This award winner is the first in the wholesome series about a lovely, supportive family with four strong girls who look out for one another. The children spend unstructured days filled with endless explorations, soccer games, bows and (rubber-tipped) arrows, and a bit of innocent mischief. The sisters demonstrate great compassion for Jeffrey (who is raised by his single mother), recognizing that being abandoned by a parent is even worse than having one die. Jeffrey runs away when his mother decides to send him to military school. With the Penderwicks support, he finally summons the courage to stand up to his mother, who wants him to be something he is not. Fans will be happy to learn that the author plans to write four more books chronicling the Penderwick sisters.