I’ve posted about All-of-a-Kind Family and how much we enjoyed it, and stated our intention to read everything else the author wrote. Well, so we did. And we can now whole-heartedly recommend this series to you for your summer (or anytime) reading list.
We read aloud or listened to audio versions of 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, and then we read A Papa Like Everyone Else, which isn’t about the same family, but sort of could be about the Mama as a little girl, perhaps, in terms of time period and coming from the old country to America.
These books are great fun and full of siblings getting into and out of various scrapes, the family being a center for love and growth, hospitality, and how the family comes through the immigrant experience and still retains a strong family character and culture. These are great books for the early 1900s setting, but the themes and ideas are timeless and the adventures are good, clean fun.
I will say that there is some romancey stuff in Ella of All-of-a-Kind Family, as in that volume Ella is an adult deciding who to marry and everything. My elementary kids responded with choruses of “EWWWWW” when there was lovey-dovey stuff, but it wasn’t inappropriate so much as not their speed. In hindsight we wouldn’t have missed anything by skipping it, except for the fact that at the end Mama is pregnant again and WE DON’T FIND OUT IF THE BABY IS A BOY OR A GIRL!!!!! And then Sydney Taylor died and never wrote any more books. We were completely aghast. I was sort of tempted to challenge the kids to write fan fiction sequels with one kid taking the stance “and the baby was yet another girl” and the other taking “and it was a brother!”
Anyway, these are great books and really, really solid for reading aloud. We recommend them heartily. If you do read the series, please let us know what you think!
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