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The Four-Story Mistake (Melendy Quartet) Paperback – January 22, 2008


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Frequently Bought Together

The Four-Story Mistake (Melendy Quartet) + The Saturdays (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: 750L (What's this?)
  • Series: Melendy Quartet (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish; Third Edition edition (January 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312375999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312375997
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,489 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

"The Melendys are the quintessential storybook family...[their] ardent approach to living is eternally relevant." -- Publishers Weekly

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This (and the other Melendy Family books) are definitely good "read-alouds" for the whole family.
H. Hertzog
There are some many moments in the Melendy series (of which I think this book is the best) that really stay with you always.
Suzanne Amara
Recently, I read The Four-Story Mistake out loud to a group of 5 to 8 year olds at summer camp, over the period of 4 days.
mylocat

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Amara VINE VOICE on January 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
There is something about this book that is very, very special. There are some many moments in the Melendy series (of which I think this book is the best) that really stay with you always. A few---Christmas eve, and Randy talking about how Christmas eve sometimes feels more special than Christmas---as you are waiting for everything---I think about that every Christmas eve. Oliver seeing the Luna moth. Mona coming home from her first dance. The way Cuffy is described---I can picture her as if I knew her. It's hard to use my own words to do any justice to Enright's words. Just will say---I hope you will try this book and let it become as special a part of your life as it is of mine.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
As a child I checked this book out because it was part of an collection of 3 Elizabeth Enright books(in one very large book now out of print) that was thick enough to put me first on our class reading chart (you moved up a level for every 100pgs). After 3 years and more than two dozen readings I returned it to the library. This book takes a child and thier imagination out to play with the Melendy kids and help them explore thier new house with all its secrets and adventures. Along the way it gives understanding of what it was like for American children in the WWII Era. For me this book inspired a lifelong interest in the real lives of people behind the statistics of our history. I have been looking for this book off and on for 20 years. Now I have found it and even better, my kids are old enough to go on Mona, Rush, Randy, and Oliver Melendy's adventures too. The Melendy's lives continue in the book Then There Were Five. Don't let the reasonable price fool you both books are treasures for a childs mind.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a book about the Melendy children-Mona, Rush, Randy and Oliver-who have lived in the city all their lives. Now they must move to an old mansion in the countryside, "The Four-Story Mistake." The house got its name because when built it was meant to be four stories, but was only built three stories high. The owners of the house built a cupola on top to make up for the missing fourth story. The house is full of places to hide and more adventures than anyone could imagine. I found the Melendy children very entertaining and their adventures quite humorous. I enjoyed this book a lot, and think it would be a very good book for other fifth-grade girls.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By PonyExpress on June 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
Elizabeth Enright(what a great name for an author!)wrote quite a few wonderful books which have been mostly out of print until recently-so if you're looking for great, real, imaginative stories, I'd suggest buying all of them. "The Four Story Mistake", as other reviewers have noted, is just a wonderful slice of life, with the Melendy children growing up, adjusting to life in "the country". When I read it 30 years ago, it made me desperate to live in a ramshackle victorian house(great escapism for urban kids)! Although the story is set almost 50 years ago, it really doesn't "date" at all. Read it and see!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By The Wingchair Critic on April 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
Elizabeth Enright's 'The Four-Story Mistake' (1942) focuses on a once-robust tradition that has all but disappeared from the American home: individual and family cultural development.

Today, when America has largely become a nation where most people 'view' rather than 'do,' a novel like 'The Four-Story Mistake' can be a healthy inspiration for children and young people concerned with improving themselves in addition to simply enjoying life.

The second title in Enright's Melendy family series, the book focuses on the four children's (Mona, Rush, Randy, and Oliver) adventures after moving from New York City to a fairly isolated house in the country.

Though the story follows the children as they explore the meadows, brooks, pastures, cellars, cupolas, and mysterious locked rooms of their new home, the book also subtly focuses on the children's developing talents and cultural interests.

These include Rush's composing, piano lessons, and classical musicianship, Mona's acting, Randy's sketching, painting, and dancing, and the sibling's love of producing musical and dramatic variety shows for interested audiences.

Enright is clearly so comfortable and familiar with this forwarding-reaching lifestyle that she is able to illustrate it without the slightest sense of pretension or priggish self-consciousness.

The Melendy children are merely living life as they have been raised to live it; they accept their father's guidance but constantly discover new enthusiasms of their own as well.

For instance, when Rush is sick and confined to bed, he's either reading a book or writing a short story called "The Ghost In The Dumbwaiter." Mona, a budding actress, naturally also devotes time to amateur playwriting.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although I bought this book for my 9-year old daughter, I decided to read it one Saturday afternoon when my supply of reading material ran out. I thoroughly enjoyed the book - it's a terrific story, the characters are wonderful, and the focus on family and the lack of "electronic entertainment" make it a book full of important lessons that have been mostly lost for kids today.
I wish, however, that I had realized that the book reveals the secrets behind Christmas - because of this, I have hidden the book until my daughter discovers this truth on her own. Kids today have too little magic in their lives, so I'm thankful that I read the book BEFORE she did. Please keep this in mind before ordering it for your child.
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