The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy
by Jeanne Birdsall
After their father rents a guest house for a few weeks in the summer, four sisters explore the large estate grounds making friends and having adventures along the way. Absolutely delightful, The Penderwicks has a old-fashioned cover, title, and story, yet keeps a contemporary feel. It could take place anytime — though a few small references do set the tale in the present day — forming a large part of its appeal. The reading level is upper elementary, but would be a perfect read-aloud for younger elementary kids. Simply a perfect summer story artfully told.
Lowji Discovers America
by Candice Fleming
When Lowji moves to America from India, he looks forward to making new friends and having a pet. Unfortunately, he and his family arrive in the middle of the summer and there are no kids around the neighborhood. Plus, his longing for a pet is thwarted by the cranky landlady who hates animals. Bright and inquisitive, Lowji doesn’t let these obstacles get in his way with interesting and funny results. Sweet and humorous, the book lightly makes the point of keeping a positive outlook. The observations of American ways and slang are interesting from the view of this engaging character. Younger elementary kids can easily enjoy this charming story.
by Anjali Banerjee
When eleven-year-old Poppy skips a trip with her parents to India, she makes the decision with the goal of being a vet like her Uncle Sanjay. What she finds is that it working with animals can be difficult, gross, and heartbreaking. Over the summer Poppy also adjusts to the slow-pace island lifestyle, makes new friends, and learns more about herself. She even comes to handle the animals in emergencies and in passing. This book is a lovely read, but the sections on animals suffering or dying are emotionally intense — especially if you’ve been through it personally. The author handles the topic with grace, but tears may gently flow.
(Selections from this post were previously published at PBS Booklights.)
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