The Vanderbeekers Make a Wish

(Vanderbeekers). Clarion/Versify. Sept. 2021. 352p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780358256205.
Gr 3-7–Isa, Jessie, Oliver, Hyacinth, and Laney Vanderbeeker are at it again in another adorable, kid-centered adventure in Glaser’s successful and endearing series. Oliver and Papa are about to take off on a pre–seventh grade camping trip when Papa is suddenly called away for a family emergency. Oliver and his sisters are left at home as his mom tries to stay ahead at the bakery, all while dealing with a (mostly unwelcome) surprise visit from Grandma and Grandpa. While trying to plan a great birthday party for Papa when he returns, the kids begin to unravel a mystery about their deceased paternal grandfather, Pop-Pop, that helps reveal more about the lives of all of the grandparents. Of course, the normal silliness ensues with the pets and kids via slimy lettuce, food coloring and day trips around New York. With the suspension of reality, the ending is quite heartwarming and continues in the same vein as the four previous Vanderbeeker novels. Should this fifth installment be picked up first, it can certainly be a hook to go back and start at the beginning once finished. Lovers of Jeanne Birdsall’s “Penderwicks” series will find real comfort in Glaser’s characters and situations.
VERDICT This latest in a staple series is a must for any middle grade collection.–

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