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The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street
Cover of The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street
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From New York Times best-selling author Karina Yan Glaser comes one of Times' Notable Children's Books of 2017: "In this delightful and heartwarming throwback to the big-family novels of yesteryear, a...
From New York Times best-selling author Karina Yan Glaser comes one of Times' Notable Children's Books of 2017: "In this delightful and heartwarming throwback to the big-family novels of yesteryear, a...
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  • From New York Times best-selling author Karina Yan Glaser comes one of Times' Notable Children's Books of 2017: "In this delightful and heartwarming throwback to the big-family novels of yesteryear, a large biracial family might lose their beloved brownstone home, but win it back with an all-out charm offensive."
    The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. It's practically another member of the family. So when their reclusive, curmudgeonly landlord decides not to renew their lease, the five siblings have eleven days to do whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home and convince the dreaded Beiderman just how wonderful they are. And all is fair in love and war when it comes to keeping their home.

About the Author-

  • Karina Glaser lives in Harlem, New York City, with her husband, two daughters, and assortment of rescued animals. One of her proudest achievements is raising two kids who can't go anywhere without a book. This is her debut novel.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2017
    A few days before Christmas the Vanderbeeker family finds out they will have to leave their beloved brownstone by the end of the month--or will they?When their landlord, Mr. Beiderman, decides not to renew their lease, the Vanderbeeker kids--12-year-old twins Isa and Jessie, 9-year-old Oliver, 6-year-old Hyacinth, and 4 (and 3/4)-year-old Laney--spring into action to make him change his mind. They have neighbors sign a petition; Isa records a CD of her violin playing; Jessie builds a science project; Oliver writes a haiku; Hyacinth gives him a kitten; and Laney does a picture of the brownstone. Though the final outcome is predictable, it is the warm and supportive depiction of family, friends, and community that carries this book forward. The family is described as biracial, though what the two races are is not clear. (Mama has "stick-straight black hair" and dark eyes; Papa has "wild, untamable hair" and light eyes.) Set in Harlem, but with Dutch, German, and English names, the community feels white. The children are well-developed and wise beyond their years. They are also charged with duties beyond their years: the twins for example, are given the task of preparing the Christmas dinner for seven adults and five children. A heartwarming story about family and community that will appeal to readers who also enjoy an old-fashioned feel. (Fiction. 8-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 14, 2017
    Glaser sets her uplifting debut novel in contemporary Harlem, where the biracial Vanderbeekers rent the bottom two floors of a four-story brownstone from an inexplicably grouchy and reclusive landlord, Mr. Beiderman. The story opens on December 20, with the Vanderbeeker parents telling their five children, who range from age four to 12, that Mr. Beiderman is not renewing their lease and at year’s end they will have to move out of the New York City home they’ve loved for years. The stunned children mount a mission to change their landlord’s mind in 11 days. Each of the rambunctious Vanderbeekers is endowed with a passion or talent, Mr. Beiderman’s ill temper is revealed to be grounded in tragedy, and Glaser infuses her novel with the comforting aura of a loving family in which everyone’s idiosyncrasies are happily tolerated and misunderstandings are warmly resolved. Readers who enjoy a cheery story that’s simultaneously old-fashioned and of the moment in its sensibility will enjoy this introduction to the Vanderbeekers and look forward to their future adventures. Ages 7–10. Agent: Ginger Clark, Curtis Brown.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from August 1, 2017

    Gr 3-5-Glaser's pitch-perfect debut novel set in Harlem introduces the endearing biracial Vanderbeeker family. Twins Isa and Jessie, along with siblings Oliver, Hyacinth, and Laney (ranging from ages four-and-three-quarters to 12), plus a dog, a cat, a bunny, and their parents, all live together in a brownstone on 141st Street. Unfortunately, cantankerous landlord Mr. Biederman refuses to renew the lease. They have the five days before Christmas to change his mind or they will have to move out of the only home they have ever known. Each child has a plan and a distinct personality to match; the neighbors and friends all do, too. Glaser's detailed line drawings of the block's brownstones emphasize that this book is not just about one family; rather, it encompasses the stories of an interconnected community. Jessie creates a Rube Goldberg contraption that makes music while watering the building garden. Elderly Miss Josie and Mr. Jeet live above the Vanderbeekers and count on their support. A school dance, sibling rivalry, and preparing just the right gifts for Christmas are all subplots that Glaser deftly uses as a tool to both develop the characters and engage readers in the family's entertaining daily chaos. Glaser's love for the Vanderbeekers shines through in her prose and stick drawings. Readers will look forward to future adventures. VERDICT A highly recommended purchase for all middle grade collections. Fans of Sydney Taylor and Jeanne Birdsall are sure to be satisfied by this contemporary urban update of the family-centered novel.-Eva Thaler-Sroussi, Glencoe Public Library, IL

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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