Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Lizzie Skurnick Books (July 15, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5 x 7.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (281 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #113,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #16 in Books > Children's Books > Holidays & Celebrations > Jewish #49 in Books > Children's Books > Literature & Fiction > Religious Fiction > Jewish #173 in Books > Children's Books > Literature & Fiction > Historical Fiction > United States > 1900s
Age Range: 9 - 11 years
Grade Level: 3 and up
I first read this as a child, growing up in the south in a pentacostal holiness church. This book was my very first introduction to the Jewish Faith, what it means and how it impacted day-to-day life. I found that this family was a very loving family who encouraged their girls (then baby boy) to learn and to grow up strong. I remember wanting to be Jewish so that I could be a member of their family. There was so much fun and love. Well, I have since learned about the "Jewish" stereotype. However, I was not suckered in by the error because my first experience with Jews came about through the All of A Kind Family books. I am convinced that I knew the truth about the Jewish people because of these books. I strongly recommend that these books be added to all reading lists, as they help to teach kindness, love, and tolerance for all people, just like they helped to teach to me.
Sydney Taylor won the Follett Publishing Company book award - she didn't even know her husband, Ralph, had submitted her first novel to the publisher! - for this, her first children's book. Thus began a career that is most distinguished for the series detailing the adventures of five sisters early in this century. Most distinguishing about them is the fact that they are Jewish, not as a stereotyping characteristic but rather a means to explore landscape that hadn't yet been handled in children's literature. This first in the series is particularly insightful in its introduction of the Jewish high holy days - Sabbath days, Yom Kippur, Purim and Succos among them. (Plus, the author even throws in the Lower East Side's celebration of a purely American event - Fourth of July - to demonstrate that this bright-spirited family is tied not merely to its religious roots but is nationalistic as well!) While All-of-a-Kind Family is one of those falsely sunny books that came out of the 1940s and 1950s, it's nice to believe that this is the life that Taylor lived as a child. (Incidentally, Taylor's real name was Sarah, and the stories are based loosely on her own childhood. All of the sisters' names are real.) Sydney Taylor died in February 1978. This initial story was followed by four more books in the series: More All-of-a-Kind Family, All-of-a-Kind Family Uptown, All-of-a-Kind Family Downtown and, published posthumously, Ella of All-of-a-Kind Family.
Although this is the 4th book of the series, it actually takes place between All-of-a-Kind Family and More All-of-a-Kind Family. This story is part of the continuing tale of a Jewish family living in New York's lower East Side in the early 1900's. Although they are poor, they are rich in their love of each other and their friends. Now there is a new baby in the house and talented Ella, mischevious Henny, studious Sarah, dreamy Charlotte, and little Gertie help Mama with the baby and find friends along the way. In this book, we meet Guido, a poor Italian boy who is trying to care for his sick mother and Miss Carey, a nurse who works at the Settlement House. Through the eyes of these characters, we understand what it must have been like growing up in the lower East Side before World War I. We learn about their sorrows and their joy over the little things in life. A highly recommended book.
In this sequel, Ella finds a boyfriend and Henny disagrees with Papa over her curfew. This story continues the tale of a Jewish family who lived in the Lower East Side of New York in the early 1900's. Entertaining as well as educational, this book describes the joys and fears in that place and time. I also enjoyed learning about some of the Jewish traditions. A delightful classic that every little girl will enjoy.
I first read this book when I was eight years old, and I loved it so much I went to the library and checked out the sequels. As other readers mentioned, not only are these books interesting and fun to read (I still enjoy reading them at age 37) but Christians can get a glimpse of what the Jewish religion is really like on a day-by-day basis. Other than Hanukah and Passover, school kids aren't really taught much about the other Jewish holidays. I remember in fourth grade, a Jewish girl in my class brought in Hamentaschen pastries, and I normally wouldn't have tried something with prunes in it - but because I had read about Purim in "All of a Kind Family", I discovered a wonderful treat!I should also say that the illustrations in the books are terrific! Esp in the later books, little Charlie is so cute.Hopefully the publisher or whoever owns the copyright to Ms. Taylor's books will read the reviews here on and re-release the entire series, as it deserves to be done. (I seem to recall the paperbacks were available in a gift box in the 70's).
Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte, Gertie, and baby Charlie move with their parents from New York's lower East Side to the Bronx in this wonderful sequel. In this story, Ella's beau joins the army to fight for the cause in WWI. You briefly learn about how the city was coping with the war over seas and about more Jewish traditions. This story is an educational delight for all ages and should be reprinted for the next generation of readers.
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