Gr 4-6 -In Jeanne Birdsall's humorous novel (Knopf, 2005), four motherless sisters--Rosalind, 12, Skye, 11, Jane, 10, and Batty, 4--their absentminded professor dad, and the family dog share a summer retreat on the Massachusetts estate of Arundel. Owned by the frosty Mrs. Tifton and her lonely son, Jeffrey, Arundel's pretentious mistress treats the oddly-matched Penderwick sisters and their doting father as social misfits. Feisty Skye and sensitive Jeffrey become best friends, drawing the reluctant Mrs. Tifton and the entire Penderwick clan into a series of hilarious misadventures, including runaway pets, an encounter with a bull, and a first crush. The sisters are determined to help Jeffrey escape being sent to the Pencey Military Academy, "Where boys become men and men become soldiers." Susan Denaker's gentle narration of this 2005 National Book Award winner perfectly captures the subtle humor and charm of each character. Fans of Sydney Taylor's All-of-a-Kind Family or Maud Hart's Betsy-Tacy novels will love this updated version of a comfortable childhood adventure. Just the ticket for an extended family car trip.-Celeste Steward, Alameda County Library, Fremont, CA[Page 54]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.