Five Reasons You Should Read the Penderwick Series

Jeanne Birdsall’s bestselling middle-grade book series, The Penderwicks has warmed the hearts of children and even adults across the world. The first book was published in 2005 and the last of four sequels came out in 2018. Here are five reasons you should read this phenomenal series.



The Stories Are Old Fashioned

The Penderwick books are old fashioned in the best way possible. The four sisters, Rosalind, Skye, Jane and Batty actually spend time outdoors and explore the environment around them. The oldest sister Rosalind is only able to write letters to her best friend Anna while on vacation in the first book, since phones didn’t exist at the time. Imagine if Birdsall had decided to set the novel in 2004 when she was writing it. Most teenagers had cell phones then, so Rosalind would have spent the entire vacation texting Anna.



The Characters Are Relatable and Great Role Models too

A main reason the Penderwick novels are so successful is the characters. They are all great people but, at the same time, have many flaws. Rosalind is overly sensitive, and I’m sure many teens who deal with the same issue found comfort while reading parts of the novel through her perspective. The same can be said for Skye’s temper issues. But, even with these mistakes and flaws, we still adore the girls because of the way they support each other and their friend Jeffery. They go out of their way to save a boy they barley know from a bad situation, proving themselves fantastic role models for young children.


The Writing Quality is Great

Jeanne Birdsall is a fantastic writer. The metaphors and similes she uses in the novel don’t just keep you engaged; they also implant themselves in your brain. Studies show that reading is the best way to gain vocabulary and become a better writer, as long as the writing you’re reading is good. And Jeanne Birdsall is one of the best.


They Promote Male/Female Friendship

Growing up, a lot of girls are taught that boys have cooties and that it’s strange for them to have male friends. The friendship that Skye and the rest of her sisters have with Jeffery proves that theory wrong. They always have each other’s backs no matter what!


The Books Are A Series




If you feel like you haven’t gotten enough of Rosalind, Skye, Jane, and Batty after reading the first book, never fear. You can solve that problem by reading the four sequels: The Penderwicks on Gardam Street, The Penderwicks At Mouette, The Penderwicks in Springand The Penderwicks at Last.

Featured Image Via

Happily Ever After? More Like Happily Never After

As children, we’ve all read stories ending with the phrase Happily Ever After. And while some people do grow up to live a fairytale life, others live in poverty. Although fairy tales are fun to read, they aren’t the best teaching tool for children. The stories set unrealistic expectations, like growing up and marrying Prince Charming. It isn’t until the kids reach into their teens at the earliest that they realize true love isn’t just sealed with a kiss. Over 50% of marriages end in divorce, after all. The Princess in these fairytales are usually skinny, blond, and have large eyes. What kind of message is this teaching young girls? That you need to be slim to find love? That you need to look a certain way to be beautiful? These stories cause many girls, who don’t psychically look like the princesses that they’re reading about, to become insecure.




Happily ever afters that exist in fairy tales also send the message that you have to fall in love to live a happy life, and that it should be with someone of the opposite sex. You don’t need to get married and start a family to live a joyful life, but many fairytales make children believe that they do. Men and women of all body sizes and races should be represented as princes and princesses. There should be fairytales with LGBTQ representation as well. Instead of marrying Prince Charming can the princess marry Princess Charming. This will teach children to accept people of all body types, races, and sexualities.

Although happily ever afters are great in the way that they give children hope, young kids should be encouraged to read books with less positive endings as well. As an adult, I’ve read several stories told through the eyes fairytale villains. But it’s a struggle to find similar books for children. Many fairytales teach children that there is evil in the world, but they don’t show them why. Villains very rarely have back stories in fairy tales and when they do, they’re usually brief. Bringing children into the eyes of a villain can help them see the motivations behind bad behavior and teach them that, no matter what they’re going through, it is never ok to cause harm to someone else.

In fairytales hard work and great intentions usually lead to happily ever afters, but in real life that’s not always the case. And while it’s important for children to learn that they should always do the right thing, they should also understand that their life isn’t a fairytale, and that it may not end with Happily Ever After.


Featured image via

Elizabeth Banks Helps to Bring Victoria Aveyard’s ‘Red Queen’ to Life

After waiting to adapt Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen since 2015, Elizabeth Banks will be teaming up with Peacock to bring a soon-to-be favorite to the screen. Known for her roles in The Hunger Games and Pitch Perfect, Banks will executive produce, direct, and star as a major supporting role in the Red Queen.

Beth Schwartz (showrunner for Arrow) co-wrote the pilot episode for Red Queen in addition to executive producing the show with Banks. The series is set in a futuristic America where the world is divided based on the color of your blood — red or silver. The silver elite have “god-like superpowers” enabling them to rule over the red-blooded commoners.


Red-blooded, 17-year-old Mare Barrow grew up in poverty, but once she begins working at the Silver Palace, she quickly discovers she has a deadly superpower of her own. Teaming up with a militant resistance group named the Red Guard, Mare fights to destroy the silver regime.

Victoria Aveyard has three other books in the Red Queen series, including Glass Sword, King’s Cageand War Storm. All four books in Aveyard’s series reached number one on both the New York Times and USA Today’s bestseller lists. So saying this new Peacock series is going to be a hit is a little bit of an understatement.

FEATURED images via vulture and amazon

6 Facts About Playwright William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is one of the most famous names in the history of literature, but there are many facts that are less well known than the ones we’re taught in school. Here are seven of the most surprising facts about playwright William Shakespeare.

Image via
  1. He never published any of his own plays

This may come as a surprise, but William Shakespeare never actually published any of his own plays. They were published by two of his friends, John Heminges and Henry Condell.



2. He Added His Own words to the english language

The Oxford English Dictionary has credited Shakespeare with creating over 3,000 words. He is estimated to have a vocabulary of as much as 29,000 words.


3. The bubonic Plauge is what caused him to start writing sonnets

Because the bubonic plague caused theaters to shut down, Shakespeare stopped writing plays. Due to this, he turned to sonnets.


4. One of his plays, Cardenio, is no longer performed in modern theatre

Although there is evidence of Shakespeare writing a play called Cardenio, which was later performed in England, no one can find an existing copy of the work.


5. a few Moons were named after some of shakespeare’s characters

A couple of the moons that circle Uranus are named after Juliet, Ariel, Ophelia, along with other characters created by Shakespeare.


6. Two of Shakespeare’s plays have been translated into Klingon

Two of Shakespeare’s plays, Hamelt and Much Ado About Nothing have been transferred into the made up language that’s used in the science fiction series, Star Trek. 


Feature Image VIA

Former VP Mike Pence Signs Deal with Simon & Schuester

Former Vice President Mike Pence has signed a seven-figure two-book deal with Simon & Schuester Publishing, making him the first former Trump cabinet member to do so. According to CNN, the deal is said to be worth about three to four million dollars. 



Plenty of former Trump administration members, such as Kellyanne Conway, have been planning on publishing books, with a very high bar to clear. The publishing industry has been wrestling with the idea of publishing former Trump Administration members. There are concerns over a potential backlash from the public due to the controversial nature of the last presidency and counting on the writers to tell the truth.

“I would try to keep an open mind,” one publishing source says, “that doesn’t mean I would sign them.”


Image via IndyStar

Books written about the Donald Trump presidency, especially by his closest constituents, would be an instant best-seller, especially among the former president’s supporters.  But, publishers say they have a responsibility to paint the full picture of the administration.

According to sources, there isn’t any set standard in the publishing industry as to who from the Trump Administration is ‘too toxic’ to publish. Former officials John Bolton and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and former aides Omarosa Manigault Newman and Cliff Simms have all published books. However, after the Capitol riot on January sixth, which began as a protest based on the belief that there was election fraud in the 2020 election, Simon & Schuster canceled a book by Senator Josh Hawley, who objected to the counting of votes on January sixth. Hawley called this a “direct assault on the first amendment” and published it under the conservative publishing house, Regnery.

Publishing under Regnery would be easier for former Trump officials but for considerably less money.

A representative of Mike Pence declined to comment on the book deal.

Featured image via USA today