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The Saturdays (The Melendy Family #1)

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,962 Ratings  ·  396 Reviews
Saturdays can make dreams come true when the Melendy
children take turns to spend their pooled allowances. Actor Mona 13 recites poetry and Shakespeare at the drop of a hat. Engineer Rush 12, mischievous, builds Meccano bridges. Miranda "Randy" 10 dances and paints pictures. Oliver, 6, calm and thoughtful, is a train engineer. Father writes. Housekeeper Cuffy mothers.
Hardcover, 177 pages
Published 2002 by Henry Holt and Company (first published 1941)
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Amanda If you like Edward Eager or Eleanor Estes, you'll like this.

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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Melody
Jul 01, 2011 Melody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
6/11 Re-read. I don't know if I think this book is practically perfect because I know it by heart, because I love each and every one of the characters, or because the writing is stellar. Maybe all of those things. Enright was a genius, and it makes me sad when people have never heard of her.

This time through, the Isaac-the-dog storyline seemed somehow more touching than usual. I love Mona's sadder-but-wiser moment, and Oliver's adventure. But my favorite favorite is the story of Gabrielle and th
...more
Ellie
Apr 06, 2012 Ellie rated it it was amazing
4.75

See, I wouldn't really describe this book as "amazing," not because it's NOT amazing, but because "amazing" seems too modern a word for a book which was published in the nineteen thirties or forties; the word seems wrong somehow. These were really, really swell (see, that's more fitting for the time period) books. They're like an extinct species. Authors just don't write like this anymore. Rick Riordan, J.K. Rowling....all of my favorite authors, practically, the ones from this age anyway, t
...more
Emily
Sep 23, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was not an obvious choice as a read-aloud for a nine-year-old boy (it was one of those times when I didn't have a book for him waiting on deck, and had to delve into my own shelves in desperation), but it worked surprisingly well, even the beauty parlor chapter. T laughed a great deal at Rush's witticisms, which surprised me -- I know the book so nearly by heart, I'd almost forgotten that a lot of his lines are meant to be funny and surprising, and not as inevitable as the rising and settin ...more
An Odd1
Sep 14, 2013 An Odd1 rated it did not like it
Adults who allow and encourage cruelty to children is not acceptable, neither is this book. Housekeeper Cuffy "fat in a nice, comfortable way" p 9, with harsh soap scrubs, makes baths and hair painful. Mona 13 spends her fair share of pooled Saturday allowances on professional haircut and manicure. I had the same too-heavy long blonde braid, private exhilaration, public approbation. Manicures heal and prevent infected fingernails. Called "silly .. vain" p 98 "fool .. concerned about yourself" se ...more
John
May 07, 2012 John rated it it was amazing
Elizabeth Enright's Melendy Quartet of books are ostensibly children's books, but they are much more than that.

I read The Saturdays with my son when he was about 6 years old and we enjoyed it very much. This last year I read it again with my 5 year old daughter and it has only gotten better on the second pass.

The story is of four children from the ages of 6 to 13 in 1930s New York City who have decided to pool their weekly allowance. Each week one then takes the pool to use the money to go on a
...more
Ivan
Apr 01, 2015 Ivan rated it really liked it
Delightful. 1941 - four siblings decide to pool their allowance and each Saturday one takes it all (a whopping $1.50) to do something special - go to a museum, an opera, the circus. A Very special book filled with great warmth and good humor. Episodic and easy to read, this is a classic for good reason.
Heather
Jul 02, 2011 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"It would have to rain today," said Rush, lying flat on his back in front of the fire. "On a Saturday. Certainly. Naturally. Of course. What else would you expect? Good weather is for Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday; and rain's for Saturday and Sunday, and Christmas vacation and Easter."

"Oh, Rush, do stop grousing," said Mona, turning a page peacefully. She wasn't even listening to what he said; all she heard was the grumble in his voice. (3)


Thus starts The Saturdays, Enright's first b
...more
Josh Ang
Dec 23, 2013 Josh Ang rated it really liked it
One of my childhood favourites, I revisited this book and found the story of the four Melendy children in 1940s New York still as engaging as an adult - I was also struck by how well-written, linguistically this children's book was, that made it stand head and shoulders above some others I have read.

Of course, in the current climate of PC-correctness, one has to acknowledge that the White, upper-middle class background of the children gave their concerns about enjoying their Saturdays an insulat
...more
Amy Kannel
Jun 24, 2016 Amy Kannel rated it really liked it
Sweet, lighthearted story about four likable children and their adventures in 1940s New York City (which are nearly impossible to fathom...9yo going out on her own for the day?!?). My 8yo wasn't super into this but the 5yo *loved* it and was begging to listen to more Melendy stories.
Qt
Mar 16, 2009 Qt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama
Lovely, charming book! I loved reading about 1940s city life and all the adventures the Melendy kids have. Great fun.
Tricia Douglas
Another good children's book from Enright. Four children live in NYC and pool their money in order to have their own adventures. This takes places in the 1940s so maybe things were different back then, but wandering around a big city without supervision is a little dangerous in my mind. Enright does a wonderful job of telling individual tales about the children visiting an art museum, an opera, the circus, etc. It's a nice story and one that I found entertaining. There are four books in this ser ...more
Julie  Durnell
Feb 13, 2015 Julie Durnell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
This book of the four motherless siblings is an old-fashioned tale to be sure, but it was well written. Each child, their father, and grandmotherly housekeeper were wonderful characters from a simpler time and way of life; ie: allowing children to roam New York City on their own! The children are typical kids who misbehaved and were mischievous but are also respectful and polite. The exploits on their "Saturday" were well thought out and planned, exhibiting their own interests and dreams! This w ...more
Juliana
Feb 20, 2015 Juliana rated it really liked it
Recommended to Juliana by: Children's Books Group
I always like children stories like this, when everything was so much simpler. No TV, no cellphone, no video games. Just the children, sometimes with the dog, and the backyard or playground.

Reading The Saturdays reminds me a lot of my own childhood. I am so lucky to have been raised in a small city in Papua island, in the east of Indonesia. Our house was near the sea. The beach was only 10-15 minutes walk. I remember watching the sun rises from our windows. Running around and playing in the dirt
...more
QNPoohBear
Apr 11, 2014 QNPoohBear rated it it was amazing
In The Saturdays we are introduced to the Melendy family. There's an often absent but loving father; a strict but kind housekeeper/cook/nanny, and of course the children: Thirteen-year-old Mona who is going to be an actress; Twelve year old Rush, a piano prodigy who wants to make music AND be an engineer; Randy (Miranda) age 10 1/2, who dances like a fairy and wants to be both an artist and a dancer; Olivier, age 6, thoughtful and determined. Bored with their ordinary lives, the Melendys decide ...more
Maureen E
The Saturdays is one of those books that I read over and over again when I was younger. Like Swallows and Amazons, it had a family doing adventurous things that I would never have the chance to, partly because of the accidents of location. (Believe me, I tried to make up for it–remind me to tell you how I made my sister pretend to be Nancy and Peggy Blackett with me.) Anyway, the Melendys were always an enchanting family. Despite being the oldest, and therefore having a great deal of sympathy fo ...more
Abigail
Mar 25, 2015 Abigail rated it it was amazing
This book was so cute and funny. It was about four kids who got to go out every Saturday. one person would go out with everyone else's allowance and go somewhere they always wanted to go. they cant spend it on toy though. They have to spend it on an experience. You never know what will happen next in this book. This book is good for kids of all ages. I would recommend this book to everybody! Thanks for taking the time to read my review.
Stephanie
These are stories revolving around 4 children: Rush, Mona, Randy & Oliver and of course they get into all sorts of adventures. :) I've read the first book, The Saturdays, and loved it. The Saturdays is about the adventures that the children have on Saturdays - they come up with the idea to pool their allowance money so that they can take turns doing something that they REALLY want to do on their Saturday. One goes to a concert, another goes to a museum, and, of course, adventures happen. The ...more
writer...
Fun audio listen to the adventures of this 1940s era family living in NY. Each of the children unique with varied interests that get them into trouble or unusual situations. A freedom for children that isn't possible today, it was a pleasure to participate in their fun.

Excellent audio of the Melendy Family experiences, I'd enjoy carrying on with them in their further activities in the series.
Izzy
Nov 04, 2015 Izzy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 6th-grade
I loved this book! I just thought everything about it was really good. It was really fun hearing about how the kids spent their Saturdays differently. I loved their house, their adventures, the different personalities of all the kids. I will definitely be reading all the sequels!
Rea K
Jun 08, 2015 Rea K rated it really liked it
It was fun. And definitely for children. And dated. I rolled my eyes when the family freaked out over the haircut and the nail polish even though the other daughter had short hair. My family barely notices when I cut my hair, they'd probably notice if I dyed it bright pink, but not a mere haircut. The nail polish may have been more of a freakout thing, because it's the 1940s. And it's red.
Seems like a fun group of kids.
Annette
Jul 18, 2011 Annette rated it really liked it
Somehow I missed out on Elizabeth Enright while I was growing up, an oversight I intend to avoid for my children! "The Saturdays" is exactly what children's literature should be: innocent, erudite, interesting, and fun. I enjoyed reading about a New York City in which 10 year olds could be allowed out on their own without anyone calling the cops having the parents arrested for endangerment and neglect. And I loved the fact that what our kids wanted to do on their days off was visit an art museum ...more
Rosie McCann
Jun 16, 2016 Rosie McCann rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This is a really sweet, charming children's book. I really enjoyed it. Randy was my favorite Melendy - but I liked them all. :)
Namitha Varma
The Melendy kids are such a delight. The Saturdays makes a great children's book. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the quartet.
Melody
Sep 29, 2013 Melody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love these books. I hate, hate, hate the new covers. Hate. What in the world could be better than Maginel's little girl's watercolors? Ahem.

Oh how I love Enright's books. This one has a special place in my heart, naturally. They all do. This one has the alligator! Oliver! The bob! The opera- though even Enright failed to make me appreciate opera in real life.

One must never forget Enright's keen eye for botanizing. One can rest assured that if Enright says it's blooming, then it is in fact bloo
...more
Shelby
Sep 14, 2015 Shelby rated it it was amazing
Shelves: great-audiobooks
Good old fashioned fun. Great audiobook with the kids.
Zoe
Jan 21, 2015 Zoe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
This is our current driving with kids in the car audio book - and it is completely marvelous!
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
The Melendys aren't rich. They can't be rich because there are four kids in a motherless family. With a large house, a housekeeper and handyman, and summer-long vacations at the shore. Dad is a professor who travelled the Continent while his wife was still alive, and is mostly absent speaking and travelling and all like that while the hired help take up the slack.
That sounds like I dislike the book, and I don't. I enjoyed reading it and devoured it in about 24 hrs. But as an acquaintance of min
...more
Amy Forrester
May 29, 2015 Amy Forrester rated it it was amazing
One boring Saturday afternoon, the Melendy siblings decide to pool their allowances to create the Independent Saturday Afternoon Adventure Club (I.S.A.A.C.). Using that money, each Melendy gets to decide on their very own, independent adventure. Rush sees an opera, Mona gets a make-over, Randy visits a gallery full of beautiful French paintings, and Oliver takes in the circus at Madison Square Garden. Along the way the siblings make new friends, hear wonderful stories, and narrowly escape disast ...more
Elizabeth
Feb 09, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, realistic
As much as I love Enright's Gone-Away books, I love this series even more. I’ve read them so many times that I know the lines, the scenes, etc. The Melendy family is like an old friend that I go to visit every once in a while, and enjoy spending time with them every time.

This book is funny, much funnier (in my opinion) than Gone-Away, but maybe that’s because there’s simply more people in it (or seems to be more people, anyway). The Melendy children all have their own quirks, their own interests
...more
Elliza
Jun 08, 2014 Elliza rated it it was amazing
This is an incredibly beautiful book set in Manhattan, during pre- and early WWII. The author, Elizabeth Enright, uses enough from her own childhood and world to enrich this, but it's never preachy or formulaic. The writing is refreshing, extremely funny at times, exact, accessible but complex enough for adults to enjoy, and just in general beautifully done -- Elizabeth Enright is not only a fine author of children's books, she wrote gorgeous adult fiction and did many of the wonderful illustrat ...more
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Elizabeth Enright (1907-1968) was born in Oak Park, Illinois, but spent most of her life in or near New York City. Her mother was a magazine illustrator, while her father was a political cartoonist. Illustration was Enright's original career choice and she studied art in Greenwich, Connecticut; Paris, France; and New York City. After creating her first book in 1935, she developed a taste, and quic ...more
More about Elizabeth Enright...

Other Books in the Series

The Melendy Family (4 books)
  • The Four-Story Mistake (The Melendy Family, #2)
  • Then There Were Five (The Melendy Family, #3)
  • Spiderweb for Two: A Melendy Maze

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“All over the city lights were coming on in the purple-blue dusk. The street lights looked delicate and frail, as though they might suddenly float away from their lampposts like balloons. Long twirling ribbons of light, red, green, violet, were festooned about the doorways of drugstores and restaurants--and the famous electric signs of Broadway had come to life with glittering fish, dancing figures, and leaping fountains, all flashing like fire. Everything was beautiful. Up in the deepening sky above the city the first stars appeared white and rare as diamonds.” 2 likes
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