An Indie Next PickA Junior Library Guild SelectionReceived 2 Starred ReviewsThe Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. It's practically another member of the family. So when their 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.
"*Starred Review* As Tolstoy wrote, All happy families are alike, but few in children's literature are as engaging or amusing as the Vanderbeekers, even in a time of turmoil. Twins Isa and Jessie (12 years old), Oliver (9), Hyacinth (6), and Laney (4) react with disbelief, a bit of guilt, and plenty of indignation when they hear that Mr. Beiderman, their reclusive neighbor, has refused to renew the lease on their beloved Harlem brownstone apartment. With only 11 days left, the kids embark on Operation Beiderman, a series of secret initiatives intended to win over their landlord. A biracial family within a close-knit, diverse community, the Vanderbeekers are swiftly, deftly individualized by Glaser, who lets the kids' strengths, weaknesses, and quirks emerge as each takes the initiative and then deals with the repercussions that inevitably follow. Scenes are beautifully written, and a subplot adds depth to the novel. While there's pain and pathos here, humor is a constant, bubbling up in unexpected places. The story's ending seems inevitable, but it's moving nonetheless, and the journey to that destination is wildly entertaining. Add this captivating first novel to the list of family stories that would make an only child long for siblings.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2017 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"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. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
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