The Penderwicks

A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy
Narrated by: Susan Denaker
Series: The Penderwicks, Book 1
Length: 6 hrs and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,508 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel's sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel's owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures. 

The icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is not as pleased with the Penderwicks as Jeffrey is, though, and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will - won't they? One thing's for sure: it will be a summer the Penderwicks will never forget.

Deliciously nostalgic and quaintly witty, this is a story as breezy and carefree as a summer day.

©2005 Jeanne Birdsall

Critic Reviews

  • National Book Award Winner, Young People's Literature, 2005

"Adults who have been longing to find books for children that remind them of their own childhood favorites need look no further." (Booklist)

What listeners say about The Penderwicks

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Happy Accident

I accidentally downloaded this book not realizing it was a children's book, but once I started listening, I was transported to magical summer childhood memories, and couldn't bring myself to stop! This would be a great book to engage kids ranging from 6 to 12-ish, or just listen to it on your own if you want to escape the real world of paying bills, doing dishes, or commuting to work!

41 people found this helpful

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Excellent doesn't begin to describe!

I listened to this audiobook with my 10 year old daughter, and the only thing we didn't like was when it ended. The characters became so real that she and I discussed aspects of them at times when we weren't listening. As a mother, I especially appreciated the kindness shared between the family members and friends within these chapters. This is a well-written and wonderfully narrated piece of children's literature that I highly recommend.

26 people found this helpful

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Worth a Chance

I took a chance on a potentially good story of a family made up of four girls...so myself and three boys listened to and were completely entertained. Mr. Penderwick is a good father to a highly intelligent and rambunctious group of daughters.

9 people found this helpful

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My daughter LOVES this story!

What made the experience of listening to The Penderwicks the most enjoyable?

My daughter absolutely loves this story & has listened to it so many times I think she has some of it memorized.
She started listenting to it at about age 7 and at age 9 still enjoys it. My older daughters also enjoy the story.

17 people found this helpful

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Amazing book??

This is definitely an amazing book! It can be for young and old kids and teens. It is exiting and adventures but has a few kissing parts. It is the story of a family,the penderwicks rent a cabin and meet a boy and that's how it all begins I would definitely recommend it for family's to listen together

6 people found this helpful

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Absolutely delightful and charming!

Would you listen to The Penderwicks again? Why?

I am a reading tutor and am using this on my iPod with my student to work on fluency, and reading with expression. I am finding new insights each time I listen to the story.

What about Susan Denaker???s performance did you like?

I love the way she performs the different voices.

12 people found this helpful

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Wasn’t in love with this book, until...

We started listening to this book and almost fell off the Penderwick wagon but we really needed a break from dragons and magic for a little while. My children did not seem interested at all but we pushed on. A few pages or chapters in - none of us know exactly when - we started sitting in the car longer and longer just to listen. We finished the series in less than a month - only because we had to come up with excuses to leave the house just to listen to the story. I wish there were 5 more!

5 people found this helpful

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  • RR
  • 01-03-19

Not what I was expecting based on reviews

This came highly recommended, but I wasn’t very impressed. Reviews made it out to be a classic kids adventure like Boxcar Children, but I didn’t like the romance aspect of Rosalind and he obsession with an older boy and her imagining kissing him and holding hands—I’m trying to avoid “boy-silliness” in my elementary school daughters. Also, I didn’t like the use of words like stupid, creep, and other disparaging talk about adults. It wasn’t age appropriate for what I was expecting.

14 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable

My 8 year old enjoyed this book on our road trip. She says she wants to listen to the others in the series.

4 people found this helpful

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5 year old loved it

What did you love best about The Penderwicks?

My 5 year old loved this. It's mostly character-driven, with a few little adventures and not a lot of plot but that's kind of nice for a kids' book. It's almost like Pippi Longstocking -- just some kids having a great time together; it's a very kind of 1950s plot set in modern times, which is lovely (although, like many 1950s stories, with zero racial diversity). The performance was excellent, she did different voices for the characters.

4 people found this helpful