Monday, June 13, 2011

Book Review: Penny Dreadful by Laurel Snyder

Written by Laurel Snyder
Illustrated by Abigail Halpin
Middle Readers, Ages 8 and up
(Published in 2010 by Random House Books for Young Readers)

Penelope goes from a rich, pampered, sheltered, boring life in the city, where books are her best friends and her parents are too busy for her, to living a poor but free and adventure-filled life in the country as Penny, with a whole town full of real friends and parents who finally pay attention.

This fun and cozy book is peopled with some great eclectic characters, and great illustrations. And it's the perfect summertime (or anytime) read. I love all the bookish references peppered throughout the story - books either mentioned outright or referred to in some way like this:
"Maybe she was the friend of Penny's dream: a Betsy to her Tacy."
How can you not love a book that does that? This is a book that feels like an old friend and an exciting new friend, both at once. It has a homey all-your-favorite-books-from-childhood feel to it, and yet it also feels contemporary.

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