I find this sort of book a bit difficult to review. It wasn’t meant for an adult, and not meant for this century so as I read I am wondering what a modern day kid might think about this book. I can assure you, as a modern day adult, I found this book more than a little sappy and more than a little lame.
The five Peppers are the children of Mrs. Pepper who is a widow and does all she can to feed and clothe her family with limited success and the kindness of strangers. We are introduced to all the children and their virtues and vices as they help Mrs. Pepper and get into adventures like almost getting kidnapped and contracting communicable diseases. Their luck changes when they meet the lonely and unhappy son of a wealthy Mr. King. I won’t spoil the ending if you are really intending to give this book a go, but I will say it is predictably happy.
Sidney’s children are unrealistic. They don’t talk or act like any child I’ve ever come into contact with. I am not sure that they would have resembled children 100 years ago. The story is very moralistic, which in itself isn’t bad, but it is that simple type of moralistic that I find to be cheap and/or maudlin. It does not strike me as sincere. This isn’t a book I’d recommend. This isn’t a book I’ll read to my kids or with my kids as they get older.