Saturday, November 17, 2007

a summer sorority

I don't have any sisters; I'm the oldest of 3 with 2 younger brothers. (In case you don't like sums.) I always wanted a sister, preferably a twin. Ok, not something that can be accomplished after the fact, but one can wish. I'm in awe of those women who grew up in families of females. They seem to have some innate knowledge that is lost on me. My mother grew up with 2 sisters yet she is surprisingly "un-girly." I know I was a conundrum to her--I loved curls in my hair, dresses, and dolls. At seventeen, I found a salon that did manicures, made an appointment, walked to it and spent my babysitting money on a real manicure. And now? Now I am the mother of two rapacious boys. The only reason I'm not outnumbered is because the cats are all girls. So, imagine my delight when I discovered The Penderwicks, a debut novel for middle grade readers that garnered the National Book Award in 2005. The four motherless Penderwick sisters (a smart one, a responsible one, a dreamy one, and a little one) spend summer vacation in the Berkshires with their father. There they meet a lonely boy, a truly awful adult and have wonderful adventures. How could anyone resist a family that has MOPS (Meeting of Penderwick Sisters), MOOPS (Meeting of Older Penderwick Sisters) and naturally gives spokesmenship and authority to the OAP (Oldest Available Penderwick)? An obvious choice for summer reading, the Penderwicks would be a great family to hang with on cold, dreary November days. Red curtained window seats not mandatory.

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