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Academic Discourse at Havana by Wallace Stevens
All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
Arabella by Georgette Heyer
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Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold
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All-of-a-Kind Family: 07/11/08

Back in April I read and reviewed All-of-a-Kind Family Uptown by Sydney Taylor. Having so enjoyed it I went back to read the first in the series, All-of-a-Kind Family.

This first novel introduces the family, five girls, who jokingly call themselves an "all-of-a-kind" family since they don't have any brothers. As with the Uptown novel, the is told as a series of vignettes over the course of a year. One can track the timeline by following the Jewish holidays they celebrate: Passover, Purim and so forth.

The book is more than just a primer for American Jewish culture and religion. It is a heartwarming story of a family facing the day to day struggles that any family faces: illness, finance, emotional upheaval and just the general chaos of parenting children.

The mother plays a more active role in this book. She comes up with an ingenious way to make the girls do their cleaning chores (something I plan to implement with my two children when they are a little older), the frustration of a child who suddenly refuses to eat (another thing I have in common with her), the personal sacrifices a parent will make when a child is ill and finally the exhaustion of parenting while pregnant. I really enjoyed getting to know her better.

All of these threads are woven through the fabric of Europe on the verge of WWI. Reading All-of-a-Kind Family will give one an appreciation for what life was like more than 90 years ago.

Comments (4)

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Comment #1: Saturday, July, 12, 2008 at 11:53:03

Carrie, Reading to Know

I just recollected the whole series (not sure what happened to the copies I used to own) and was staring at them the other day thinking I needed to give them another read through! GREAT memories of this series as I was growing up. Fun, fun!"

Comment #2: Saturday, July, 12, 2008 at 13:54:25


I've been checking them out from my local library but I may break down some day and buy the entire set."

Comment #3: Saturday, July, 12, 2008 at 12:15:30


I've had this book sitting on the shelf for quite some time now. I wonder why I never read it when I was young. Someday I will correct that. Soon, I hope."

Comment #4: Saturday, July, 12, 2008 at 13:59:10


Read it a chapter a night; that's what I did. Happy reading."

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