Title: More All-of-a-Kind Family
Author: Sydney Taylor
Series: All-of-a-Kind Family series, book 2
Major Themes: Family Life, Jewish Families
Synopsis: Five sisters and their little brother experience many new things together as they grow up in New York City.
More All-of-a-Kind Family is a sweet sequel to All of a Kind Family, the first book in the series. The girls are a bit older in this story, and yet they’re the same lovable characters they were before. Ella has her first boyfriend, Henny is wishing she could be an adult—even though she isn’t quite there yet—and Sarah is still the happy homebody that she has always been. The two younger girls mostly take care of each other, and don’t cause too much trouble.
The story opens with Charlie—now about two years old—almost being run over by a carriage. Just in the nick of time, a woman in the crowd pulls him to safety, and the girls take her home to get cleaned up. While there, the woman—Lena—meets Uncle Hyman, the bachelor uncle of the family. Uncle Hyman doesn’t know how to act around Lena—but it’s obvious to all that he likes her! Will Uncle Hyman finally find the wife he’s been waiting years for? Is there any hope that Lena can be the one to help him be more tidy about his appearance?
A major theme of the story is Uncle Hyman and Lena’s courtship. The girls experience many new things, enjoy Hanukkah together, and survive an epidemic of infantile paralysis. Charlie was one of my favorite characters—as a two or three-year-old, he comes up with some hilarious things to say at times! There are several Jewish feasts shared through the book—which I found fascinating!—and the characters are very realistic and relatable.
One thing I realized lately is that More All-of-a-Kind Family is very similar to Little Women in some ways—Ella, the oldest, is a lot like Meg March. Henny is the tomboy of the family, very similar to Jo. Sarah is very much like Beth, and Charlotte and Gertie share similarities with Amy. It was fun to compare the characters while reading this book!
All in all, I really enjoyed this story, and I’m sure your children will, too.
WARNING: There is a little bit of romance—Ella is attracted to a boy named Jules, and they are together at several different times (always in a very clean setting). Uncle Hyman and Lena are together periodically through the story (always very clean there, too). There are some words used that I don’t appreciate.
Listening Level—Ages 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12, 10 – 12