The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street
The Vanderbeekers have always lived in their brownstone on 141st, but this year their landlord Mr. Beiderman decides to not renew their lease and wants them out right after Christmas. The five Vanderbeeker children, Jessie, Isa, Oliver, Hyacinth, and Laney, must come up with a way to change Mr. Beiderman's mind. They don't want to leave their Harlem neighborhood where they know everyone and everyone knows them. They don't want to leave their upstairs neighbors Miss Josie and Mr. Jeet who are like grandparents to them. They come up with several different schemes to convince Mr. Beiderman to let them stay.
I really enjoyed the Vanderbeeker family. I thought the children were fabulous. There isn't anything really innovative or unique about this story, but it is very entertaining and well written. I enjoyed all the relationships both in their building and their neighborhood. The kids were all unique with different personalities. My only quibble is one I don't think kids will notice. Mr. Beiderman doesn't give the family 30 days notice to leave and they really don't make plans to actually move. No movers are scheduled, no apartments viewed, nobody really packs. It is almost like they know they aren't going to move!