Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May Meeting

The Penderwicks = 4 stars!

The Book Buddies Book Club met yesterday for our end-of-the-year party and our Penderwicks book discussion. It was a lot of fun and the highlight of course, was our interview with the author, Jeanne Birdsall. Ms. Birdsall was absolutely delightful - we really appreciate her taking the time to talk with us. She was warm and funny and interested in getting to know our book club members. She answered all of our questions very thoughtfully. So a big thank you to Ms. Birdsall! More on the interview in a bit...

Overall, the book club really liked The Penderwicks. Many of our members found that they identified most with Skye Penderwick - the logical, adventurous, tomboy sister. Everyone agreed that they didn't like Mrs. Tifton but felt that it was necessary to have a bad character to make the book interesting. No one liked Dexter either, especially when he called Jane's Sabrina Starr book "lousy." A lot of us also felt that Jeffrey's relationship with his mother will continue to improve since she seems to have accepted that he doesn't want to go into the military. We are all really looking forward to the sequel, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street!

For the party, we had balloons and a Book Buddies Book Club cake decorated with a book in purple frosting. (In the picture it looks blue, but it really was purple, which is the Book Buddies color).

Around 4:10pm we called Ms. Birdsall at her home. We found out that Jeffrey does make a brief appearance in the second book which takes place at the girls home in fictional Cameron, Massachusetts. She is currently working on the third book which will be another summer story and she has planned five books total. She identifies most with the youngest Penderwick, Batty, but said that the three youngest Penderwicks all have big pieces of her in them since she is a younger sister too. Mrs. Tifton is based on her own mother and she told us the story of where she got the name Penderwick. Originally she had chosen the name Pendergast but her good friend and fellow author Patricia MacLachlan reviewed the early manuscripts and could never pronounce the name correctly. So Ms. Birdsall decided that was a very bad thing and went online to find another name. She wanted it to sound English and many English names end in "wick" so she settled on "Penderwick."

We had a wonderful time talking with Ms. Birdsall and asking our questions. It is always such a thrill to talk with an author about their work.

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