Penny Dreadful

Penny Dreadful

4.9 22
by Laurel Snyder, Abigail Halpin
     
 

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The perfect book for girls and boys who look to find adventure and magic in surprising places!

What if you were really bored with your life? What would you wish for?

Penelope Grey wishes for something—anything!—interesting to happen, and here’s what she gets:

• Her father quits his job.
• Her family runs out of

Overview

The perfect book for girls and boys who look to find adventure and magic in surprising places!

What if you were really bored with your life? What would you wish for?

Penelope Grey wishes for something—anything!—interesting to happen, and here’s what she gets:

• Her father quits his job.
• Her family runs out of money.
• Her home becomes a pit of despair.

So Penelope makes another wish, and this time the Greys inherit a ramshackle old house in the middle of nowhere. Off they go, leaving the city and their problems behind them. Their new home is full of artists, tiny lions, unusual feasts, and true friends. Almost immediately, their lives are transformed. Penelope’s mother finds an unexpected job, her father discovers a hidden talent, and Penelope changes her name!

Penny’s new life feels too magical to be real, too real to be magic. And it may be too good to last . . . unless she can find a way to make magic work just one more time—if it even was magic.

Any Which Wall author Laurel Snyder introduces a quirky cast of characters as pleasantly strange as they are deeply real. Abigail Halpin adds to the charm with her distinctive line drawings.

Fans of Polly Horvath’s My One Hundred Adventures, Ingrid Law’s Savvy, and Jeanne Birdsall’s The Penderwicks will be enchanted by Laurel Snyder’s alternatively humorous and poignant look at small-town life and what it really takes to become a happy family.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–5—Ten-year-old Penelope Grey lives in a mansion with her loving but busy parents and spends much of her time reading books about kids who do interesting things. She engages in some of the same activities, but nothing Big ever happens to change her boring life until she throws a paper wish into her backyard well. A week later, her father announces that he has quit his job, and soon the Greys are on the verge of losing their house. This isn't what Penelope had envisioned at all. A new wish goes into the well, and that afternoon a telegram arrives informing Mrs. Grey that she has inherited a house in Thrush Junction, TN. Everything isn't rosy once they arrive—the house comes with tenants who are not to be charged rent and a large loan to repay—but it is also replete with quirky neighbors and the freedom for children to make friends and explore to their hearts' content. Penelope quickly becomes Penny, falls in love with her new home, and is determined to find a way for her family to stay—maybe if she locates a rumored long-lost treasure everything will be fine. The characters and atmosphere in this entertaining read are reminiscent of Polly Horvath's books, but for a slightly younger audience. Penny is earnest, endearing, and full of hope for the future.—Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA
Children's Literature - Jennifer Waldrop
Penny Dreadful is a sweet story about a young girl named Penelope Grey who, in the beginning of the story, has all the good things in life that money can buy, but she still feels as if something is missing. When she wishes for something different to happen, her father loses his job and Penelope loses the good things that money could buy. Soon, Penelope and her family find themselves in Thrush Junction, Tennessee, where they have inherited a house in which they think they can live rent free. Unfortunately, the house comes with a second mortgage and several quirky tenants. It is at this point in the story, when everything seems at its worst for the Grey family, that the best things begin happening. In Thrush Junction, they learn the value of community and all the wonderful things that being a part of a close-knit small town can provide. Reviewer: Jennifer Waldrop
Kirkus Reviews
Not dreadful at all, this very pleasant book introduces rich, lonely ten-year-old Penelope Gray, who lives in a tightly controlled and boring world. In desperation, she makes a wish for a less boring life—not knowing that wishes can come true. When her father quits his job, her desires become real, but not quite in the way she expected. This engaging twist on the "rags to riches" story follows Penelope's family from their house in the city to an inherited home in a small town. Having changed her name to Penny, she comes to love the new house and its surrounding cottages, which are filled with a lovable and highly individualistic cast. The plot seems quiet, but there is actually a lot going on with the relationships among these fully drawn characters. Penny's new acquaintances and the ups-and downs of their friendships provide suspense, as does the possibility that the Grays will lose their new home. The novel's theme of friendship will appeal to fans of The Penderwicks, The Mysterious Benedict Society and Hilary McKay's Casson Family books. (Fiction. 9-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375893469
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
09/28/2010
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
400,073
Lexile:
740L (what's this?)
File size:
5 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Laurel Snyder, like Penelope Grey, ran away to the mountains of East Tennessee at an impressionable age, where she (like Penelope) discovered a world of wonderful people, winding roads, lush foliage, and wishes-come-true. She now lives in Atlanta with her family, and online at www.LaurelSnyder.com. Her past works include Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains, Inside the Slidy Diner, and Any Which Wall.


Abigail Halpin grew up drawing in a tiny town on the Maine coast. Since that time she’s lived in a faraway city and visited distant states, but never quite felt at home. With pens and pencils in tow, she moved back to where she grew up—Wells, Maine. She spends her days drinking tea and illustrating, her work most recently appearing in Maybe Yes, Maybe No, Maybe Maybe by Susan Patron.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Penny Dreadful 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book starts off boring then turns interesting out off nowhere!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
3 books u may like if u liked this book: •Any Which Wall •Bigger Than A Breadbox •Breadcrumbs
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
January 4 started this today and is on page 150 i never wanted to put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good chapter
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was later that day. I had just sat down in french class and a boy walked in. The teacher jumped up "This is Steve he will be joining us and starting tomorrow will be in Mrs.Santiagos homeroom." I couldnt help but stare. He was tall and his hair flopped perfectly his blue eyes made me lost and his smike was soft. I shook my head Steve was cute. I now had two crushes. But when he sat down a kid whispered something in his ear and pointed to me. I sank low in my seat of course. After class i approached him and he smiled. "Hi...uh where from you?" Ahhhh i had just seriously messed up my speech. I was nervous. "You're funny." I smildd he had thouht it was a joke. Maybe i could still recover myself after all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book,i have read it already
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Lawral More than 1 year ago
This is a hard book to summarize because the beginning is so incredibly different from the rest of the book. It all goes together. The difference doesn't cause any jarring shifts for the reader, and circumstances in the opening make the rest of the book make sense, but this is not a book about a little rich girl who moves to the county, as the first couple chapters would have you believe. Yes, Penelope has grown up rich, but finances quickly deteriorate in the Grey household after her father leaves his job. As the whole family figures out how to live without a chef, a housekeeper, or even a steady income, this becomes a book about figuring out what is really important. Houses and furniture can be let go; your family (and your books!) you take with you. Once that family gets to Thrush Junction, however, this becomes a book about finding yourself, making friends, and feeling and helping others to feel welcome. It's about community. But I didn't think any of this while I was reading. While reading Penny Dreadful, this was just a book about Penelope, who wanted to go out and experience life. She needed to become Penny instead, and in Thrush Junction, she finds just the right people to help her do just that. Thrush Junction is populated with a bunch of oddballs, many of whom live at Whippoorwillows with the Greys. Penelope, who has never really had friends before, must come out of her shell, and Luella is the perfect girl to drag her out. As Penelope, now Penny, learns how to have and be a friend, Luella introduces her to the rest of their little town. There's Down-Betty who was in vaudeville, Duncan who might be allergic to EVERYTHING and so is barely allowed to eat anything, Kay who runs the town diner, Jasper who is Luella's other best friend, Twent who can't say his r's (and has two moms!), and a whole bunch of other folks. The whole thing reminded me of Because of Winn-Dixie, but with a buried treasure legend instead of a dog. It has a feel-good feeling throughout that is infectious, even though the Greys money worries are a constant hum in the background. Things can be a bit episodic, but that's because that's how summer is sometimes. It's all about the people that come and go and the fun things that you get to do together for one day. It's great to see so much diversity in the characters. In addition to Twent's two moms, Luella and her family are black, there is a wide range of ages at Whippoorwillows (and not all the old folks are grandparents), non-traditional gender roles within otherwise traditional family units, and a character who is deaf (can't tell you which without a spoiler). And there are no big deals made about any of it. These are all simply people that Penny meets during her adventures in her new town, and it's great to see them represented in literature just because they exist in real life rather than to Teach a Lesson to readers about how Everyone's the Same on the Inside! I should also add that Penny Dreadful is also peppered with drawings by Abigail Halpin. Rather than distracting from the text, as I often think in-text illustrations do in chapter books, they add to it. My ARC only has preliminary sketches, but from those, I can tell that they're going to be awesomely full of life and emotion. My favorite one is of Penny is straggling behind Luella and Jasper on the sidewalk with the most sour look on her face ever, though the drawing of Twent "wahwing" is a close second. :) Book source: A
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I AM SICK
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Firepaw makes his nest next to rowanpaws
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi firepaw.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
&#9786
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg best book ive ever read, its hard to summarize but its just plain awesome u HAVE to read this!
Cori Steel More than 1 year ago
Well i have nit read it yet but it loojs good