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The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden: 09/13/19
The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden by Karina Yan Glaser is the sequel to The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street (2017). Now friends with their grumpy upstairs landlord, the Vanderbeekers decide to cheer him up by making a community garden. When Mr. Jeet falls ill, they decide to dedicate it to everyone in the brownstone.
They plan to use the abandoned church property. They have permission from the caretaker but another stakeholder on the property has decided to sell the lot to a condo developer. The Vanderbeekers now face a tough decision: give up on their work so far, try to find a new and free place to garden, or rally the neighborhood to gain support to keep the sale from going through. They opt to the rally the neighborhood.
This book follows the adage "ask forgiveness, not permission." With the book set in Harlem, I wasn't entirely sure how likely the deal was to fall through. That made some of the book a nerve-wracking read. That said, I've seen plenty of deals fall through here, even though the Bay Area is a hot market.
This sophomore volume is unusual for a series book in that it sits on the road narrative spectrum, while the original book doesn't. The children, working in secret, with limited funds and limited permission, count as marginalized travelers (66). Their destination is the wildlands (99), in the form of a gray site, namely the overgrown lot next to the church. The route is the Blue Highway, namely the streets they walk up and down between the garden, their home, and the places where they get their plants and their materials (33). All together it's the tale of marginalized travelers going to the wildlands via the Blue Highway (996633).
The book has a similar charm as the Penderwicks and Lotterys series. The third book is The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue which comes out in this month.