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All-of-a-Kind Family

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Overview

Meet the All-of-a-Kind  Family — Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte, and Gertie — who live with their parents in New York City at the turn of the century.

Together they share adventures that find them searching for hidden buttons while dusting Mama's front parlor and visiting with the peddlers in Papa's shop on rainy days. The girls enjoy doing everything together, especially when it involves holidays and...

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Overview

Meet the All-of-a-Kind  Family — Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte, and Gertie — who live with their parents in New York City at the turn of the century.

Together they share adventures that find them searching for hidden buttons while dusting Mama's front parlor and visiting with the peddlers in Papa's shop on rainy days. The girls enjoy doing everything together, especially when it involves holidays and surprises.

But no one could have prepared them for the biggest surprise of all!

Portrays the joys and troubles of five high-spirited sisters as they grow up in New York City.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The classic All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor, illus. by Helen John (1951), starring five sisters living in New York's Lower East Side at the beginning of the 20th century, is now available to a new generation of readers. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
First released in the 1950s, this story of a family takes readers back to the time before World War I. The everyday activities, dramas, trials, and joys of ordinary Americans are told through the eyes of this New York family of girls. Modern readers might have a bit of trouble relating to the fear and devastation associated with a lost library book, but perhaps they can imagine their own response to losing a borrowed PDA or laptop. In addition, today's readers, who have been raised on a steady diet of politically correct literature, might be troubled by descriptions that border on stereotype--like that of "Joe, a swarthy Italian," who speaks in a contrived dialect: "Mucha rain! Bah! No gooda for business!" Still, the themes of family, love, and loyalty ring true through Taylor's clear description of the family members, and the importance of making the most of everyday decisions is emphasized. The girls feel they understand their world and their place in it, but they learn they can't prepare themselves for every surprise that life has in store. This edition includes an "Introduction" by Francine Prose, who calls the novel "a hymn . . . to the ordinary pleasures of daily life." 2005 (orig. 1951), Delacorte Press, Ages 8 to 12.
—Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Five young sisters experience life in New York's Lower East Side at the beginning of the 20th century in this reading of Sydney Taylor's story (Follett, 1951). The close-knit group encounters everyday realities such as boring chores, missing library books, and trips to the Rivington Street market, as well as those details which bring the early 1900's to life--scarlet fever, peddlers, and bathing at Coney Island. Woven into the story are the traditions and holidays of the Jewish religion. The girls celebrate the Sabbath with Hebrew prayers, and dress up for Purim so they can deliver baskets to friends and relatives. Suzanne Toren delivers flawless narration, using different accents to distinguish between characters of various cultures and backgrounds. Her intonations and pacing ably reflect the actions and emotions of the characters and fully convey the warmth and humor of the story. This excellent audiobook will find an eager audience in schools and public libraries which need materials reflecting the Jewish culture or serve children who enjoy family stories such as Little Women and Little House on the Prairie.-Paula L. Setser, Deep Springs Elementary School, Lexington, KY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Childrens Book Watch
Set in the beginning of the twentieth century in New York's Lower East Side, All-Of-A-Kind Family introduces five young sisters (Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte, and Gertie). We follow along as they search for hidden buttons while dusting Mama's front parlor, explore the basement warehouse of Papa's peddler's shop on rainy days; and simply enjoy doing everything together -- especially when it involves holidays and surprises. But they are not prepared when confronted with the biggest surprise of their life! All-Of-A-Kind Family is a lively, superbly narrated, four hour, highly recommended, unabridged recording of a thoroughly delightful, totally engaging, fun story that will leave the young (and not so young!) listener with a true and memorable "theater of the mind" satisfaction.
The Providence Journal
Here's a book in which nothing much happens, over the course of four hours... and which absolutely charmed my kids on a recent family car trip.

It's the story of a family on the Lower East Side of New York at the turn of the 20th century. There are five daughters, plus Mama and Papa, and their adventures are simple -- they go to Coney Island on a hot day, or to the library or to the market. They dust the house and get sick.

But the market they go to is alive with sounds and smells of a different time, and when scarlet fever strikes there's no simple trip to the doctor's for a few antibiotics ---the doctor comes to them and places the house under quarantine for weeks. There's a plot involving two family friends and their problems with love, but it's the least believable and sappiest part of the story. Much better are the moments when the family celebrates Jewish holidays, each described with loving care as it was celebrated a century ago.

Taylor wrote the book in 1951, based on her childhood memories and it was out of print for some years before being issued last year. The time between her experiences and the recounting of them undoubtedly colored the stories with sentimentality.

But this is a gentle tale of a very different time, and there's value to that. Toren, a theater and TV actress, reads with an attention to accent that helps create characters from the daughters and those who surround them.

New York Times Book Review
Memorable
Chicago Sunday Tribune
Warmly related from the author's own childhood memories.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440400592
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 12/28/1984
  • Series: All-of-a-Kind Family Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 55,488
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.39 (w) x 7.63 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Sydney Taylor grew up among immigrant families on New York City's Lower East Side prior to World War I and wrote the All-of-a-Kind Family stories for her daughter.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 35 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(28)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    Great book

    All of a kind family it is @ least in the begening of the book
    All nook readers should read this book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    Loved all the "All of a kind family" books.


    Like everyone else here, these were favorites of mine as a child and I still enjoy re-reading them to my neices and nephews. My 3rd grade teacher read them to us in class right after lunch. We would put our heads down on our desk while she read aloud. Still one of my favorite memories. These are right up there with the "Little House" books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2014

    K

    Kiss your hand and post this on three other books an an iphone five wio

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    All of a Kind Family

    I love the book! It is great even though I am not done with it I would recomend it!!! You can get the sample or you can buy it.
    I think you would like it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2013

    I remember reading these books when I was about 10 or 11. I'm 34

    I remember reading these books when I was about 10 or 11. I'm 34 now and I'm so excited that I found it again. For a long time I remembered half of the title of the book but not all of it what I did remember was it was a book about jewish sisters. Reading these books years ago made me love reading. I would look forward to going to the library just to get the next book in the series. I'm going to buy them for my daughter and read them all over again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2013

    I love all of the all of a kind family books

    This is the best book in the world !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    All nook readers should read thease books


    P.S. I <3 this book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    Recomended highly Required in childhood

    It is a great book! These series of books are some of bmy favorite books

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2012

    Cool

    This is a good book GET IT,it is worthspace and your time

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 20, 2012

    Joyful reading!

    When I was in elementary school, I couldn't get enough of these books. I was telling my young son about them because he wanted to know what kind of books I read at his age. I told him about all the books I read - from what I could remember - and these books about the girls stood out. I always wanted to be able to get crackers out of the cracker barrel and pickles out of the pickle barrel! Excellent books for any child...a little slice of life from the turn of the century.
    I cried when the librarian said I couldn't buy the books.. : )

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 5, 2012

    Highly Reccomend

    This book was introduced to me by my elementary school Librarian and I loved it! (I'm 65 now!) I buy it as gifts for young girls between the age of 7 and 10 and they all seem to enjoy it just as much as I did. There is a whole "All of a Kind Family" sseries and they are all just as wonderful about a turn of the century family and how it was like to live then.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2011

    Wonderful book

    I read the whole series when I was a little kid. It was so familiar to me and even tho I enjoyed Nancy Drew, The Bobsey <spelling?> Twins, I liked this one better.

    Somehow I enjoyed my mother's reaction the best. She smiled when reading each book. And said she remembered all the sights and smells from when SHHE was growing up.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 5, 2010

    Wonderful Childhood Memories

    I have wonderful memories of reading this book as a child. I purchased it to give to my friend's daughter as a birthday gift and cannot wait to share this very special book with her. I remember this book being full of love, warmth, and a sense of family. It was one of my favorite books as a child, and I hope that my friend's daughter enjoys it as much as I did.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2010

    I wanted to be in this family.

    I heartily agree with the other reviews. This was one of my favorite books as a child. I still have a hardbound copy that was given to me by my best friend in 1967 for my 11th birthday. I've just sync'ed the audio books for the first two books in the series to my mp3 player through the public library. I also found a guide to the series on www.jewishlibraries.org website. I still have vivid pictures in my head of certain events. I can't wait to get reacquainted with these old friends.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2009

    What great memories!

    I loved these books when I was a "tween" (I am 38 now). I remember getting them at my local library and devouring them. I'm disappointed though that only 3 books are available. I know there were more and I really hope the publisher releases the entire set!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2006

    The great all of a kind family

    THis book is outstanding for 10 year olds and above !! I am a 10 year old girl!! this book is about the old ages in 1912 and how a mother gets along with her 5 children when they are sick ,tired and somtimes when they get lost in a big croud. the scarlet fever gets everyone.. the kids are all ready for anything but not the most biggest surprise that they are not getting a baby sister but a baby brother.Just what their dad wanted!! These kids help their mother and some times do whatever they want to do!!! THIS IS A GREAT BOOK!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2005

    Thrilled to find these old friends again

    I have always been a reader. Back in the mid 50s when Ms Taylor won an award for the first book in this series someone (to whom I remain eternally grateful)recommended this book to a non-reader set on buying me a book for my birthday. I cannot tell you how many times I read and reread this book over the years - suffice it to say that 50 years later at the age of 58 I can still name all the girls and remember most of their exploits. I will admit that my own mother got me to dust by hiding buttons and the occasional nickle (the ante had gone up some) in hard to dust places - a game I loved to play along with Henny. As an only child I was rather envious of their closeness and as a lover of history I was intrigued by the glimpse of another world and a religion so unlike my own. I was an adult when I realized that Ms Taylor had penned more books about my old friends and I went out and bought(and read) every one of the sequels I could find. I now have a cousin at the age to meet and share with the 'girls' and I am looking forward to providing her with the entire 'All of a Kind Family' experience.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2005

    Sharing Old Favorites

    I read, re-read and loved these books as a child! I am so happy to be able to share this favorite series with my daughter now!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2003

    Childhood Books To Cherish

    The All-of-a-Kind Family books are among the top children's books out there. I read them as a child, and still have my worn out copies. I am collecting a new set of them for my keeper shelf, and even now that I am 26, I enjoy reading them. The detail in the stories and the wonderful characters will stick with children long after they have read these books. They are wholesome without being preachy, they are simple yet enchanting, and they provide a window into another time period. No child that loves to read should be without these books. They have truly stood the test of time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2003

    best

    I enjoy them more each day, it's about Ella, Henny, Sarah, charlotte, and Gertie, 5 perfect faces, with character to match. Don't forget to ride the roller coaster at coney is-land behind mama's back! read this!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2002

    All about the joy of family and making do

    I remember the All of a Kind Family books fondly from my childhood, and was thrilled to find my son as enamored with the stories as I was. The author truly makes you believe you can taste the hot chick peas, know the pain of a mother having to make do, and the joys of a child sharing secret snacks in bed with her little sister. A wonderful way to introduce a different time and culture to our often jaded children.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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