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The Saturdays (Melendy Quartet) Paperback – January 22, 2008


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The Saturdays (Melendy Quartet) + The Four-Story Mistake (Melendy Quartet) + Then There Were Five (Melendy Quartet)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 820L (What's this?)
  • Series: Melendy Quartet (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish; Third Edition edition (January 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312375980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312375980
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Welcome Back! Old favorites are being reissued in force this fall. Elizabeth Enright's Melendy Quartet follows siblings Mona, Rush, Miranda (Randy, for short) and Oliver. First published in 1941, The Saturdays kicks off the series and centers on the foursome's Independent Saturday Afternoon Adventure Club (I.S.A.A.C.), an allowance-endowed venture formed so one lucky Melendy can enjoy a solo sojourn each week. In The Four-Story Mistake (1942) the family moves from their city brownstone to the country; Then There Were Five (1944) describes what happens when the siblings befriend an orphan; and in Spiderweb forTwo: A Melendy Maze (1951), when everyone else leaves for school, Randy and Oliver are left to solve a mystery. The author's charming pen-and-inks punctuate all four volumes. (Sept.)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Enright has a quick eye for the unexpected, the amusing and the beautiful in what might be just ordinary experiences." -- The New York Times
 
"The Melendys are the quintessential storybook family...[their] ardent approach to living is eternally relevant." -- Publishers Weekly

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Very engaging well-written stories.
S. Z. Simonton
I loved this book as a child, and gave it to my first grade daughter to read over our week-long vacation.
MCG
This is the first book in the best series ever written!
storyreader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Chrijeff VINE VOICE on October 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"The Saturdays" has been among my favorite juveniles since I discovered it in the library 40 years ago. I'm now in my 50's and can't count how many times I've gone back and reread it. What a treat to see that, at last, some astute editor has had the savvy to bring it back into print so modern audiences can enjoy it--and in a durable hardcover at that. This is a perfect read-aloud for families, in part perhaps because of the age-spread of the four children: preschoolers will envy six-year-old Oliver his lone excursion to the circus, young teens will identify with 13-year-old Mona's stirrings of adolescent rebellion as exemplified by her decision to have her "long butter-colored braids" cut off, and middlers will like 10-year-old Randy's creation of the Independent Saturday Afternoon Adventure Club and the unique situations that befall her (like befriending the formidable and exotic Mrs. Oliphant or tumbling out of a rowboat on Central Park Lake). Each child is a real human being and an individual character whom Enright draws to perfection. And the setting (New York in, probably, early 1940 or '41) will intrigue the younger generations and bring a glow of nostalgia to the older ones. This book should be in every household library in the land!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 14, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My daughter, age 9 and I both read The Saturdays over the past few months along with Four-Story Mistake. We loved this family and found each character fun. I loved their adventures and wish I had read these books as a child. I recommend this book to anyone who values their child's mind and wants to protect them from the abundance of nonsense in some children's literature.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Ann E. Nichols on July 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
My original review was written 14 July 1998. This is an addition for readers (and potential readers) who are (or would be) as puzzled as I once was when the book said the Melendy children played a noisy game of "Dumb Crambo". Over 20 years after I first read THE SATURDAYS, I was lucky enough to get a copy of VICTORIAN PARLOUR GAMES by Patrick Beaver that includes it.
To paraphrase, in Dumb Crambo, the players are split evenly into two teams. One team leaves the room while the remaining team chooses a verb. When the first team comes back in, the second team tells them another verb that rhymes with the first verb. The first team must guess the secret verb by acting it out. For example [not the one given], if the secret verb is "fly", the first team might be told "try". If they guess it's "spy", they act out someone spying on someone else. If they're wrong, the second team hisses them. The first team keeps trying until they act out the right verb.
It's called "dumb crambo" because it's a variation of a game called "crambo." In the original, only one person leaves the room and any kind of word may be chosen. The guesser is still told a word that rhymes with the secret word. The trick is that you have to ask questions that might get you the secret word WITHOUT naming the word you're guessing. For instance, if you think the secret word is "bus", you might ask "Is it a big ground vehicle that carries a lot of passengers?"
I think it shows something of the personalities and intelligence of the Melendy children that they would enjoy Dumb Crambo.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The weekend is always something to look forward to, whether as a break from school or a job (or both). And there is something extra in the weekends in "The Saturdays," the first of Elizabeth Enright's charming books about the rambunctious Melendy family: money and adventure.

Mona, Rush, Randy and Oliver Melendy are bored, one rainy Saturday. But then they come up with a unique idea: since their individual allowances aren't enough for them to do anything, they decide to pool them together, and every Saturday one of them will go on a solitary trip. Thus is formed I.S.A.A.C, their secret adventure club.

Using the money turns out to be an adventure in itself: Mona has a shocking makeover, Randy's artistic explorations lead her to an unlikely friendship with an old lady, Oliver gets lost at the circus, and Rush finds a lovable stray on the way home from the "opry." And when they decide to use the money as a group, the kids continue having offbeat problems...

"The Saturdays" is basically a string of short stories -- aside from I.S.A.A.C., there is no real plot. But it's fun to get to know the Melendy family, and watch as they fall out of boats, deal with minor disasters, listen to tales of gypsy kidnappings, and undergo the growing pains of adolescence.

Since the book was written in the early 1940s, there is a charming "old" air to the book, including a dramatic story near the end where the family almost "suffocaters" from coal gas. It was definitely in a safer time, if preteens were allowed to roam through New York. But the stories themselves could take place anytime, and perhaps anyplace -- falling out of boats, getting to know older and wiser people, and taking pity on animals.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ava Esposito on July 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
The Saturdays is a swell piece of reading :)
It is upbeat, agreeable, and not so deep that one would get bogged down by all sorts of disasters, unfortunate luck, etc that befall many subjects in books for the 8-12 set.
Older readers will also enjoy if you're looking for something breezy.
This story seems as if it really could have happened. It's light and amusing, but with a few serious close calls. Parents will enjoy reading to their youngsters, perhaps a few chapters at a time, and more developed readers on their own, or even as a family this book will be enjoyed on a rainy Saturday afternoon or evening, while taking turns reading aloud.
If you love this book, then you will most likely love the others by this wonderfully talented author.
In sum, it is positive, decent and filled with adventure.
The ending is fantastic.
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