Plot: Penelope Grey is incredibly bored, she lives the life of luxury, but it is beyond boring. She wishes something, anything, exciting would happen. Well, her wish comes true when all of a sudden her dad decides to quit his job and then the family runs out of money. Her home turns into a dreadful place. Penelope decides to make another wish, hoping it will come true like the first one and her family ends up inheriting a hovel of a home out in the middle of nowhere. This new homes seem to be the thing they need and things start to look more positive. Her mother finds a good job, her father discovers a hidden talent, and Penelope changes her name, going by Penny now. Let’s just hope that things stay positive and Penny doesn’t have to make another wish.
Review: Penny Dreadful is a fast paced novel that will leave you hoping for the best. Poop Penny has a bit of bad luck when she wishes for something interesting to happen. Oh, it’s interesting, just not very positive. So, she makes another wish and things start to look up. Penny is a great character with a lot of personality. Her mother and father add a bit of quirkiness to the story. The black and white line drawings scattered throughout the book accompany the story and add to the appeal of the story. Penny Dreadful takes us on a life changing adventure that is filled with fun, family, and friends.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Reading Level/Interest Level: 4.6/3-6 graders
Similar Materials: Betsy-Tacy, by Maud Hart Lovelace, Ballet Shoes, by Noel Streatfeild, and The Penderwicks, by Jeanne Birdsall
Reader’s Advisory: This book won the Children’s Book of the Year 2011 for 9-12 year olds. It is an enjoyable book to read in all of its quirky wonder. The characters are very realistic and charming. Who wouldn’t want their wish to come true, just hopefully it isn’t take in the wrong way.