The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden (by Karina Yan Glaser)

Young Readers

After one of their neighbors has a heart-attack and is rushed to hospital the Vanderbeekers decide to turn an overgrown plot of land into a community garden for him and his wife. With a very limited budget but a truck load of creativity they begin to see results, but a developer has his eyes on the plot and plans to put a cookie cutter condo there.

Will their garden be bulldozed before their neighbor gets to walk through it?


Solid gold 5 Stars. A magical story that will captivate young readers. When I was growing up, it was The Three Investigators. For kids growing up today, this is their story. It’s the book they will remember when they are 50.

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street (by Karina Van Glaser)

Young Readers / Young Adult

The Vanderbeekers live in an old three storey brownstone in Harlem, NY. Two weeks before Christmas they learn that their curmudgeonly landlord, The Beiderman (Mr Beiderman) won’t be renewing their lease and they will have to leave their beloved home.

Not only will they have to move, they might have to leave New York. The five Vanderbeeker children have just 11 days to convince him to let them stay.


The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street is completely charming. It’s obviously written for young readers (10~13 years old) but I loved it and I’m not too far away from 50. Kids will love it, parents will love that their kids love it and it’s a great book for reluctant readers.  There isn’t really anything bad I can say about the book.  I’ll be buying a few copies for stocking stuffers.

5 Stars.