Leaving the Bellweathers

Leaving the Bellweathers

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Overview

Grade Level: 4-6 Age Level: 8 and up Listening Level: Grades 4-6

The young Bellweathers — fourteen-year-old Spider, thirteen-year-old Ninda, and the nine-year-old triplets, Brick, Spike, and Sassy — and their equally peculiar parents have brought constant chaos to the once-peaceful village of Eel-Smack-by-the-Bay. Still, no one has suffered more than their loyal butler, Benway, who has finally had enough. He is secretly writing his tell-all memoirs, packing his bags, and planning his move to a tropical location, Far, Far Away.

But when the siblings discover Benway is preparing to leave their lighthouse home, they band together to prove how much he’s needed, as only Bellweathers can. . . .

Full of comic capers and close calls, an art heist, albino alligators, and good intentions gone wrong, Kristin Clark Venuti’s hilarious debut novel introduces a new family that is absolutely unforgettable.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441801784
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication date: 09/22/2009
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 9 - 11 Years

About the Author

Kristin Clark Venuti wrote on many things while growing up, including her father’ s prized dictionary, her mother’s walls, and the family dog (with blueberry ink, of course). Now a children’s-theater producer, scene painter, and two-time black belt, she lives with her husband, children, and their ink-free dog in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. Leaving the Bellweathers is her first novel. You can visit her online at www.leavingthebellweathers.com.

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Leaving the Bellweathers 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Lisahgolden on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Every once in a while I have to read a book written primarily for children. It clears my head. This one got my attention by the very Edward Gorey illustrations on the cover and the kooky premise.
EKAnderson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Absurd, hysterically funny, and impeccably well-written, Leaving the Bellweathers is the story of one butler, Tristan Benway, and the family in the lighthouse on the hill, whom he is bound to serve by an Oath of Fealty sworn by one Benway long deceased. But this oath will soon be expiring, and Benway has decided to write a tell-all book about the strange family: the mother who is constantly painting the walls, the inventor-father who accosts all doorbell-ringers by dropping things from the window, the artistic triplets who only speak VERY LOUDLY LIKE THIS unless they are Up to No Good, the bagpipe-playing daughter who takes up any cause she can find (and often invites them to dinner, and the son whose love for endangered animals that can kill you has recently brought an albino alligator into the house. There simply is nothing like LEAVING THE BELLWEATHERS, and it is easily among the best middle grades of the past few years.
stephxsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tristan Benway is the unfortunate butler whose ancestor swore a 200-year-long fealty to the eccentric Bellweather family. Dr. Bellweather claims to be an inventor and erupts when interrupted; his wife paints walls of their lighthouse home incessantly; 14-year-old Spider has an unhealthy penchant for dangerous endangered animals; 13-year-old Ninda tries to make the world better by helping the downtrodden and exploited; and the 9-year-old triplets are incapable of being quiet except when they are plotting their next big plan of mischief. Benway counts down until the nearing day when his oath is over and he can leave his crazy employers forever.But as the summer passes and the Bellweathers continue to do erratic things and get into heaps of trouble, Benway finds that leaving the Bellweathers is harder than he¿d thought.LEAVING THE BELLWEATHERS advertises itself as a middle-grade novel, but it¿s great because of its ageless appeal. Young readers will not tire of the Bellweathers¿ endless antics, while older readers will chuckle in appreciation of the more cultivated ¿potty humor¿ abundant throughout the pages.Venuti creates caricatures of eccentric people, but we¿re still able to care for them and not simply write them off as ridiculous. I love all of the Bellweather children, with their destructive habits, misplaced good intentions, and all. Each chapter ends with one of the long-suffering Benway¿s snarky journal entries, which, besides for being a great place to find humor, is a way to track the development of the characters as they come to realize Benway as part of the family.The humor will work with some readers, and not with others. It¿s not the most intelligent of humor: think of every bad pun you wanted to make in middle and high school, and you¿ll get an idea of what it¿s like. Frankly, the humor made me cringe more than a few times, but I can see its appeal. The physical ¿gag¿ humor will keep young readers rolling on the ground, while older readers will laugh¿or roll their eyes¿at the subtler jabs and pop culture references.Overall, however, LEAVING THE BELLWEATHERS is a charming read that I will recommend shamelessly to hyperactive kids and their worn-out, in-need-of-some-dumb-humor-to-unwind parents. In the ways of the movie Shrek, LEAVING THE BELLWEATHERS will be a hit with readers of all ages.
galleysmith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Leaving the Bellweathers is an imaginative and fun ride through the eccentric lives of the Bellweather family and their butler Benway. Entertaining and humorous throughout it will undoubtedly keep the attention of any middle-grader.Venuti did a wonderful job of creating characters with individuality ¿ each was spirited in a odd but completely relatable way. The children in particular were socially conscious (though not as one would suspect) and well rounded in their beliefs. Educated, artistic and all around fun each brought something unique to the story. For example, in an interesting twist I found it ironic that Ninda was known for fighting persecution and injustice yet it was already prevalent in her own home with the Oath of Fealty Benway was required to live under.All in all Leaving the Bellweathers is a whimsical tale that I would recommend to parents looking for an amusing story that demonstrates the power of dedication, family and ultimately individuality in a positive and interesting light.
skstiles612 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tristan Benway is the victim of an ancestors pledge that he and his decendants will serve teh Bellweathers for two centuries. Benway has been counting down the time he has left. He has also been writing a Tell All book about his adventures or misadventures, depending on how you wish to look at it. He thinks about the challenges ahead for his replacement. He knows that whoever steps into his shoes will have their hands full with this family. First there are the three mischievious triplets. They seem to find trouble everywhere. Then there is Spider who likes to collect dangerous and endangered animals of all kinds. Ninda thinks she can fix the world or at least her little corner of it. She keeps taking in those that she believes have been exploited. Then of course there are the parents. Dr. Bellweather is an inventor who tends to fly off the handle when interrupted. His wife can't seem to get enough of painting and repainting the walls inside their lighthouse. Eventhough Benway has looked forward to leaving he is finding this decision difficult. He is the glue that holds the family together. I will highly recommend this book to my students. The only area I see as a possible problem for them is some of the vocabulary for reluctant or intensive reading students this is some times a drawback. I am hoping the story line will keep them reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it; such a heart-warming story at the end, and I was laughing the whole time I read.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
The Bellweathers are a kooky family with wild, extravagant habits and interests. The father is an inventor who hates noise (yet the house is full of it). The mother is obsessed with painting and re-painting the lighthouse they live in. Spider hates the sunlight and loves crazy animals. Ninda is someone who wants to Do Good and Help the Downtrodden. And, finally, you have the artistic, yet insane, triplets: Spike, Brick, and Sassy. With their butler, Tristan Benway, the Bellweathers find themselves harboring foreign circus folk, albino alligators, and making plans to steal the Mona Lisa. LEAVING THE BELLWEATHERS is one wacky book! It's also quite fun. There are moments in the story that might be slightly over the head of your average middle grader, but overall, I think they would enjoy the funny antics that this family gets up to...even if they are completely unrealistic in most senses. One of the things that I found different and fun about this book was the end of every chapter. You get a look into the butler's journal. He looks back on what has happened in the lighthouse on the hill...as well as fondly thinking of his future when he is free of his servitude to the Bellweathers and can live in a Warm Place Far, Far Away. Obviously, this book is full of good messages, though not preachy or annoyingly so. Some of these would be the love of family (even when not blood related), the importance of creativity, and the need to think of others and not just yourself. This was a fun book overall. I think it would be much more exciting for someone of a younger age, and it's certain to be one that could produce crazy sequels!
Marc_P More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my 12 year old nephew. He enjoyed it so much I began reading it with my 6 year old. The only problem I had with this book was that it was tough to read out loud in a cohesive manner because I kept laughing out loud. I hope there is a sequal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Galleysmith More than 1 year ago
Leaving the Bellweathers is an imaginative and fun ride through the eccentric lives of the Bellweather family and their butler Benway. Entertaining and humorous throughout it will undoubtedly keep the attention of any middle-grader. Venuti did a wonderful job of creating characters with individuality - each was spirited in a odd but completely relatable way. The children in particular were socially conscious (though not as one would suspect) and well rounded in their beliefs. Educated, artistic and all around fun each brought something unique to the story. For example, in an interesting twist I found it ironic that Ninda was known for fighting persecution and injustice yet it was already prevalent in her own home with the Oath of Fealty Benway was required to live under. All in all Leaving the Bellweathers is a whimsical tale that I would recommend to parents looking for an amusing story that demonstrates the power of dedication, family and ultimately individuality in a positive and interesting light.