The Vanderbeekers Ever After (The Vanderbeekers, 7)

The Vanderbeekers Ever After (The Vanderbeekers, 7)
Age Range
Release Date
September 19, 2023
Buy This Book
The bestselling Vanderbeeker family finds love and hope in hard times as they face the challenge of a serious illness with the support of their Harlem community. 
The Vanderbeekers are looking forward to the wedding of two of their favorite people! But when one of the siblings receives a dire diagnosis, instead of preparing for a celebration, the family is suddenly spending their time at the hospital. And soon they are helping a newly-made and critically ill friend, even as they struggle with how their own lives have turned upside down.

In the poignant conclusion to the bestselling Vanderbeekers series, the beloved family faces their biggest challenge yet, rising to meet it with the characteristic love, warmth, and hope that has won them a lasting home in the hearts of readers everywhere.

Editor review

1 review
The Final Vanderbeeker Book
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
In this final installment of the Vanderbeekers saga, we find the group recuperating from their summer journey (The Vanderbeekers on the Road) and preparing for the wedding of Mr. B. and Aunt Penny. Hyacinth is particularly excited, and starts to make grand plans. These are called into question, however, when Laney ends up being very. After being tired and fainting on the way to see Dr. Schwartz, the family ends up at an oncologist, Dr. Ayoub. Twins Isa and Jessie are so concerned that they even take time off school at the very beginning of the year. Laney has leukemia, and treatment starts right away at the Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital. With the help of a friendly nurse, Steve, Laney gets a port for medicine installed and starts chemotherapy, staying a week in the hospital and making some friends. There's an art teacher who helps her make garlands for the wedding. She meets Edward, who has been sick for a long time, and whose mother disapproves of some of the hijinks involving the extended Vanderbeeker clan. Laney does her best to befriend him, and soon improves his mood. One thing that does make Edward happy are the visits from therapy dogs, and the Vanderbeeker children start trying to find more people to train their own dogs, roping in Miss Josie and Billie Holliday as well as vet tech Cassandra and her hairless dog Mochi. Laney's leukemia doesn't go into remission, so she has to have more aggressive treatment. When she loses her hair, Oliver shaves his head in solidarity. The wedding is postponed, as the family struggles to keep the bakery and cat cafe open while dealing with the activities of the children and Laney's treatment. Edward goes downhill, and moves home to have hospice care, dying soon after. When Laney does go into remission, Mr. B. and Penny decide to go ahead with the wedding on Christmas day after all, even though they don't have any plans made, in true Vanderbeeker fashion.

Good Points
While this book did show the family working together in the same way as the other books, and included various comical scenes with pets and scrapes, the biggest part of it is dedicated to Laney's cancer. There are a lot of details about the hospital stay, activities that Laney is able to do while there, and information about how leukemia is treated. This is all very interesting, but readers looking for another light hearted Vanderbeeker adventure may be surprised.

It's good to see the older children trying to help Laney with activities, or by using their contacts to improve the therapy dog situation for everyone at the hospital, although we don't see quite as much of the parents or other adults. The neighborhood and extended community are evident in everything from meals being delivered to the family to a local business loaning its van to transport Laney to the hospital.

Fans of family series like Birdsall's The Penderwicks and Kingsbury and Russell's Baxter Family Children will enjoy the large family aspect of this, and Laney's struggle with cancer makes this one to add to a list of books like Gephart's Tried and True (2021), Harrell's Wink (2020), Dee's Halfway Normal (2017), Conklin's Counting Thyme (2016), Gemeinhart's The Honest Truth (2015), Lopez's Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel (2013), or Sonnenblick's Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie (2005) that deal with this disease.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account