My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Every Penderwick is a phenomenal person! I have so much love for this beautiful Penderwick family, I can’t even contain my emotions long enough to write a decent review. Every book in this series is absolute gold, every character is delightfully unique, and every single word in every chapter is genius. I love how the author takes small everyday doings and makes them dramatic and interesting and fun! Just building a campfire on the beach and toasting marshmallows becomes an adventure fraught with peril and meaning.
In this book, the four Penderwick sisters are splitting up for vacation. Rosalind is gone on vacation with a friend, leaving Skye in charge as the OAP, (Oldest Available Penderwick) a job that Skye is not prepared to handle. Skye’s anxiety over her younger sisters’ safety is worsened by the fact that they are staying near the beach at Point Mouette, and there are thousands of things that could go wrong. But when disaster comes calling, Skye never sees it coming, and it’s up to her as OAP to make the tough decisions and keep everyone safe.
Jane is dealing with writer’s block and conducting a “love survey” to get material for her new Sabrina Starr book, but if Jane experiences love for herself by falling for a local skateboarding boy, would it help her writing?
Batty is the delightfully imaginative and playful youngest sister, and she is making new friends, exploring new places, and discovering a hidden talent for music. But no Penderwick has ever been any good at music, so will Batty break the Penderwick mold and turn out to be a star musician?
As always, I love the close bond between the sisters, their imagination and sweet wildness, the wisdom and understanding of the grownups in their family, and of course the wonderful friendship they have with Jeffrey, their “honorary brother”. They are an incomparable set of characters!
I only wish that the innocent world of the Penderwicks could be real. I wish that 11 year old kids could run down to the village grocery store on their own without fear. I wish that little girls could accept rides from kindly strangers who claim to be a friend of your neighbors, and that there would be nothing wrong.
Any parent reading this to their kids would have to stop and explain, “Just because the Penderwick girls did this, doesn’t mean you can.” The Penderwick world is innocent and sweet, where all grownups are good people, albeit some of them are grouchy at times. I feel like the book ought to be set in the 1940s or something, because the world we live in today is a much scarier place.