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Tag: K.M. Peyton

That Was Then, This Is Now: Pennington’s Last Term

For this latest installment I chose to reread Pennington’s Last Term by K.M. Peyton, a book which, in my mind and memory, I group with books like Requiem for a Princess — British, with pencil drawings that are not especially attractive.

penningtons last term k.m. peyton coverAs a teen this appealed to me for several reasons. The setting — England, and oh so very British. The talk of “forms” and “comprehensive schools” and “A and O levels”¬†and eating chips on the quay was so foreign, exotic, and confusing to me. Also things like the bus into the village, the bread van, and village halls with ladies doling out tea. But there was another element to this book that made it such a keeper for me. The main character, Penn, is a hulking older teenage boy, broody, often in trouble. Yet he is an extraordinarily gifted pianist, a misunderstood bad boy who has trouble relating to girls, who gets into trouble at school, and who has a lousy home life but has an understanding mentor. The trappings may have been vintage England, the but the heart of this story was all YA problem novel with a dreamy boy! This book was a bridge for me into older teen novels, especially sensitive ones. I read it several times over and can’t wait to revisit Penn…

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