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The Vanderbeekers on the Road: 03/10/23
The Vanderbeekers on the Road by Karina Yan Glaser (2022) is the sixth book in the Vanderbeekers series. It starts where The Vanderbeekers Make a Wish (2021) ends. The family, plus Mr. B and Orlando, their dog, and the two cats for their Monterey aunt, are in the van and headed towards New Jersey as they being their arduous trip across the country.
The main goal is to get to Papa and to take him on the road trip Pop-Pop had planned before his untimely death. That alone with the ups and downs of a road trip in an old van would have been enough of a plot. Unfortunately there's a secondary plot involving interviews for Jessie and Orlando at Berkeley.
Jessie and Orlando's plot throws in a ton of secrecy and family sabotage that makes most of the children act out of character. The Vanderbeekers and Orlando are secretive when they're doing something good for someone — to avoid spoiling the surprise. To keep secrets for anything else just isn't how this family functions.
Further more, Oliver and Laney get so verklempt over Jessie and Orlando's plans, they sabotage their appointments. I get that they are young but the five books that come before this show that they know better. Sabotage isn't their go-to response. Their actions here serve only to add unnecessary tension and melodrama to the novel.