Enjoy Book Club From Home!
Librarian Mary Beth is reading The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall one chapter at a time. Listen along every weekday, with new chapters being released at 2:00 PM on Facebook. Chapters will also be available here on our website.
About the book
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.
Discussion Question – Chapter 1:
The Penderwicks enjoy going on vacation to Cape Cod every summer. Do you go anywhere special with your family during the summer? What do you love about those trips?
Discussion Question – Chapter 2:
Skye finds a way into Mrs. Tifton’s garden even though she knows she might get into trouble. Would you do the same? Why or why not?
Discussion Question – Chapter 3:
The older Penderwick girls decide that Jane will apologize to Jeffrey because Skye is too embarrassed to do it herself. If you were Jane, what would you say to Jeffrey?
Discussion Question – Chapter 4:
Rosalind messes up by getting mad at Skye and calling her a mean name. Have you ever said something you regretted? How did you make it better?
Discussion Question – Chapter 5:
When Batty is in danger, Jane, Skye and Jeffrey work together to rescue her. How does this change Skye’s feeling about Jeffrey?
Discussion Question – Chapter 6:
When Jane and Skye are hiding in Jeffrey’s room, Jane is content to stay there until he comes back, but Skye wants to open the window and escape down a large tree. What would you do and why?
Discussion Question – Chapter 7:
Jeffrey and Harry love Churchie’s homemade gingerbread with whipped cream and strawberries. Is there a special treat that makes your mouth water? What do you love about it?
Discussion Question – Chapter 8:
When Rosalind walks into the dining room she wants to turn around and leave with her sisters, but she continues on with the evening to show her support for Jeffrey. Talk about a time you did something nice for a friend, even though you didn’t want to. How did it make you feel?
Discussion Question – Chapter 9:
While eavesdropping, the sisters learn about Dexter’s plans for Mrs. Tifton and Jeffrey. If you were part of the Penderwick family, what would you do to help Jeffrey?
Discussion Question – Chapter 10:
Near the end of the chapter, something very bad happens to Yaz and everyone is upset. How did you feel when Yaz was in danger? What would you have done to try and capture the rabbit?
Discussion Question – Chapter 11:
Mrs. Tifton thinks the Penderwicks are a bad influence on Jefferey. What do you think and why?
Discussion Question – Chapter 12:
Jeffrey does not want to go to Pencey Military Academy, but by the end of the chapter, it sounds like Mrs. Tifton might be planning to send him there soon. What do you think will happen to Jeffrey? Can the Penderwicks do anything to help him?
Discussion Question – Chapter 13:
Skye sticks up for herself and her family after hearing Mrs. Tifton tell Jeffrey all her mean opinions about the Penderwicks. Describe a time when you had to stick up for yourself or someone you love.
Discussion Question – Chapter 14:
Rosalind is called “just a kid” by someone she admires and it makes her feel sad and embarrassed. Have you ever been made to feel like “just a kid?”
Discussion Question – Chapter 15:
Jane wants to be a famous writer when she grows up. What job would you like some day and why?
Discussion Question – Chapter 16:
Jeffrey refuses to go to Pencey and plans to run away. What would you do in Jeffrey’s situation?
Discussion Question – Chapter 17:
Jeffrey begins his speech with a memory from Mrs. Tifton’s childhood about learning to swim, but Jeffrey never gets to finish his explanation. What do you think he was trying to say to his mother?
Discussion Question – Chapter 18:
By the end of the story, we know so much about the Penderwicks, Jeffrey and Cagney. Who is your favorite character? Who are you most alike?