(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Although the setting is not specifically identified (except as a city with a population of 135,000), it seems likely that the story takes...

(The entire section is 112 words.)

Literary Techniques

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Tarkington deliberately gave Penrod and its two sequels an episodic structure. Children live from day to day, from incident to incident. The...

(The entire section is 233 words.)

Literary Qualities

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Penrod is not a complicated novel and does not meet the criteria that critics set forth for a successful work of literature, although...

(The entire section is 576 words.)

Social Concerns

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

The Penrod series features a boy, Penrod Schofield, who lives in the period just before World War I, when, in Tarkington's words, "the stable...

(The entire section is 188 words.)


(Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

Anderson, David M. “The Boy’s World of Booth Tarkington.” Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature Newsletter 5 (1975): 35-42. Discussion of the settings of Penrod and Tarkington’s other novels.

Macaigne, Bernard. “From Tom Sawyer to Penrod: The Child in American Popular Literature, 1870-1910.” Revue Française d’Etudes Americaines 8, no. 17 (May, 1983): 319-331. Discussion of how children, especially boys, are represented in U.S. popular fiction of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Sanders, Scott. Introduction to Penrod, by Booth Tarkington. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985. Sheds light on the context in which the novel was written and published, as well as its place in literary history.

Sargent, Robert S., Jr. “Booth Tarkington and Penrod.” Enter Stage Right, June 14, 2004. An article on the author and his character.

“Tarkington on Penrod.” The New York Times, September 8, 1918. Contains Tarkington’s comments on the setting and character of the novel.

Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. What sort of literature does Penrod's "Harold Ramorez" represent? Do you read anything today that resembles Penrod's attempt at...

(The entire section is 124 words.)

Ideas for Reports and Papers

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Mark Twain is one of many authors who have written "boys' books." How does Penrod compare to Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn? Why...

(The entire section is 158 words.)

Literary Precedents

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Tarkington admitted that Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn influenced his creation of Penrod. His Penrod was in one way more realistic,...

(The entire section is 218 words.)

Related Titles / Adaptations

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Tarkington began writing Penrod's story to please his wife, but the success of the first novel encouraged him to continued writing, and....

(The entire section is 310 words.)

For Further Reference

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Fennimore, Keith J. Booth Tarkington. New York: Twayne, 1974. This book provides an excellent general introduction to Tarkington's...

(The entire section is 92 words.)