Jeanne Birdsall

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Jeanne Birdsall
Jeanne Birdsall.jpg
Jeanne Birdsall in 2009
Born 1951 (age 66–67)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania[1]
Occupation Novelist, photographer
Language English
Nationality American
Alma mater Boston University
California College of Arts and Crafts
Period 2005–present
Genre Children's literature, adventure novels
Notable works The Penderwicks
Notable awards National Book Award
Children 2 stepchildren[2]

Jeanne Birdsall (born 1951) is an American writer of children's books. She is known mainly for the "Penderwick sisters", whose third chronicle was published in 2011. The first, which was her debut novel, won the 2005 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.[3]


Birdsall was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in the suburbs. She decided to become a writer at the age of ten — but she didn't start until she was 41. She worked first on other jobs, most notably as a photographer, and some of her work has been displayed in galleries around the world. She has kept several pets, including dogs, cats, rabbits, and a snail.

As of 2005, Birdsall lives in a house that is "old and comfortable, full of unruly animals, and surrounded by gardens" in Northampton, Massachusetts.


Birdsall's first book was published when she was 54. The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy introduced the Penderwick sisters and won the National Book Award.[3] Her second book was a sequel, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street (2008). Her third book, the Penderwicks at Point Mouette, is her third book in the series. The fourth is The Penderwicks in Spring (2015). She plans a series of five.[4]

Birdsall's first picture book, Flora's Very Windy Day, was illustrated by Matt Phelan and published under the Clarion Books imprint in August 2010. The third Penderwicks novel, The Penderwicks at Point Mouette, was released by Knopf on May 10, 2011.


  • The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy (Alfred A. Knopf, 2005) —winner of the National Book Award[3]
  • The Penderwicks on Gardam Street (Knopf, 2008)
  • Flora's Very Windy Day (Clarion/Houghton Mifflin, 2010), children's picture book illustrated by Matt Phelan
  • The Penderwicks at Point Mouette (Knopf, 2011)
  • Lucky and Squash (Harper/HarperCollins, 2012), picture book illus. Jane Dyer
  • The Penderwicks in Spring (Knopf, 2015)
  • The Penderwicks At Last (Knopf, 2018)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Allyn, 1988, Jeanne Birdsall". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved 2013-09-27.
  2. ^ Minzesheimer, Bob (December 26, 2005). "Birdsall's Secret: Listening Like A Kid". USA Today. Retrieved 2006-09-07. 
  3. ^ a b c "National Book Awards – 2005". National Book Foundation (NBF). Retrieved 2012-04-15.
    (With acceptance speech by Birdsall, introduction by panelist Liz Rosenberg, and information about all five Young People's Literature authors and books.)
  4. ^ "About the Penderwicks". Jeannne Birdsall ( Retrieved 2008-06-16

External links[edit]