Having grown up myself on a 141st Street in South Florida, I about died when I first glimpsed the beautiful cover of this book, making its way from Instagram blogger to Instagram blogger so many months ago. I immediately requested a copy, and I was delighted I did. We’ve all heard the age-old phrase, “home is where the heart is,” right? Well, Karina Yan Glaser’s new book, The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, is the epitome of that saying.
The Vanderbeeker family has lived in a Harlem brownstone on 141st Street forever, so when their reclusive landlord tells them they have just days to move out as their lease will not be renewed, the siblings take matters into their own hands. The five Vanderbeeker kids act quickly, coming up with one crazy antic after another – they will stop at nothing to convince their landlord just how special their family is and why they need to remain in their home. Will they be forced to leave nonetheless? You have to read it to find out!
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street has an old fashioned, throwback feel, even though it is set in the modern day. The Vanderbeeker siblings are so full of heart, and the book harkens back to simpler times when family, relationships and good old pluck trumped gadgets, electronics and cell phones. Two things struck me the most here- the manner in which the siblings worked so creatively as a team – using nothing but their hearts and minds- to save the home they love so dearly, and (2) the relationships these siblings had with each other, their parents, and even more importantly, their community. Glaser beautifully depicts – if not nails- the community aspect of her book. Harlem comes alive, as do it’s inhabitants, with the neighborhood becoming as much a force in the story as the characters — including the Brownstone itself. Heartwarming and fun, this will be devoured by elementary students and I can’t wait to get it into our library!
Want the book? Get it here! The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, by Karina Yan Glaser. HEE received an advanced review copy of this book from the publisher, but all opinions contained herein are expressly are our own.