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Ella of All-of-a-Kind Family Paperback – March 1, 2000

4.1 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sydney Taylor is the author of the All-of-a-Kind Family series.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Productions Ltd (March 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0929093054
  • ISBN-13: 978-0929093055
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,927,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Austin on August 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the fifth book in the series and focuses mostly on Ella. We still get to hear about Gertie and Charlotte's misadventures in babysitting and about Henny's hijinks in school, but the book does focus primarily on Ella. The year in 1919. The first World War is over. Women have had to step into men's roles during the war and now want something more. The Suffrage Movement has begun. Meanwhile, talented Ella is continuing her voice lessons and is soon discovered. Now Ella has a choice to make: Fame or family? Will she become a star or marry Jules? Older girls will probably appreciate this book more than younger girls. The previous books focused on all the girls which gives the reader several characters to relate to. Ella is a young woman now and is facing serious decisions which may bore younger readers. Overall it is a wonderful book and makes you wish all the girls and Charley had a book focusing just on them.
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Format: Paperback
Though this book is fairly good in its own right, the magic of the All of a Kind Family series has waned in this one. This book focuses a lot on Ella, who by this time is a fussy teenager and does not really interact with her younger siblings unless it is to complain about them embarassing her in front of her boyfriend Jules. The family dynamic was what made the other books in the series so delightful, but in this book all we see is Ella struggling to be free of them as she tries to find her independence. However, Ella is not charismatic enough to have the bulk of an entire book devoted to her. Her siblings, who rarely appear in this book, are the saving graces to the slow and weak plot. Here they are the same witty trouble-makers that they'd been in the previous books, but they do not appear enough to make this book as good as the others. If you like the other books in the series, this one is a big disappointment.
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Format: Paperback
I absolutely loved the All of a Kind Family series but I was disappointed in this one. As much as I liked Ella, I agreed with the reviewer who said she was disappointed in Ella. She was so close to her sisters in the other books but now she finds them a pain, especially Sarah, the one she was closest to. I realize Ella was 19 in this book, but Sarah was 15 so she and Ella should have had a lot more in common. I'm sorry the series ended with this book. I would have liked to see one more book--maybe one that took place 5 or 10 years later when the other children were young adults. I would have liked to have seen how they turned out. I also would have liked to have known about the 7th child. Was it a girl or a boy? It would have been nice to have some closure on this series.

By the way, just thought I'd throw this question out: Which child do you think Sydney Taylor was? Ella would have been too obvious. I thought maybe she was Charlotte since Charlotte was the dreamer and always making up stories, etc. But that might have been too obvious as well. Maybe Henny . . .
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Format: Hardcover
As a Jewish kid,it was unusual to find books about other Jewish kids. Thats why I loved these books so much;I especially liked how one of the girls was always getting into scrapes. And it was romantic when the eldest sister found a really great boyfriend. I think of these books as a kind of "Jewish Little Women" (another favorite of mine) but you don't have to be Jewish to enjoy them!
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Format: Paperback
It's 1919 and Ella, the eldest of six children, is 18. Although she holds a job and takes real enjoyment in her music lessons, Ella has long been anticipating the return of her boyfriend Jules from World War I.

Now he's back, and things aren't so simple. While Ella loves Jules and wants to marry him, she also wants to explore her singing talent and see where it might take her. The war may have afforded women a bit more freedom; but Ella still understands that Jules' patience for her dreams is limited. If she chooses one, she may lose the other forever.

Meanwhile, the rest of the family continues with the adventures of growing up. Youngest sisters Gertie and Charlotte get into a pickle when they decide to give a haircut to a cousin they're babysitting; Henny decides to run for the first female school representative at her high school; and tragedy strikes when little Charlie tries to keep up with bigger neighborhood boys in a rough game.

While some readers feel that this book doesn't ring quite the same as the others in the All-of-a-Kind Family series, as there isn't much focus on anyone besides Ella, and she is almost entirely preoccupied with her own life, it seems this is inevitable. There comes a time when all young adults struggle with their fates, Ella as well -- and test the world outside their home. Yet that familiar loving family is still waiting, supportive, regardless of what happens.
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Format: Kindle Edition
In this continuation of the charmingly quaint Turn-of-the-Century NY family series the story focuses on young Ella, who is studying serious voice with Professor Calvano. We meet her fiancé, Jules, who has just returned from duty in WW. Of course her younger siblings also get into typical juvenile scrapes: irrepressible Henny takes a hair cut too far and later defies the all-male tradition by running for term representative—launching her own Women’s Lib movement. Young Charlie becomes seriously injured as a result of being dared by older boys to attempt a dangerous skill beyond his neighborhood borders.

But it is Ella’s vocal career which presents the main dramatic conflict of this novella. A series of coincidences leads Ella to audition and be accepted for a new vaudeville turn called The Prancing Ponies--which requires weeks of hard work in rehearsals. There she deals with snobby and jealous chorus girls, plus the unwanted advances of a middle aged hoofer. Worst of all she feels a growing wedge between herself and her fiancé; once she goes on tour with the group they will be separated for at least a year. Is this the kind of singing career and lifestyle which she always wanted? Isn’t she supposed to be fulfilling Mama’s old dream—which she gave up to become a housewife? What about the close and loving Family Values her family has always demonstrated? How/when will Ella discover what she truly wants? A nice read for girls 12-16.
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