Review: The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

My Review: 5/5 stars

Verdict: Buy Borrow Bypass

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st. 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.

My Thoughts:
This book came along at the perfect time for me. I finished reading Kindred by Octavia Butler and desperately needed something lighthearted to read next. Enter, The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street! This book is well written with a delightful cast of characters. Each character is so well developed that I had no trouble picturing this quirky dynamic family and their hijinks. I particularly enjoyed the youngest sibling, Laney, and her escapades with her pet bunny.

Vanderbeekers takes place in the days leading up to Christmas, making this an excellent winter break read. This book celebrates family, togetherness, and teamwork. Vanderbeekers also handles emotional topics such as moving, first crushes, and loss in a loving manner. Yes, the five siblings band together to stay in their brownstone, but their parents are by no means absent. This is not a case of Disney style single parent syndrome or MIA parents. The adult Vanderbeekers, affectionately referred to as Mama and Papa, are busy accepting the loss of their beloved home as grownups and spend much of their time packing up their home and searching for a new place to live. The five Vanderbeeker siblings are clever, kind, and hardworking. Be prepared to wish your last name was Vanderbeeker!

This book is appropriate for all ages. From a diversity standpoint, this book does a pretty great job. The Vanderbeeker family is a mixed-race family and their colorful cast of neighbors also reflect the fact that they live in New York. From multiple races to same-sex parents, Vanderbeekers takes these characters and celebrates them just as they are. This book predominantly contains girls and women characters. Altogether, this book has great representation.

Wrap Up:
Overall, I loved this book! I gave it 5/5 stars and would highly recommend it to anyone. I think this would be a great read aloud book for a family, too.

This book is…
heartwarming
cozy

a quick read
charming
for all ages

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre: middle grade
Page Count: 297 for the hardcover
ISBN: 0544876393
Available here on Book Depository.

Have you read The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street? What middle grade read would you recommend?

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