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The Penderwicks on Gardam Street (The Penderwicks Series #2)

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street (The Penderwicks Series #2)

4.6 135
by Jeanne Birdsall, Susan Denaker (Narrated by), Susan Denaker (Read by)

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With over one million copies sold, this series of modern classics about the charming Penderwick family from National Book Award winner and New York Times bestseller Jeanne Birdsall is perfect for fans of Noel Streatfeild and Edward Eager.

The Penderwick sisters are home on Gardam Street and ready for an adventure! But the adventure they get


With over one million copies sold, this series of modern classics about the charming Penderwick family from National Book Award winner and New York Times bestseller Jeanne Birdsall is perfect for fans of Noel Streatfeild and Edward Eager.

The Penderwick sisters are home on Gardam Street and ready for an adventure! But the adventure they get isn’t quite what they had in mind. Mr. Penderwick’s sister has decided it’s time for him to start dating—and the girls know that can only mean one thing: disaster. Enter the Save-Daddy Plan—a plot so brilliant, so bold, so funny, that only the Penderwick girls could have come up with it. It’s high jinks, big laughs, and loads of family warmth as the Penderwicks triumphantly return.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This sequel to Birdsall's National Book Award winner, The Penderwicks, has even more charm than the original. The prologue hits the only maudlin note, flashing back to Mrs. Penderwick on her deathbed as she instructs her husband's sister, Claire, to make sure he finds love again after sufficient mourning. The Penderwick sisters—Rosalind, Jane, Skye and Batty—learn of this valediction four years later when Aunt Claire begins arranging blind dates. An emergency MOPS (Meeting of Penderwick Sisters) hatches the Save Daddy plan, in which the girls orchestrate dates so dreadful their father will see widowed life is best. Neighbors on Gardam Street include football-playing brothers Nick and Tommy (the latter plays Tracy to Rosalind's Hepburn), and two newcomers: a widowed professor and her toddler baby. Middle sisters Jane and Skye, who share a room but nothing else, steal the show by swapping homework assignments with hilariously catastrophic results. It's sheer pleasure to spend time with these exquisitely drawn characters, girls so real that readers will feel the wind through their hair as they power down the soccer field. Ages 8—12. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
School has begun and the Penderwicks' summer adventures at Arundel are dramatic yet full of fond memories. Reliable Rosalind is settling into seventh grade and proudly shoulders a new responsibility: supervising her sisters after school without a babysitter. Life in the house on Gardam Street seems reassuringly routine: Jane writes her Sabrina Starr books, Skye continues to love all things orderly such as math and science, and Hound keeps Batty company on her many exploits. Then Aunt Claire comes to visit, and brings with her a letter written by Mrs. Penderwick before she died of cancer. In it she encourages Mr. Penderwick to find someone new to love so he will not be lonely, and Aunt Claire has already arranged the first blind date. Suddenly, the girls are having a MOPS—Meeting of Penderwick Sisters—to formulate a plan to save their father from the horrors of dating, and to save themselves from a stepmother. As their well-intentioned strategy becomes more complicated and requires more deception, each of the Penderwick sisters finds herself challenged by personal demons, which provides several engaging sub-plots to the main story. Jane and Skye's homework swap results in triumph and tragedy; Rosalind has mixed emotions about her neighbor Tommy; and Batty becomes friends with Gardam Street's newest residents Iantha, the astrophysicist, and her toddler son Ben. In true Penderwick fashion, one escapade after another finally culminates in happy endings for all. The charming sequel to Jeanne Birdsall's National Book Award-winning novel The Penderwicks, this evenly paced story remains true to the unique characters readers love while bringing each Penderwick new tests andopportunities to grow. While some may find fault with the sweet innocence, predictability, and tidy conclusion of the plot, parents and kids searching for well-written, family-oriented books will be delighted the Penderwicks are back. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis
School Library Journal

Gr 4-8- The Penderwick sisters are back. Their Aunt Claire has come for a visit, bringing with her a letter from their late mother that encourages their father to date, and an immediate crisis ensues, as the girls assume that this is the first step on the treacherous road to having a stepmother. After frantic consultation, they implement the "Save Daddy" plan, designed to set him up with perfectly dreadful women so that he will not want to date again. Numerous subplots add to the domestic drama. Skye struggles with her temper on the soccer field. Rosalind and neighbor Tommy experience a frustrated romance. Skye and Jane switch homework assignments, leading to a school performance of Jane's Aztec drama, with everyone thinking that it was penned by Skye. While the solution to the dating dilemma can be seen from the beginning, the sisters are so caught up in their drama that they can't see who's right next door. Laugh-out-loud moments abound and the humor comes naturally from the characters and situations. Especially funny is the scene in which the youngest Penderwick hides in the car hoping to spy on one of her father's dates. Like much of the book itself, this scene resolves itself in a tender moment between father and daughter. This is a book to cherish and to hold close like a warm, cuddly blanket that you draw around yourself to keep out the cold.-Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ

Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This return to the Cameron, Mass., cul-de-sac home of the Penderwicks-romantic seventh-grader Rosalind, temperamental sixth-grader Skye, dramatic fifth-grader Jane, four-year-old Batty, and their widowed college-professor father, Martin, whom readers met in Birdsall's 2005 National Book Award-winning novel-begins with a visit from his sister, the girls' affable Aunt Claire. She has brought a pale blue envelope entrusted to her by their beloved mother years earlier; it contains a deathbed note in which Elizabeth Penderwick encourages her husband to date again. The girls, horrified, formulate a "Save Daddy Plan," but they are, of course, doomed to failure. While observant readers will deduce the denouement on page 13, Batty makes it perfectly plain a little further along: "I say Daddy should date the [sweet, young, widowed, also-an-academic] lady next door, and then I could play with her baby." Out of the mouths of babes . . . . The rest of the story is a pleasant ramble of a read, replete with well-intentioned scheming, adolescent crushes, horrible homework disasters, soccer, secrets, school dances and lots and lots of literary allusion (and yes, a wedding). (Fiction. 8-12)
From the Publisher
Starred Review, School Library Journal, March 2008:

"This is a book to cherish and to hold close like a warm, cuddly blanket that you draw around yourself to keep out the cold."

Starred Review, Booklist, May 1, 2008:

"Just the sort of cozy fare that's missing in today's mean-girl world."

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, April 28, 2008:

“It's sheer pleasure to spend time with these exquisitely drawn characters, girls so real that readers will feel the wind through their hair as they power down the soccer field.”
Review, San Francisco Chronicle, April 27, 2008:
"Birdsall writes with amazing grace."
Review, Parade, June 22, 2008:
"[A]n old-fashioned (in a good way) read with well-drawn characters, warmth, and humor."
Review, The New York Times Book Review, July 13, 2008:
"Birdsall's second novel . . . offers comforting comedy."

Product Details

Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
Penderwicks Series , #2
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.21(w) x 5.92(h) x 1.15(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE: Rosalind Bakes a Cake

Four years and four months later

Rosalind was happy. Not the kind of passionate, thrilling happy that can quickly turn into disappointment, but the calm happy that comes when life is steadily going along just the way it should. Three weeks earlier she’d started seventh grade at the middle school, which was turning out not to be as overwhelming as rumored, mostly because she and her best friend, Anna, shared all the same classes. And it was late September, and the leaves were on the verge of bursting into wild colors—Rosalind adored autumn. And it was a Friday afternoon, and although school was all right, who doesn’t like weekends better?

On top of all that, Aunt Claire was coming to visit for the weekend. Beloved Aunt Claire, whose only flaw was that she lived two hours away from the Penderwicks’ home in Cameron, Massachusetts. But she tried to make up for it by visiting often, and now she was arriving this evening. Rosalind had so many things to tell her, mostly about the family’s summer vacation, three wonderful weeks at a place called Arundel in the Berkshires. There had been many adventures with a boy named Jeffrey, and for a while Rosalind had thought that she might be in love with another boy—an older one—named Cagney, but that had come to nothing. Now Rosalind was determined to stay away from love and its confusions for many years, but still she wanted to talk it all over with her aunt.

There was lots to get done before Aunt Claire arrived—clean sheets on the bed, clean towels in the bathroom, and Rosalind wanted to bake a cake—but first she had to pick up her little sister Batty at Goldie’s Day Care. She did so every day on the walk home from school, and even that was part of her happiness. For this was the first year her father had given her the responsibility for her sisters after school and until he came home. Before now, there had always been a babysitter, one or another of the beautiful Bosna sisters, who lived down the street from the Penderwicks. And though the Bosnas had been good babysitters as well as beautiful, Rosalind considered herself much too old now—twelve years and eight months—for a babysitter.

The walk from Cameron Middle School to Goldie’s took ten minutes, and Rosalind was on her last minute now. She could see on the corner ahead of her the gray clapboard house, with its wide porch full of toys. And now she could see—she picked up her pace—a small girl alone on the steps. She had dark curls and was wearing a red sweater, and Rosalind ran the last several yards, scolding as she went.

“Batty, you’re supposed to stay inside until I get here,” she said. “You know that’s the rule.”

Batty threw her arms around Rosalind. “It’s okay, because Goldie’s watching me through the window.”

Rosalind looked up, and it was true. Goldie was at the window, waving and smiling. “Even so, I want you to stay inside from now on.”

“All right. But—” Batty held up a finger swathed in Band-Aids. “I just was dying to show you this. I cut myself during crafts.”

Rosalind caught up the finger and kissed it. “Did it hurt terribly?”

“Yes,” said Batty proudly. “I bled all over the clay and the other kids screamed.”

“That sounds exciting.” Rosalind helped Batty into her little blue backpack. “Now let’s go home and get ready for Aunt Claire.”

Most days the two sisters would linger on their walk home from Goldie’s—at the sassafras tree, with leaves shaped like mittens, and at the storm drain that flooded just the right amount when it rained, so you could splash through without getting water in your boots. Then there was the spotted dog who barked furiously but only wanted to be petted, and the cracks in the sidewalk that Batty had to jump over, and the brown house with flower gardens all around, and the telephone poles that sometimes had posters about missing cats and dogs. Batty always studied these carefully, wondering why people didn’t take better care of their pets.

But today, because of Aunt Claire’s visit, they hurried along, stopping only for Batty to move to safety a worm that had unwisely strayed onto the sidewalk, and soon they were turning the corner onto Gardam Street, where they lived. It was a quiet street, with only five houses on each side, and a cul-de-sac at the end. The Penderwick sisters had always lived there, and they knew and loved every inch of it, from one end to the other. Even when Rosalind was in a hurry, like today, she noted with satisfaction the tall maples that marched along the street—one in every front yard—and the rambling houses that were not so young anymore, but still comfortable and well cared for. And there was always someone waving hello. Today it was Mr. Corkhill, mowing his lawn, and Mrs. Geiger, driving by with a car full of groceries—and then Rosalind stopped waving back, for Batty had broken into a run.

“Come on, Rosalind!” cried Batty over her shoulder. “I hear him!”

This, too, was part of their everyday routine. Hound, the Penderwicks’ dog, always knew when Batty was almost home, and set up such a clamor he could be heard all up and down Gardam Street. So now both sisters were running, and in a moment, Rosalind was unlocking their front door, and Hound was throwing himself at Batty as though she’d been away for centuries instead of just the day.

Rosalind dragged Hound back into the house, with Batty dancing alongside in an ecstasy of reunion. Down the hall they all went, through the living room and into the kitchen—where Rosalind opened the back door and shoved the joyful tangle of child and dog into the backyard. She shut the door behind them and leaned against it to catch her breath. Soon Batty would need her afternoon snack, but for now Rosalind had a moment to herself. She could start on the cake, which she’d decided should be a pineapple upside-down one.

Humming happily, she took the family cookbook from its shelf. It had been a wedding gift to her parents, and was full of her mother’s penciled notes. Rosalind knew all the notes by heart, and even had her favorites, like the one next to candied sweet potatoes—An insult to potatoes everywhere. There was no note next to pineapple upside-down cake. Maybe if it was a great success, Rosalind would add her own. She did that sometimes.

Meet the Author

When JEANNE BIRDSALL was young, she promised herself she'd be a writer someday—so she could write books for children to read and enjoy, just as she did at her local library. She is now the author of the Penderwicks series: The Penderwicks, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street, and The Penderwicks at Point Mouette. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband. 

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Penderwicks on Gardam Street 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 135 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the Penderwicks series sooooo much and this book is by far my favorite out of the three.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the first book and this one is just as good. Hope all if you book lovers out there have a chance to enjoy a good book lije this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book so far and i loved the first one to :)!
luvbookworm1998 More than 1 year ago
Jeanne Birdsall captures alll the things you need to laugh all in this book! The Book is to well written to be put down untill you reach the last word in the book! You have to read this not just the whole book but the Epilogue too!!!! But first you might want to read "The Penderwicks".
Savannah Viereck More than 1 year ago
i enjoyed this book because i could not stop reading.ir had a gret ending and if anyone wants to read it go ahead because it has all the qualities for a great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the penderwicks!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It is a great book. It is a great kid friendly book. I recommend it for ages 9-12. I would also recommend reading The Penderwicks before you read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the penderwicks on gardam street because it shows how hard life is with no mom and your dad about to remarry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've only read the sample and it already seems awesome!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the first and third book. So far i have loved all of them. Thi is one of those series that makes u sad when u finish it. This is a book that is worth buying. U can read it a million times and still love it. Leaves you wanting more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Courtneys-Homework More than 1 year ago
The book I chose to read was The Penderwicks On Gardam Street. It is a sequel to The Penderwicks. The book takes place Fall 2008 in a town called Cameron, Massachusetts. The prologue starts the book off when their mother was alive but sick. She dies and gives the Penderwick's Aunt Claire a very important blue letter. In chapter one the girls have a new neighbor single mother Iantha and her baby boy Ben and orange cat Asimov. Mr. Penderwick reads the note his wife left him long ago it it says that four years after her death he needs to start dating. In chapter six the girls decide to hold a MOPS (Meeting Of Penderwick Sisters). Rosalind, Skye, Jane, and Batty come up with a "Save-Daddy Plan". Their plan is to set up three more horrible dates for their father so he'll want to stop dating. Throughout the rest of the book lies are caught up to them and the family also becomes good freinds with Iantha and hang out with Tommy Gieger and his football loving older brother. I found a lot of positives, and some negatives, in the book The Penderwicks On Gardam Street. One thing I like was that each character is unique in personality and physical traits. I liked the change in Skye throughout the novel, from fiery to bold and truthful. The mysterious ending and how everything works out right and everybody is happy. The description throughout the novel was not very creative and didn't grab my attention. I didn't see why the Rosalind and Tommy relationship was necessary. I hated reading about the character Batty and didn't understand what made her four year old adventures so interesting. All in all I liked reading this novel. I really liked this author's writing style. It was clear and easy to read and was full of expression, like when she was describing Jane's feelings throughout the book. Jeanne Birdsall wrote The Penderwicks in third person so you could see the outlook of events from different perspectives. She used pretty good sensory vocabulary throughout novel, for example, in the first chapter when Rosalind was baking a cake. Her writing is sometimes a little old fashioned, but at the same time casual because she used words like oaf and their adventures. I would and would not recommend this book for many reasons. I would because it is descriptive, has likable characters, has a amazing plot and ending. I would say no in some cases because the first original book is better and you wouldn't understand this book without reading the first. If you're ten and up I would recommend it. If you were younger than ten I would not because there is talk about the father dating and also Rosalind dealing with a crush, besides that there is nothing to look out for. Similar novels include The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, Mysterious Benidict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, and Savvy by Trenton Law. I would also recommend The Mysterious Benidict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, and Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. I loved reading and reviewing this book.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Rosalind has been a fine mother to her sisters Jane, Skye, and Batty for four years, ever since their mother died. So when her Aunt Claire visits with a blue letter for her father, written by her mother, Rosalind can't chase away the sense of foreboding.

When she finds out that her mother's letter suggests her dad start dating again, Rosalind quickly calls the sisters together for an emergency MOPS - a Meeting of Penderwick Sisters. Together they hatch the Save Daddy Plan, designed to ensure that they will never have to endure a stepmother.

As their father begins to suffer through the torture of dating, the sisters become involved in complications of their own. Skye and Jane get tangled up with homework while playing soccer in perfect sync. Rosalind struggles with her own boy problems involving the Geiger brothers. And Batty spies on Bug Man with her dog, Hound, and the new neighbor's little boy, Ben.

Before long, not only are the sisters beginning to unravel, but they also realize that the Save Daddy Plan is making their father miserable. After a night of revelations and confessions, the sisters revise the plan with the help of Ben's mother, Iantha.

THE PENDERWICKS ON GARDAM STREET is a delightful book featuring laughter, pranks, bedtime stories, and the sweet emotions of family love. Jeanne Birdsall and the Penderwicks will capture your heart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a very good book acoring to my raing from 1-5
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It has just a little bit to much romance
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book about a sweet family that anyone could relate to. The book has romance, humor, sispense, and adventure all tied together to create a page turning tale! A must-read, and a great book to read on vacation. By the way, this book, I would say is mostly for girls! Sincerly, r #trustGod
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book reminds me a lot of myself. I have 4 younger sisters and no mom. My character in this book is Rosalind because she is just lik me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The whole penderwick series is amazing...... Skye is my favorite character. A must read!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book
Brasseur More than 1 year ago
The Penderwicks return to their home on Gardam Street in Massachusetts and leave the mystery of Arundel estate behind. We see very little of the no-nonsense Churchie (housekeeper and cook) and Jeffrey (the spunky match for Jane and Skye) nor do we continue to learn about plants from Cagney. The focus is on finding Mr. Penderwick a wife ---- or not! The emergence of Aunt Claire is delightful, but I found that the shift in story-line from garden and cottage adventures to match making made for less interesting reading. I am, however, thoroughly enjoying the third book! Birdsall has created memorable characters, witty dialogue and just credible adventures!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked it but it was very predictable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The second installment of The Penderwicks leaves you as equaly satisfied as the first. With a wonderful blend of humor, solemness and charm, Jeanne Birdsall does it again. We salutre you and look forward to your 4th book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book hasnt lived up to my expectations. It was nice but not wonderful. The plot is week and having the twelve year old dating is a bit much. Definately not worth the money.