The Penderwicks in Spring and other gentle reads

Cover-Penderwicks-Spring-450wSometimes you don’t need a book with mountain-climbing teenage spies or vampires in love. You’re just fine with a book that doesn’t involve kids fighting each other in arenas or desperately trying to escape evil villains. And you’re ok without the mean girls and the inspiring teacher who can change the world.

For me, there’s a definite time and place for more gentle reads, books that tell stories of daily life without quite so much drama, books that are so realistic you can imagine the people being someone you really know. Jeanne Birdsall’s latest, The Penderwicks in Spring, is like that. The Penderwick girls have aged, and now the youngest, Batty, is the center of the story. Her life is full of supportive family and good neighbors who care about her, but she still struggles sometimes. She worries about her neighbor who’s in the military, wonders whether her parents can afford vocal lessons for her, and tries to figure out how to handle her changing relationship with her family and friends. There are moments of humor and moments of sadness, but it’s a regular person’s life, and it ends like a regular person’s life would. There are no last-minute rescues from rebels in hovercraft.

If you’d like other less flashy, but still wonderful, feel good stories, try these:

The Penderwicks, Jeanne Birdsall

Absolutely Truly, Heather Vogel Frederick

Bo at Ballard Creek, Kirkpatrick Hill

Turtle in Paradise, Jennifer Holm

One Year in Coal Harbor, Polly Horvath

The Summer I Saved the World in 65 Days, Michele Hurwitz

A Snicker of Magic, Natalie Lloyd

The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, Sheila Turnage

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3 thoughts on “The Penderwicks in Spring and other gentle reads

  1. A writing friend of mine just recommended these books to me. I haven’t read any of the Penderwick books, but I’ve certainly heard of them. They sound like a refreshing change to the recent climate of high adventure, fantasy stories (though that’s what I write, so I can’t complain too much). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Chris Knox says:

    I’ve heard of these books, too, but I have never read any of them. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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