In Karina Yan Glaser’s The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden, the thoroughly charming Vanderbeeker children return, and they’re up to their same, always well-intentioned antics.
The Vanderbeekers love the other tenants with whom they share their Harlem brownstone. Their landlord, Mr. Biederman, and an elderly couple named Mr. Jeet and Miss Josie, are like extended family. When Mr. Jeet suffers a stroke, the children decide to convert the empty lot next to their building into a garden, a project that Miss Josie has longed to see done. A lack of permission and funds does not stop them. Even when they find out the land is being sold with the intent to build luxury condos, the children are determined to see their project through.
The characters are utterly appealing. The children quibble and get into small amounts of trouble for things like taking objects without permission and hiding their plans from the adults. Still, they love each other, and they always try to do the right thing.
The people in the children’s lives are just as likable, treating each other with great kindness and respect. Mr. Biederman, who lost his family in a traffic accident, is gently looked after as he continues a lifelong healing process. Mr. Jeet and Miss Josie are cherished and cared for as they deal with a major health crisis, and the children’s friends readily step in to help the Vanderbeekers work in the garden.
The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden finds a family leading with kindness and compassion, never giving up, and working together. This second installment in the series is a joy to read, and will leave enthusiastic fans wanting more.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.