The Penderwicks in Spring (The Penderwicks Series #4)

The Penderwicks in Spring (The Penderwicks Series #4)

4.9 8
by Jeanne Birdsall

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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.
Springtime is finally arriving on Gardam Street, and there are surprises in store for each


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.
Springtime is finally arriving on Gardam Street, and there are surprises in store for each member of the family.
Some surprises are just wonderful, like neighbor Nick Geiger coming home from war. And some are ridiculous, like Batty’s new dog-walking business. Batty is saving up her dog-walking money for an extra-special surprise for her family, which she plans to present on her upcoming birthday. But when some unwelcome surprises make themselves known, the best-laid plans fall apart.
Filled with all the heart, hilarity, and charm that has come to define this beloved clan, The Penderwicks in Spring is about fun and family and friends (and dogs), and what happens when you bring what's hidden into the bright light of the spring sun.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 01/12/2015
With the addition of baby sister Lydia, the Penderwicks’ blended family returns with all the big-family drama and joys that fans have come to expect. In this fourth installment, musically inclined fifth-grader Batty is delighted to learn that her school’s dull music teacher has been replaced by the more appealing Mrs. Grunfeld; better still, the new teacher thinks Batty has a “rare and beautiful” voice. Inspired, Batty earns money for singing lessons by walking two unusual neighborhood dogs, a job that makes her yearn for her own, recently deceased dog. After overhearing a family secret, she starts to believe that she was responsible for the death of her mother, who passed away when Batty was a baby. It takes a lot of detective work from her older sisters, parents, and neighbors to figure out why Batty is so blue, but in true Penderwick fashion, misunderstandings are soon righted. The warmth and compassion of the Penderwick family comes through in every page of this slice-of-life novel, healing emotional bruises and reassuring readers that most problems can be overcome. Ages 8–12. Agent: Barbara S. Kouts. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
“The warmth and compassion of the Penderwick family comes through in every page of this slice-of-life novel, healing emotional bruises and reassuring readers that most problems can be overcome.” 
Publishers Weekly starred review

“…chock full of all the qualities fans love (humor, heart, and the honest exploration of emotions…[t]he Penderwicks have a strong bench, so, happily, expect more.”
Booklist starred review

VOYA, February 2015 (Vol. 37, No. 6) - Donna L Phillips
They are back—the Penderwick sisters are growing up to greet readers approaching young womanhood. Motherly Rosalind is finishing her first year in college; empirical Skye and Jane the romantic are busy with their high school lives. All are embroiled in complications arising from young men too interested in them. New to the ensemble are stepbrother Ben, now seven, and Lydia, a toddler too old to be confined in a crib but too young to feel secure in a big-girl bed, and never far from her princess crown. Shy Batty has become their Rosalind. Her musical gifts have blossomed in the years since the summer vacation in Maine. To raise money for voice lessons, she swallows her shyness and launches PWTW, Penderwick Willing To Work. She takes her flyers door to door, offering to walk neighbors’ dogs or take on chores suitable for the shy. If only Hound had not died, her life would be idyllic—until she overhears Skye’s bitter words about their mother’s death. Birdsall’s voice has lost none of its vibrance. She captures the fun, foibles, and heartbreak of every character. Like the summer in Maine, spring in the Berkshires is leisurely, with lingering moments, sobering surprises, and an upbeat ending in spite of the setbacks. This reviewer is among those that editor Michelle Frey describes as “new to this lovable family.” Having discovered them in their fourth book, this reader immediately read the earlier three and eagerly awaits the Penderwick finale planned for 2017. Reviewer: Donna L Phillips; Ages 11 to 15.
Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
Fourth in the award-winning series about the Penderwick family, this edition focuses on eleven-year-old Batty, one of six children in a blended family. Batty’s mother died of cancer shortly after giving birth to her; and her father eventually remarried, having two more children. It’s a big, boisterous family of wide-ranging ages whose interactions among themselves and those they care about take up a great portion of the story. Batty is an aspiring pianist and begins a dog walking service to help pay for her lessons. She has been mourning the loss of the family pet and being around other dogs is helping her overcome her loss. When she accidentally overhears one of her older sisters tell a boyfriend that if it was not for Batty, her mother might still be alive, Batty is devastated. She misinterprets the statement, and it puts her into an emotionally fragile tailspin. Putting things right brings the whole family together. It’s too bad this conundrum did not appear sooner in the story, as it would have added some needed suspense to this coming of age saga. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.; Ages 9 to 12.
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—The Penderwick family is back in the fourth book of Birdsall's popular series. With the addition of younger sister Lydia and the recent death of beloved dog Hound, the cast of characters has changed a bit. Though told from the perspectives of Batty and Ben—the younger brother added to the clan in The Penderwicks on Gardam Street (Knopf, 2008)—this is truly Batty's story. Rosalind is in college, and Skye and Jane are both in high school. In this volume, Batty discovers that she has a talent for singing, which she keeps a secret from the rest of her family so that she can plan a Grand Birthday Concert. Jeffrey, their family friend, will be visiting for Skye's birthday, and Batty wants to ask him to be her mentore. She also takes on a job walking dogs to pay for voice lessons. She's conflicted about this because she believes that it was her fault that Hound died and she doesn't want to "curse" any more dogs. Fans of the series may find the time jump jarring—Batty, who was only four during the first book, is now 10—and the lack of OPS (Older Penderwick Sisters) dismaying. Throughout the series, Birdsall has demonstrated considerable skill at crafting a modern classic, merging modern-day wit with an old-fashioned charm. Birdsall is a master at making the everyday exciting. VERDICT This latest addition to the beloved series ends on a satisfying note, and readers will eagerly await the final book.—Jessica Ko, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
A new and darker installment in the acclaimed series about the loving and bustling family.Several years have passed since the events of the third title, The Penderwicks at Point Mouette (2011). This latest stars Batty, nearly 11 and youngest of the four original sisters, and two newer siblings—Ben, son of Mr. Penderwick's second wife, whom he married at the end of Book 2, and Lydia, the 2-year-old born of this marriage. Batty studies piano passionately, and a new music teacher at school discovers that she sings beautifully, too, so the girl undertakes a dog-walking business to earn money for voice lessons. Then Batty overhears a sister's comment that, shockingly, betrays long-held, deeply festering anger and resentment toward her. Sensitive Batty keeps the new revelation to herself and takes an emotional nose dive. How or whether this is resolved will keep readers turning pages. Newcomers to the series are assisted by explanations of characters and past events. Longtime fans will enjoy it, too, while feeling Batty's pain and rooting for her recovery. They'll also forgive what have become stock series trademarks: some improbable turns of events; almost-too-perfect familial and neighborly relationships; and nonchildlike dialogue issuing from the mouth of the babe. Not only is toddler Lydia's speech beyond her years (as was Batty's in the earlier books)—save for referring to herself in the third person—but she effortlessly communicates in several languages. Not without some flaws, but overall, another charmer that will generate smiles, tears and fuzzy feelings. (Fiction. 8-12)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Penderwicks Series, #4
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.12(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

When Jeanne Birdsall was young, she promised herself she’d be a writer someday—so that she could write books for children to discover and enjoy, just as she did at her local library. She is the author of The Penderwicks, which won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street, and The Penderwicks at Point Mouette.
Jeanne lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, with her husband and an assortment of animals, including a dog named Cagney. You can find out more about Jeanne, her books, and her animal friends at

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The Penderwicks in Spring 4.9 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous 8 months ago
DianaH-Maine More than 1 year ago
THE PENDERWICKS IN SPRING is Jeanne Birdsall’s 4th Penderwick book. It is just as delightful as the first 3 - perhaps even more so. One can feel and smell the freshness in the air, the first daffodil (in Mrs. Geiger’s yard), purple hyacinths and crocuses, and melting piles of snow. The family is a blended family of 8 - Mr. Martin Penderwick, Mrs. Iantha Penderwick, Iantha’s son, Ben, Martin and Iantha’s daughter, Lydia, and the Penderwick sisters - Rosalind (off to college now), Skye, Jane and Batty. The story belongs to 5th grader Batty - her struggles with book report assignments, the banishment (by Skye) of Batty’s friend and musical mentor, Jeffrey, her love of music and newly discovered singing skills, worry for Nick (deployed in the war), Batty’s despair over the death of Hound, her dog-walking troubles, sister trouble, and an overheard conversation of Skye’s. Whew! Lots going on here and that is just one character. The book is timeless, in that the family could be from the early 1900s or 2015. The situations, the dialog, the emotions, the coming-of-age themes, family inter relationships - I am in love with these characters. The books felt so familiar to me and I have to agree with one reviewer that the books reminded me of an Elizabeth Enright series about the Melendy Family. (that I read as a girl) I would also refer readers to inter relationships from Louisa May Alcott’s LITTLE WOMEN and Maud Hart Lovelace’s BETSY-TACY series of books. Thank you, Ms. Birdsall. These books are a delight to read. The stories resonate with all ages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Parentof2 More than 1 year ago
I have been enjoying the Penderwick series along with my daughters. As a parent it is oftentimes difficult to find a book that is enjoyable for all to read together but this series is it! The author has created lovable characters and by the end of each book you love them more and more. My children and I were so emotionally involved in a beloved character's plight in this fourth book, that we spent a couple of days white knuckling it through the character's adventures. I highly recommend this series for children and parents as a great read aloud.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So good loved it but didnt like how old they were in the first three books they were the same age but now Rosliand is in college
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I basically grew up with the Penderwicks, and I loved reading the newest book in the series. I loved reading about Batty and Ben's adventures, and I look forward ro reading more about Lydia's own unique contribution to the Penderwicks family. This book was a little darker than most of the books. Batty is depressed for a good chunk of this book. I cried quite a lot, and I missed the usual light-hearted book I was expecting. However, this was a fantastic book. I think I enjoy it more since I'm a teenager. Ben and Lydia managed to keep this book from being too serious. This book was hysterical, from Batty's money making schemes to Ben's rock obsession. I enjoyed hating Oliver, and I was suprised at how much I liked Nick in this book. I really hope Skye and Jeffrey work out. This book was fantastic, and I would reccomend it to anyone, regardless of age.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This delightful tale told through the eyes of Batty and occasionally Ben is a wonderful addition to the Penderwick series. I love love love love LOVE the Penderwicks and am very excited for the what will sadly be the last book in the series. Batty as a ten year old has the reader enjoying every moment of the book. The girls are every bit as lovable as ever, and Ben with his rock obbsession and Lydia with her large vocabulary definitely live up to my expectations and are wonderful characters. In Little Women, Amy ends up with Laurie and Jo ends up with Mr. Baer. I honestly can say that I love Little Women but have rewritten it in my head many times with Jo marrying Laurie in the end. I hope that Skye falls for Jeffery, but if she doesn't want him, I do!! No offense to whoever would like Batty to end up with Jeffery, but I do NOT support that at all. Sorry for any spelling mistakes...