Christmas should be a time for celebrating but on December 20th, the Vanderbeeker family’s reclusive landlord Mr. Beiderman abruptly informs the family that he is not renewing their Harlem brownstone lease. To make matters worse, the family must be moved out by the end of the month. Desperate not to leave the only house that is home to them. the five Vankerbeeker children, twins Jessie and Isa, only boy Oliver, pet loving Hyacinth and creative Laney embark on Operation Be Nice to Biederman in an effort to change his mind and give their parents the Best Christmas Present Ever.
During their first Beiderman meeting, Isa proclaims they need to find “a way to show him that us living here is better than us not living here.” Throughout the story, the Vanderbeeker children try various ideas to win over Biederman but sadly, their efforts fail miserably. Finally, the Vanderbeeker children come to the conclusion that perhaps simple acts of kindness may be the best plan. When the children and their parents though do learn details about Biederman’s past, they realize that home is much more than the place you live. Home is family.
I absolutely fell in love with the Vanderbeekers! Like any family, all is not perfect but it is clear by their words and actions how much they all care and support each other. And who can forget all their precious pets especially Frantz the basset hound who was Etta’s favorite!
Karina Yan Glaser’s story is so heartwarming that I was so sad that it had to end. Fortunately, readers only have to wait a year, for another Vanderbeeker adventure will be published in Fall 2018.
Special thanks to Karina Yan Glaser for providing #bookexcursion with an advance reading copy of this beautiful book. Pre-order now, for The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street will be released on October 3, 2017.