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All of Us with Wings by Michelle Ruiz Keil
The Book Supremacy by Kate Carlisle
Booking the Crook by Laurie Cass
The Boy from Tomorrow by Camille DeAngelis
Camp by Kayla Miller
Cilla Lee-Jenkins: The Epic Story by Susan Tan
Cilla Lee-Jenkins: This Book Is a Classic by Susan Tan
Delicious in Dungeon, Volume 3 by Ryoko Kui
The Dragon Princess by E.D. Baker
Emily the Strange: The 13th Hour by Rob Reger and Buzz Parker
Full Steam Ahead, Felix by Kate Moore
Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams
Giant Days, Volume 10 by John Allison
Gideon Falls, Volume 1: The Black Barn by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino
The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante
Heartwood Hotel 3: Better Together by Kallie George
If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann
In the Key of Nira Ghani by Natasha Deen
Itty Bitty by Cece Bell
Kitty Cornered by Bob Tarte
The Legend of Korra: Ruins of the Empire, Part One by Michael Dante DiMartino and Michelle Wong
Lions and Liars by Kate Beasley and Dan Santat
The Penderwicks in Spring (audio) by Jeanne Birdsall
P.S. I Miss You by Jen Petro-Roy Riverboat Roulette by Carolyn Keene
Roast Mortem by Cleo Coyle
Royals by Rachel Hawkins
The Secrets of Winterhouse by Ben Guterson
Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian
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Weird Birds by Chris Earley

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Almost done with March in August
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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (August 19)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (August 26)
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Road Narrative Update for July 2019

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The Penderwicks in Spring (audio): 08/30/19

The Penderwicks in Spring (audio)

The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall, though the fourth in the series, was the first one I read. It was for the 2015 Cybils and coming late to a series and being pressed for time, my introduction to the Penderwicks wasn't the best.

This fourth book takes place years after The Penderwicks at Point Mouette. Where Batty had been the youngest, now that honor falls on Lydia. Ben is now a step-brother and of course half-brother to Lydia just as she is a half sister to all the older girls. That the family is a blended family — and one where the blending happened organically over the course of the series was lost on me the first time.

Then there is Hound. This time around I've read (listened) to Hound and Batty's adventures. So to have him recently deceased (six months before the novel beings) was now heartbreaking as it should be. Now I can recognize Batty's grief evolving into depression. This time around I see Penderwicks in Spring as Batty's journey through grief into depression and her family's slow realization that she's not going to be her old self without their help.

As with the previous books in the series, this one sits on the road narrative spectrum. Though the main plot is about Batty trying to move on after Hound's death, it is a family journey (33). There is also Nick's family across the street who are going through a similar journey. The Penderwicks are trying to get their house to feel like a home (66) again after Hound's death. The Geiger family is waiting for Nick to return home. Finally there is the route. Much of Batty's healing is done through walks through the forest that abuts their street. It's done on her own and later as a dog walker. All these journeys of self reflection are offroad (66). Nick's return is also offroad, via an airplane. Put all together, this novel is about families coming together at home via offroad routes.

Five stars

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