Review Detail

A Modern Day Melendy Story
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
The Vanderbeekers family of five children, parents, dog and rabbit have lived on two floors in a brownstone in Harlem. The father grew up in the same neighborhood. Just before Christmas, however, their landlord, Mr. Beiderman, decides not to renew their lease, and they have to move right after Christmas. This is a problem, because the family has gotten a reduced rate because the father acts as the superintendent, and the rent on anything large enough for the family would be prohibitive. They may have to move out of the city! Hyacinth, twins Isa and Jessie, Laney and Oliver all have plans to persuade the reclusive landlord to change his mind, even circulating a petition in their neighborhood. They have lots of friends nearby-- the Castlemans, who run a bakery and have a son the age of the twins; Mr. Jeet and Miss Jessie, who live upstairs and are like grandparents; even the postman has been working in the neighborhood longer than the father has been alive and brings treats for the dog. Of course, other things are occurring while the family is trying to pack up for the move, and they plan to celebrate their last Christmas in style. Will a miracle occur so that they can stay?
Good Points
This had a quaint, Melendy Family vibe, but updated for the new millenium. I love the cover, and the idea of living in the city sounds much more appealing than living there actually would be. The close knit neighborhood is wonderful, and the industriousness of the children is charming.

Young readers will completely buy into the family drama and not worry that if the family had to be out of the apartment in a few days, they should have made lots of plans. There are few families these days who have as many as five children, and there is something about an almost Brady Bunch sized family that appeals to children. There would be built in playmates, others upon whom blame could be foisted, and lots to distract parents from one's own antics. The Vanderbeekers are all singular, well depicted characters, and readers will be able to pick their favorite.

Clymer's The Trolleycar Family, Sidney's The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, Taylor's All of a Kind Family and the more recent Birdsall Penderwicks series all show close knit, interesting families, and all of them would make the Vanderbeekers feel right at home on their streets!
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sana Khan is a cheerleader and a straight A student....
Crown of Dragons
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The normal world is an illusion. Separated from other realms...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
At seventeen, June Hardie is everything a young woman in...
Butterfly Yellow
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Ibi Zoboi, and Erika...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The definitive collection of art, poetry, and prose, celebrating fat...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventh-grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Still reeling from her recent battle (and grounded until she...
Cog
Cog
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Cog looks like a normal twelve-year-old boy. But his name...
Homerooms and Hall Passes
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the mystical realm of Bríandalör, every day the brave...
Susan B. Anthony: The Making of America #4
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the fourth installment in the Making of America series,...
Hazel's Theory of Evolution
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hazel knows a lot about the world. That’s because when...
Sublime Karma
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
When Brie’s stepfather moves the family for what he...
Goddess Ascending
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Promised to the Light. Hunted by the Dark. Two...
Crown of Coral and Pearl
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and...
#Murderfunding (#MurderTrending, #2)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
WELCOME TO WHO WANTS TO BE A PAINIAC?, the...
Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Harry Black is lost between the world of war...

Latest Member Reviews

The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1)
 
5.0
"I picked this book up to see if it would be appropriate for my precocious nine-year-old, and was blown away..."
The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1)
 
4.0
"The novel opens with eleven-year-old Jonas awaiting his Ceremony of Twelve, where he will be assigned his career and begin..."
The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1)
 
4.0
"A popular dystopian book written for young adults, though I believe many adults would enjoy the world that Lois Lowry..."
The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1)
 
5.0
"This book was crucially character and perception-shaping for me when I first read it in sixth grade. Harsh, realistically poignant,..."
 
5.0
K Kat
"Out of all the books I’ve read in the past year, ‘Skellig’ has been one of the best. It was..."
 
4.0
"I remember reading this all the way back in sixth grade for English class. It was a pretty good book,..."
The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1)
 
N/A
"I had to read this in 7th grade and 4 years later i still remember it clearly. I really loved..."
 
5.0
"I was able to identify with characters and events in the story so it made it much easier to read..."
The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1)
 
5.0
"This is a great story to use to introduce dystopian novel-type stories. It also enhances the power and significance of..."
Number the Stars
 
5.0
"Loved it!"
Number the Stars
 
3.0
"I love books about World War 2, but this book isn't for me although it is still good."
The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1)
 
5.0
"Somebody recently told me they didn’t like Lois Lowry’s "The Giver" because it was a dystopian novel disguised as a..."
The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1)
 
3.0
"I wonder why utopias are so frightening. Jonas has a childhood many people would wish for. He has structure,..."
Number the Stars
 
3.0
IvyIvy
"This story takes place in Denmark during the Nazi invasion. Annemarie is a ten year old girl who's best friend..."
The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1)
 
5.0
"The prose is sparse and clean, but the ideas are complex. I loved Jonas and it was interesting to slowly..."
Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables #2)
 
5.0
"Reading about the continuing adventures of Anne Shirley (and of course Gilbert!) is like settling in with an old friend..."
The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by becster   The Giver By Lois Lowry Review by Rebecca..."
 
4.0
"Reader reviewed by Miss B. As a third grade teacher, I have to say The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid..."
Baby
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Sammi Baby is a facinating book! In Baby, A basket is left on a family's driveway, in..."
The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Christy "The Giver," by Lois Lowry is a terrific book.  The novel is about a boy growing..."