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Comments for The Elevator Family
The Elevator Family: 09/17/14
The Elevator Family by Douglas Evans is the story of a strange family who come to visit San Francisco at a place like the Palace Hotel (but not) and end up spending their vacation in an elevator. It's a Yearling book and feels like a throwback to the ridiculous early chapter books published when I was a child.
These books work like situation comedies and are about as short as one as they come in under 100 pages. The problem is that for these books to play out their situation it requires very naive, stupid, or clueless protagonists. In this case, it's a family who somehow has the wherewithal to travel around the country and make it to a big city such as San Francisco but have still never heard of the concept of an elevator or lift. The other piece of the equation is that everyone else — the so called normal folks — have to treat the main characters as if nothing is wrong.
But of course, as these things go, the odd ball family makes instant friends with everyone they meet. The hotel doesn't evict them even though they are squatting in an elevator and steeling other guests' room service. In this case, the family befriends the bellhop, the flower shop gal, and a woman who lives in the hotel with her yappy dog. Together they manage to save the local newspaper baron's daughter from kidnappers.
And that brings up my last gripe with this book. San Francisco is a real place with a rich and already somewhat goofy history. But this book (written by a then Berkley based author) tosses in idiotic pseudo-facts about the area, like the Golden Gate bridge being named for someone named Goldengate. Really? If you want to do that sort of thing, just make a place.