Overall, this book is all right. The quality or level of writing is rather low (which kind of ruined it for me), but the family bond and characters are lovable. The book is compared to The Penderwicks, which, in my opinion is a better book because of the writing quality and deeper level. It, however, does have the same kind of family bond, distinct characters (mostly girls too), and love. The story line is predictable, but was still enjoyed. Recommended for grades 4-6
I know this book is supposed to be for children, but I loved it too!
This debut novel is the story of the Vanderbeeker family: two parents, five children, a dog, a cat and a bunny, who live in a brownstone in Harlem. They LOVE their apartment and their neighborhood; they know everyone, and everyone knows them. But their landlord (who lives on the upper floor of the brownstone, but whom they have never seen, has refused to renew their lease (and no one knows why)). It is five days before Christmas, and if the family can not convince their landlord to relent, they will have to leave their beloved home and neighborhood on January 1.
The Vanderbeeker children, Isa, Lacey, Jessie, Oliver and Hyacinth, are bright, creative and motivated, and this book describes their various plans and schemes to win over their landlord, the dreaded Mr. Beiderman. There are many ups and downs along the way, and I could hardly wait to see what would happen next!
The Vanderbeeker kids are determined to save the lease on the only home they've ever known--but to do so, they must learn more about their mysterious landlord. Filled with compassion and humor, the Vanderbeekers will have you rooting for their success.
A modern day family with shades of the Penderwicks, Marches, and Gilbreths, the Vanderbeekers story makes me want to move in with them and share in the chaos and love. Characters with many fine qualities, the finest one of all being their kindness. Great readaloud for elementary school kids.
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