Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Reads: All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor!!

Hello everyone! Happy Friday! This Friday is a particularly happy one for me since I'm gonna be leaving for my parents cottage and gonna be there till Monday, spending my time relaxing, reading, playing with the puppies and sleeeeping!!

As my first entry for this week's Friday Reads I have yet another of the Classic Middle Grade books from The Midnight Garden monthly read-alongs! Today is also the day we're having the read-along discussion there, so drop by! I'm loving taking part of these read-alongs and discovering such lovely books that I had missed originally on my childhood!

All-of-a-Kind FamilyAll-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is yet another book that I've read and loved thanks to the very awesome ladies at The Midnight Garden. As another of their middle grade challenge read-along books, this is a new discovery for me and yet again, a lovely lil gem!

All-of-a-kind family is the kind of lil story that would really help children see how different things were quite a few years back, and it works the same way with adults. Every description felt so genuine, so well done, and nothing in the narrative, not the descriptions of how the girls had to save their pennies for the dad's birthday or how the way some meals were reserved only as treats for certain days, nothing was written in the "woe is me" kinda way, but simply as a fact that it was like that. A family of limited means making the most of everything they had!

I knew I was going to love the book since it started with the five sisters going to the library! I could relate with Sarah's anguish of not finding her book! That has been a recurring nightmare for me, and it's been a looong time since I've taken books from the library! But as a young girl the library was one of my most favourite places to go, roam around and find my next read!

I loved the every day happenings of the family and the wonderful descriptions on the book. How each of the girls were their own person but never felt like they were too much of a stereotype! I loved their joy at finding books and at buying and making the most delightful games of eating their penny candy at night!

One of the episodes I felt that rang more closely to my own childhood was the one about Mama's rules about the food and how when Sarah refused to eat her soup, she wouldn't be given anything else to eat. That was pretty much my mother's rule, "if you don't eat this for lunch, you'll have it for dinner and if not, for breakfast". Only once I refused to eat my lentils for lunch, and let me tell you, lumpy re-heat lentils for dinner, I do not recommend! I loved how it portrayed the view from both the obstinate child that wants to give in but doesn't and the mother that worries but can't back down!

Another wonderful thing about this book is the descriptions of all the Jewish traditions and holidays and how the family included other non-Jewish people in their life and included them in their celebrations, like the library lady and Charlie! Every reference to them as gentiles seemed casual and never implied as a good or bad thing, simply what it was and that it was okay.

I might have been a lil bothered with some tiny things, like the importance of the girls learning to be good housewives, but I cannot fault the book given its age! It compensated with the immense love of the girls for books, so I forgave that.

A most delightful read, even after all these years since it was written! Very well deserved 4 stars!!

View all my reviews


  1. I am so glad to see how much you enjoyed this, Pili!!! :)

    It kind of reminds me of some of the books I read as a kid and I just... I really do want to go take a stroll threw a library now and try to find more gems.

    My mom does a similar thing actually but I know better than to argue. :P

    Lovely review, Pili and I am really glad you enjoyed this one!! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

    1. Thanks Rashika!
      I think it's a good habit to have, I know now I find different ways to eat the foods that I like less but I know I'm supposed to eat because of my mother's insistence! ;)
      After reading this book I also felt like going back to the library! =D

  2. Aw, I'm glad you liked this book sweetie. <3 It sounds pretty awesome :) But hah. About that food thing. My mom never did that to me :) I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it, hiiih (A) Which makes me very happy. Sigh. <3 Great review Pili :)

    1. Thank you, sweetie! I hope you'll read this one too! It's adorable middle grade!!

  3. Awww, Middle Grade. I have not read a Middle Grade book in so long O_O Five girls, dang. I'm glad that the characterization seems to be well-written! Glad you enjoyed this book, Pili :)

    Excellent review, Pili!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. Thanks girl! I hadn't read MG in AAAAGES myself but then started reading the books for TMG read-alongs and I'm in love again! =D

  4. I wonder when this was written because I had never heard of it. I am happy you blogged about it because it sounds like a perfect decompression read for a rainy day.

    1. It is an adorable read! It was published for the first time in 1951, according to Goodreads!


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