Meyer

#2. Morgan Rhodes

#3. Sabaa Tahir

#4. C.S. Lewis

#5. Leigh Bardugo

#6. Sara Raasch

#7. Marie Lu

#8. Sarah J. Maas

#9. Maggie Steifvater

#10. Marie Rutkoski 

Again there are so many more!

Favourite places to get books!

#1. That one time in a blue one moon when I win a giveaway! Hello free books!

#2. The Library– I am a TPL teen

#3. Overdrive–basically the library for ebooks

#4. Chapters Indigo –my home away from home

#5. BMV stores across Toronto– Hello cheap books!

Favourite places to read!

#1. My room –curtains drawn, window open, warm blanket if needed

#2. Living room couch

#3. Porch

#4. Library

#5.  School

Bonus: Favourite Guilty Pleasure Reads!

#1. The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey

#2. The Divinicus Nex Chronicles by A&E Kirk

#3. Anything by Catherine Fisher, especially her Chronoptika quartet and Incarceron series

Well that’s it for this week my friends. I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about moi! Feel free to comment some of your favourites and I will write to you again next week!

Happy Reading!

-Rendz

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