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The Penderwicks At Last Review by Adrienne Falkena

Jeanne Birdsall
Random House Children’s Books
1745 Broadway, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10019

Penderwicks At Last is the fifth and final book in the Penderwicks collection. It is recommended for ages 8-12, though I’d stretch that, and recommend it as a read aloud for younger children as well. Written by Jeanne Birdsall and published by Random House Children’s Books, I received a hardcover copy, and the retail price for that is $16.99. It is also available in paperback, eBook, and audio. Penderwicks At Last contains 294 pages.

Several of my children read and loved the first four Penderwick books several years ago, so when Penderwicks At Last was released, there was much excitement to be able to continue the story. While reading all of them isn’t completely necessary to understand Penderwicks At Last, I’d still recommend it. Six siblings share their adventures in a comical laugh-out-loud way, with the most excellent leave-you-hanging chapters that make putting the book down nearly impossible. The story line sticks with you long after the book is finished and references to the book live on in my home. The MOPS “Meeting of the Penderwick Siblings” has inspired MOFS in my own home with my eight children.  

The Penderwicks began with exploration of Arundel, a mansion owned by Mrs. Tifton. In this fifth adventure, the Penderwicks return to Arundel for the marriage of Rosalind Penderwick to Tommy, the neighbor boy we read of since the beginning. Mrs. Tifton’s son Jeffrey flies home for the wedding, the dancing Lydia gets to stay at Arundel a bit longer, and sister Jane sews dresses. More than once my thirteen-year-old daughter who loves Penderwicks best got called out for laughing and made to explain where she was in the story. Penderwicks At Last will remain on our bookshelves for many years to come.

There is brief mentions of kissing as the older Penderwick sister is engaged and then marries, but no details that concerned me as a very conservative mother. We’ve found this book, like the other Penderwick books, to be great reading without reservations on content. The only disappointment here was that this is the final book, and the characters we love have come to an end. If you have a book lover or a reluctant reader, I highly recommend the whole Penderwick collection. We love them.

-Product review by Adrienne Falkena, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July, 2018