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Family Frolics

Family Frolics


The Saturdays, by Elizabeth Enright:

Meet the Melendys! The four Melendy children live with their father and Cuffy, their beloved housekeeper, in a worn but comfortable brownstone in New York City. There's thirteen-year-old Mona, who has decided to become an actress; twelve-year-old mischievous Rush; ten-and-a-half-year-old Randy, who loves to dance and paint; and thoughtful Oliver, who is just six.

Tired of wasting Saturdays doing nothing but wishing for larger allowances, the four Melendys jump at Randy's idea to start the Independent Saturday Afternoon Adventure Club (I.S.A.A.C.). If they pool their resources and take turns spending the whole amount, they can each have at least one memorable Saturday afternoon of their own. Before long, I.S.A.A.C. is in operation and every Saturday is definitely one to remember


The Penderwicks, by Jeanne Birdsall:

This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel’s sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures.

The icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is not as pleased with the Penderwicks as Jeffrey is, though, and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will—won’t they? One thing’s for sure: it will be a summer the Penderwicks will never forget.


Ever wondered what it would be like to live in a family with only sisters? Or to live in New York half a century ago? Glimpse into these very different worlds with The Saturdays and The Penderwicks. Join the frolics of these stalwart families as they work together through thick and thin. 


Learning objectives

  • Use direct quotes from texts to explain and provide ideas about the reading

  • Use details from the text to summarize it, identify the main idea or theme, compare characters and events, or compare different texts of the same genre

  • Evaluate impact and influence of historical context

  • Identify the author/narrator’s point of view and explain how this affects the content of a text

  • Use the context of a text to determine the meaning of unknown words


  • Recommended for: Ages 9+ / Grades 4-5 
  • Instructor: Eve Babb
  • Day and Time: Thursdays, 12:45-1:45 PM ET
  • Duration: 4 classes
  • Dates: March 7 - April 7 (No class March 28)
  • Required Materials:
    • The Saturdays, by Elizabeth Enright 
    • The Penderwicks, by Jeanne Birdsall