Penrod Schofield, age 11, is nothing if not inventive.
Silent films give him outlines of stories. Penrod’s imagination transforms them into stunning productions in which he plays the lead.
Booth Tarkington is justly famous for his word portraits of adolescents from a bygone era. His tongue-in-cheek comments and Gordon Grant’s sketches for Penrod are sure to tickle your funny bone.
In his imagination, Penrod is strong, brave, and powerful.
In his home, he’s a trial.
In his neighborhood he’s “the worst boy in town.”
Penrod’s family tries hard to control his behavior, but their idea of appropriate behavior for boys —Sunday School, attending dance classes — doesn’t appeal to Penrod. He’d rather spend his time with “Herman and Verman,” the neighbor kids whose father is in jail.
The worst insult that anyone can give Penrod is to call him “a little gentleman.” Anyone who attempts such vile language is apt to be tarred.
Fortunately, few people have reason to offer that particular insult.
The only person who actually understands Penrod is his ancient Aunt Sarah. She says boys are just like people, only “not quite so awful, because they haven’t learned to cover themselves all over with little pretenses.”Penrod By Booth Tarkington Illustrated by Gordon Grant Grosset & Dunlap 306 pages Project Gutenberg ebook #402 1914 bestseller # 7 My Grade: C+
© 2014 Linda Gorton Aragoni