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Comment: 1978 printing in fair condition. Shows moderate wear.No markings in text.Eligible for FREE Super Saving Shipping! Fast Amazon shipping plus a hassle free return policy mean your satisfaction is guaranteed! Good readable copy. Worn edges and covers and may have small creases. Otherwise item is in good condition.
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All-of-a-Kind Family Paperback – December 1, 1984

4.8 out of 5 stars 206 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

There's something to be said for a book that makes you wish you'd been part of a poor immigrant family living in New York's upper east side on the eve of World War I. Sydney Taylor's time-honored classic does just that. Life is rich for the five mischievous girls in the family. They find adventure in visiting the library, going to market with Mama, even dusting the front room. Young readers who have never shared a bedroom with four siblings, with no television in sight, will vicariously experience the simple, old-fashioned pleasures of talk, make-believe, and pilfered penny candy. The family's Jewish faith strengthens their ties to each other, while providing still more excitement and opportunity for mischief. Readers unfamiliar with Judaism will learn with the girls during each beautifully depicted holiday. This lively family, subject of four more "all-of-a- kind" books, is full of unique characters, all deftly illustrated by Helen John. Taylor based the stories on her own childhood family, and the true-life quality of her writing gives this classic its page-turning appeal. (Ages 9 to 12)

From School Library Journal

Gr 3-6-Five young sisters experience life in New York's Lower East Side at the beginning of the 20th century in this reading of Sydney Taylor's story (Follett, 1951). The close-knit group encounters everyday realities such as boring chores, missing library books, and trips to the Rivington Street market, as well as those details which bring the early 1900's to life--scarlet fever, peddlers, and bathing at Coney Island. Woven into the story are the traditions and holidays of the Jewish religion. The girls celebrate the Sabbath with Hebrew prayers, and dress up for Purim so they can deliver baskets to friends and relatives. Suzanne Toren delivers flawless narration, using different accents to distinguish between characters of various cultures and backgrounds. Her intonations and pacing ably reflect the actions and emotions of the characters and fully convey the warmth and humor of the story. This excellent audiobook will find an eager audience in schools and public libraries which need materials reflecting the Jewish culture or serve children who enjoy family stories such as Little Women and Little House on the Prairie.-Paula L. Setser, Deep Springs Elementary School, Lexington, KY

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling (December 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440400597
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440400592
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (206 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Paperback
I read this series multiple times as a secular Jew growing up in Queens in the late 1950s, and loved them for their "Jewishness" and their inclusion of cultural details missing from most of the many books I read. I also loved the depiction of the sisters, as we were also a family of girls - each sister was distinct and treasured. I was eager to share these books with my own daughter, and we read this one together about six months ago, when she was just-turned-six. She adored it, and kept asking for "just one more" chapter. A couple of months later, she spotted the book in a bookstore, grabbed it, and clutched it to her chest. "But we've already read that one. Don't you want to pick something else?" "No, I *love* this book. I have to *have* it!" I was thrilled - this was the first time she actually coveted book-ownership, and am now shopping for the other books in the series, now out-of-print. One caveat - although the book deals beautifully with Jewish immigrant life on the Lower East Side, it also contains stereotyped references to other ethnic groups that were current when it was written. For example, non-Jewish "good" characters tend to be tall, thin, and (yes!) blond, and there are offensive descriptions of Poles and Italians. I found myself editing while reading (and still felt it necessary to discuss stereotypes and prejudice) - you might want to initiate a conversation with your child before or during the reading of this book. Enjoy!
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By A Customer on December 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
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 Amazon 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).
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