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Elevator Family

Elevator Family

4.6 21
by Douglas Evans

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For the Wilson family, only the best will do! So when they arrive at the San Francisco Hotel and discover that there are no available rooms, they decide to stay in the place that



For the Wilson family, only the best will do! So when they arrive at the San Francisco Hotel and discover that there are no available rooms, they decide to stay in the place that suits them best of all: a room that has its ups . . . and its downs—a room called Otis, the hotel elevator.
Staying in the elevator is absolutely “fantabulous!” After all, where else would Mr. Walter Wilson, Mrs. Winona Wilson, 10-year-old Winslow Wilson, and his twin sister, Whitney Wilson get to meet:
·         A weary traveling salesman of kids' fads
·         A British rock group with a funny name
·         A lovesick bellhop
·         A society lady and her pampered poodle
·         And a slew of other surprising visitors!
For fans of middle-grade giants like Andrew Clements, Jerry Spinelli, Louis Sachar, and Judy Blume, The Elevator Family is a funny and heartwarming story about an eccentric family who’ll be remembered long after they check out of Otis. Drop in on them for an elevator ride filled with adventure and zany humor!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Evans’s campy humor will have readers groaning with glee. . . . Brief chapters loaded with wry humor keep readers’ interest high and are a great draw for reluctant ones."—Kirkus Reviews

"Evans’ lighthearted story is just the sort of realistic fantasy that will appeal to beginning readers. . . . A funny book."—Booklist

Children's Literature
Life for the Wilsons certainly has its ups and downs because the family has taken up short-term residence in a hotel elevator. The elevator "room" is the only way the family can salvage their vacation when their hotel accommodations fall through. The elevator named--what else--Otis, seems to have the capacity of one of those circus clown cars. How else could the Wilsons greet hotel guests, dine in style, play parlor games, and even host a lavish party in their ultra-cozy moveable home-away-from-home? Such close quarters would seem to limit to the number of plotlines that author Evans could explore, but the Wilsons seem to make the acquaintance of at least half of San Francisco in their mini-suite, including a lovelorn bellhop and a British rock group called "What." When a tiny heiress, is kidnapped, the Wilsons figure out that she is being held in the hotel and manage to foil the crime. Evans gets much more mileage than you can imagine out of the claustrophobic premise of a family of four living in a lift. Middle readers, especially, will find this book to be an amusing confection loaded with puns related to vertical travel. 2000, Delacorte Press, Ages 8 to 12, $14.95. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
Kirkus Reviews
An endearingly eccentric family settles into the elevator and hearts of the patrons and employees at the San Francisco Hotel in this over-the-top tale from Evans. No room at the inn is no problem for the intrepid Wilsons; Mr. and Mrs. and their twin ten-year-olds, Winslow and Whitney, simply set up camp in the hotel's elevator. From their mobile abode, they cheerfully offer advice and hospitality to everyone who "visits" their room. The gregarious Wilsons are true humanitarians, helping out their fellow travelers; providing insights into the opposite sex for a lovelorn teenager; and offering companionship for a lonely salesman. They are delightfully insouciant about their unusual accommodations, and Evans's campy humor will have readers groaning with glee. When questioned about life in an elevator, the twins reply, "It had its ups. . . . And downs." Evans works out the intricacies of life on board an elevator with aplomb, neatly making the implausible seem possible. Throughout their adventures, the Wilsons maintain their affability. Even the ungrateful attitude of the kidnapped heiress they rescue fails to quell the good nature or good will of the irrepressible Wilsons. Brief chapters loaded with wry humor keep readers' interest high and are a great draw for reluctant ones. A wacky, warm-hearted tale. (Fiction. 8-12)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.13(w) x 7.63(h) x 0.25(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

The doors slid open. The four Wilsons stepped into the little room. They dropped their suitcases and backpacks on the floor.

"Splendid! A gem of a place," said Walter Wilson. "The kind woman at the front desk said the hotel is full, but here's this first-rate room. And it appears to be vacant." He pulled out his suspenders with his thumbs and snapped them on his broad chest. "Only the best for this family. Nothing less will do."

Winona Wilson, Walter's wife, turned a complete circle. "A full-length mirror, a telephone, wall-to-wall carpeting. And listen." Soft marimba music floated down from the ceiling. "How lovely!"

"And look at all those buttons!" said Winslow Wilson, age ten. He pressed one button marked Close, and the doors slid shut. "Fantabulous!"

The little room vibrated slightly. A high-pitched hum came from overhead. "We're moving," said Winslow's twin sister, Whitney. "We're gliding upward. I wonder where we're going."

Walter crossed his fingers over his sizable belly. "A mobile room with all these extras," he said. "I say we take this fine room for our vacation. I say we move right in."

"Hear! Hear!" said the others.

The doors slid open. In the hallway stood an elderly couple holding suitcases. They remained still and mute while the four Wilsons waved to them.

"Greetings, fellow travelers," Walter called out.

"I'm so sorry," said Winona. "We just decided to take this room."

"But I think the room next door is vacant," said Winslow.

"It was on the first floor, but it might have moved by now," said Whitney.

The doors shut and the room started to drop. It opened again in the hotel's vast marble lobby. In the doorway stood a teenage boy wearing a wrinkled red jacket and a white shirt buttoned too tightly around his neck. Behind him stood two trunks.

"Splendid, young man," said Walter. "I wondered where you went. Wheel those trunks right in here. We'll take this room for three nights if it's available."

The teenager pushed the trunks forward. His black bow tie bobbed up and down on his Adam's apple as he spoke. "Sir? You want this room, sir? I don't understand, sir."

"The room needs a few items—bed linen and towels and whatnot," said Winona. "But it's small and cozy, just the way we like it. We're a close-knit family."

"This room's about the size of the van we drove to Alaska last summer," said Winslow. "Two thousand miles . . . one month together."

Whitney leaned against a trunk. "And last Christmas we stayed in a small fishing hut on the ice in Minnesota," she said. "I just hope Winslow keeps his socks clean this time."

The teenager raked his fingers through his hair. "Well, I'm only a bellhop. I don't make the rules around here."

"But tell us your name, young man," Walter said.

"Gavin, sir."

"Well, Gavin," said Walter, "you've given us excellent service. Stop in anytime. Guests are always welcome in our home."

Gavin shrugged. "Whatever," he said. "I've seen stranger things in this hotel, that's for sure."

"One more thing," Winona called as the bellhop started to leave. "Could you tell us the number of our mobile room?"

The teenager shrugged again. "I'm not sure, ma'am."

Winslow pointed to the button panel next to the doors. "Look at that tag," he said.

"Our room doesn't have a number," said Whitney "It has a name."

"'Otis!'" the four Wilsons read together.

The doors slid shut, and the little room started moving again.

Meet the Author

Douglas Evans is the author of numerous children's books.

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Elevator Family 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book about family liveing in eleavator! This book is funny for your kids. Loved the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
By: Madison D
The story was about the Wilson Family who go on a vacation to a hotel. There are no more rooms left for them. So then they went in the elevator and said, ¿This is a wonderful room¿. Then they started living in the elevator (Otis). The main characters were Walter, Winona, Winslow, and Whitney. Walter loves to do cross word puzzle in the newspaper. Winona loves to sketch Whitney and Winslow. Winslow loves to read paperbacks. Whitney loves to play pickup sticks. The main characters helped the hotel and a little girl because there were kidnappers in the hotel and they kidnapped the little girl named Lizzie. The main characters didn¿t run into problems. The main characters did have a lot of adventures because when they lived in the elevator and meet new people. My favorite character is Winona because she loves to sketch like me.
I could relate to places in the story because the story takes place in Sanfransisco and a hotel and I¿v been in both places. I felt like I was a winner in pick up sticks just like Whitney did.
I loved the book because all of the characters were very funny. My favorite part in the book was when they just got into the hotel because that was when first stayed in the elevator. My least favorite part in the book was when the Wilson family does nothing. If I could change one thing in the book it would be when the power went out in the hotel when everyone was scared.
I would recommend to a person. Who ever likes funny and crazy stories would love this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love dand adore this book!! It is so funny it always had a great sense of humor. To the author I give two thumbs up! please keep writing so I can read your fabulos books! Please keep on writing I love your literature.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book because it's funny to imagine a family really living in an elevator as if it was a hotel room.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am almost 11 do you think it will be too young for me? By the way i am a girl.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You will never walk into the elevator feeling the same!! You should REALLY read this book!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How Many Pages
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was exciting and amazing. I totally reccomend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just got the sample and I want to get it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a classic! It's about a tight-knit family who stay in an elevator and people on different floor. Good for all grade levels. The best things in life aren't things.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Admit it. The Elevator Family sounds like a really dumb name for a book. When my dad brought it home I threw it in a pile and didn't touch it. Until last week. I'm not sure why I picked it up - it's not what I usually read, but after I finished the first chapter I couldn't put it down. This is a very funny book that keeps you turning the pages. Everyone should read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think The Elevator Family was one of the best books I read.I think other people should read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like authors with great ideas this is the book for you. The personalities of the characters are wonderful. Just when you thi nk the book is over a little mystery comes in. The family is the ideal family and gets along great but they live in an elevator. How weird is that? The author of this book describes the setting well. And at the end of the book you feel like you know the characters well. After reading this book you will never step into a elevator and feel the same.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was funny and unusual and my favourite part was when they had the dinner party. This book is a must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing and adorable for the young ones!!! Its a must have!!