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!
About the Author
Sydney Taylor (1904–1978) was an American author of children’s literature. She is best known for the five-part All-of-a-Kind series, which is based on her own large family and includes All-of-a-Kind Family, More All-of-a-Kind Family, All-of-a-Kind Family Downtown, All-of-a-Kind Family Uptown, and Ella of All-of-a-Kind Family. After her death, her husband established the Sydney Taylor Book Award in her honor. Read more about her here.
A Few Reviews
“There’s something to be said for a book that makes you wish you’d been part of a poor immigrant family living in New York’s upper east side on the eve of World War I. Sydney Taylor’s time-honored classic does just that. Life is rich for the five mischievous girls in the family. They find adventure in visiting the library, going to market with Mama, even dusting the front room. Young readers who have never shared a bedroom with four siblings, with no television in sight, will vicariously experience the simple, old-fashioned pleasures of talk, make-believe, and pilfered penny candy. The family’s Jewish faith strengthens their ties to each other, while providing still more excitement and opportunity for mischief. Readers unfamiliar with Judaism will learn with the girls during each beautifully depicted holiday. This lively family, subject of four more “all-of-a- kind” books, is full of unique characters, all deftly illustrated by Helen John. Taylor based the stories on her own childhood family, and the true-life quality of her writing gives this classic its page-turning appeal. (Ages 9 to 12)” — Amazon.com Review
“It is impossible to adequately describe how important the “All of a Kind Family” books have been to my daughters, beginning when they were ages three and six and continuing now years later. I have read all the books to them several times, and they have listened to Suzanne Toren’s incredible readings dozens of times. We all listened to the first book so often that they pretty much memorized it, and our whole family had countless hours of fun imitating the voices and accents Toren gives the different characters and making up new stories about the family. Even I felt like we had become part of the family! Not only did we thoroughly enjoy these books, but we also learned a tremendous amount about life on the Lower East Side in the 1910s and Jewish traditions. Each of the books has a plot line involving a different set characters outside the family, but it is the small, everyday moments that bring the stories to life. The family is always loving and supportive, and although the characters face some challenges, there is never any content too disturbing for younger children. Sydney Taylor should hold her place beside Laura Ingalls Wilder in the canon of historical fiction for children!” — Amazon Reviewer Susan