THE VANDERBEEKERS OF 141ST STREET, by Karina Yan Glaser, HMH Books for Young Readers, Oct. 3, 2017, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 7-10)
“Home is where the heart is.” Or so the saying goes. But for the children in The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street their hearts are permanently etched on the house they call home.
The brownstone on 141st Street is the only home the five Vanderbeeker kids have ever known. The problem is, it’s not going to be their home much longer. In fact, the family has to be out in eleven days.
When the siblings learn their grouchy landlord hasn’t renewed their lease, they decide to take matters into their own hands. One way or another, they plan to convince Mr. Beiderman to let them stay. After all, he just hasn’t had the opportunity to realize how wonderful they are.
The problem is, Mr. Biederman doesn’t care. He doesn’t want anything to do with the kids at all. It’s because of the kids he’s not renewing their lease. It’s going to take a team effort and a creative plan if the Vanderbeekers have any hope of staying in the home they love.
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street is a contemporary novel that feels as if it could be set in any time. The children are creative and smart without coming across as overly cute. Each has their own strengths and personalities and each have equal billing throughout.
There’s magic to The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street although not in the way you usually think of it. The magic comes in the siblings’ resourcefulness. They are both supportive of each other and willing to try things on their own. They don’t spend their time in front of electronic devises, but rather create things of their own.
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street is a charming middle-grade novel that would be fun read aloud or individually. It’s quick-paced and laced with humor sure to appeal to even the pickiest of readers.
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