The VanderBeekers of 141st Street

5 CDs. 5:39 hrs. Recorded Bks. Oct. 2017. $51.75. ISBN 9781501966590. digital download.
Gr 2–5—A family of seven residing in Harlem get dreadful news five days before Christmas: their reclusive and grumpy landlord will not renew their lease, and they must be out of their brownstone by the end of the year. The five kids strategize multiple schemes to get Mr. Beiderman to change his mind; all seemingly make the problem worse. The children struggle with personal dilemmas as they also learn more about their landlord and each other. This debut novel reads like a joyous, heartwarming Hallmark movie. The conclusion seems inevitable, but the journey will fill listeners' minds with unique pictures of a loving family. Subplots include engaging tales about twins, budding musicians, pet care, and selecting thoughtful gifts. Robin Miles adapts her voice for each distinctive personality.
VERDICT A recommended purchase for elementary and middle school collections.—Deb Whitbeck, formerly at West Ottawa Public Schools, Holland, MI

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