The Saturdays (The Melendy Family, #1)
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The Saturdays (The Melendy Family #1)

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  4,156 ratings  ·  289 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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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

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
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

"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 bo...more
An Odd1
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
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
Cheryl in CC NV
Not sure how I missed this when I was a child. I adored Thimble Summer (and still do). It's a little implausible (how convenient that the children have no mother and a largely absent father and just exactly enough money, pluck, and affection for one another!), but still charming. A little slow to get into, I thought, but beautifully written. At this stage of my life I don't feel driven to read the others but I probably will at some point. I did like that it didn't shy away from mentioning the Wa...more
Mar 16, 2009 Qt rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: drama
Lovely, charming book! I loved reading about 1940s city life and all the adventures the Melendy kids have. Great fun.
Josh Ang
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
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
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
This author was one whose books I reread constantly as a child (still do....). The idea of children wandering around New York to spend their pocket money now seems fraught with danger but this is such a safe, happy world. I adored the Office with its trapeze and the whole book seemed so far away and exotic to me in England.

Very real children, talented but not unbelievably so, and a beautifully readable, engrossing story.

Elizabeth Enright: The Saturdays - Kids on the loose in 1940 New York

In third grade in Boston when I was seven or eight and it was 1951 or 2 my third grade teacher read the class the opening chapter of this novel of brothers and sisters, two of each ages, 6 to 13, and their adventures in the city where they live. I read the whole thing then and just read it again.

It's a lost New York now - the kids trapped inside on a rainy day hear cars and horses out on the street. The world of 1940 wasn't tha...more
I've tried in the past to read the Melendy books, but couldn't get into them. I read this one today and greatly enjoyed it; I'm about to delve into "The Four-Story Mistake." I am grateful to the Maudlers who kept praising them.
Penny McGill
This is the perfect read for a rainy Saturday or any Saturday. I am sure that any child could find something in the Melendy kids that reminds them of a friend or of something in their own personality.
Laura Shank
I'm reading my way back through my childhood. I loved this book as a kid, and when I stumbled upon it on the library website, I had to read it again.
Due to the positive reviews of this book, I had expected something more.

My main criticism of the book is that it is dated with its language and context (1941). The characters often use old fashioned words "keen". One misadventure is the misuse of the furnace resulting in coal gas throughout the house, a situation that would require explanation for today's reader. The 6 year old's excursion to the circus by himself was not believable to me. The children in general are hardly supervised, different...more
This is a sweet kids book I saw on a list of the best books for kids. The four Melendy kids decide to each take a turn at a Saturday adventure by pooling their allowance and letting each pick an adventure in New York City. You can tell this book was written a loooong time ago b/c the kids are 12, 10 and maybe even younger when they are trooping around NYC. A cute book, cute adventures, and old timey fun.

As much as I liked it, it's definitely for kids about 8 years old or so. I doubt I'll pick u...more
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
The Melendys consist of 4 children: Rush, Mona, Randy and Oliver, one housekeeper, Cuffy, and one largely busy with his own life Dad. The mother is dead. Action takes pace in 1941 in a brownstone on 57th St. in Manhattan.

The chldren, aged 13, 12, 10 and 6, receive an allowance every week. They decide to pool their resources on rainy saturdays so that each child gets a chance to use the whole amount on whatever she likes. With permission from the father, the children may leave the house on their...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
In this first installment of a quartet readers are introduced to the Melendy family. Mona is the oldest, then Rush, Randy and little Oliver. They are quite precocious children. However they often find themselves bored. They each have things that they would individually love to do but the siblings wouldn't. It's Randy to the rescue with the wonderful idea of I.S.A.A.C. The Independent Saturday Afternoon Adventure Club. Each child will donate their allowance to the child who's "Saturday" it is. Th...more
I'm so sad that I missed getting to know the Melendy family when I was actually the right age to read these books! The four Melendy children -- Mona, Randy (short for Miranda), Rush, and Oliver -- decide to pool their allowances so that each of them can have a Saturday adventure. Each child goes off and experiences something that they love. Mona gets a stylish haircut, Rush goes to the opera, and Oliver has an amazing adventure for a six-year-old. The story is sweet, funny, and exciting. I alway...more
This book is a lot like Five Children and It, Swallows and Amazons and other books of the same era: a (much bigger than is common today) collection of siblings have Amazing Adventures due to a (shocking, today) lack of adult supervision. While E. Nesbit focuses on the healthy use of imagination, this book focuses on actual get-outside adventures, some of which teach the kids Important Lessons and others of which help them Make Friends. Despite my use of capital letters, I was actually charmed by...more
The Melendy family is one of those impossibly arty, well-read and precocious gangs of wise-cracking siblings that commonly populate children's literature. That said, these four are still charming and engaging, even without magic to enliven their exploits. (Sibling posses like this usually get to enjoy magical adventures, à la E. Nesbit.) There is a fair amount of teasing but the siblings are generally kind and generous to each other.

This is a book about independence, and the heady thrill of goin...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenn O'Brien
I love the nostalgia of this book. It was written and set in the early 1940s. The attitudes, pacing and writing style are all a throwback to a bygone era.

The four children (the main characters) are adventurous and clever. They come up with the idea of collecting their allowance (a whole 50 cent a week for the older three and a dime for the 6-year old) to have a day of experiencing life.

They have dinner at noon and then go off on their own in New York City to explore museums, plays, art galleries...more
Tara Carpenter
I loved this well-written and charming book about 4 children living in NYC in the 1940s (?). These children are everything I want my children to be: self-sufficient, responsible, adventurous, but still obedient, kind & loyal to each other. They have a lot of amazing adventures. I would recommend this to adults and to children EXCEPT...

There are situations that are not really in keeping with the world today. Throughout the book I was struck by how different the world is now; sometimes better...more
“The Togetherness Kids”

How to spend your delicious Saturday afternoons in New York City when you only have a 50-cent allowance? Well, the four Melendy siblings decide to pool their resources and create their own private, Saturday afternoon club. That way each one in turn (well, not actually Oliver cuz he’s only six) can enjoy one special afternoon a month doing something really Special! Sounds great, but there are unexpected complications—and rewards—as each child chooses an outing tailor made...more
This book is the first of a series about the Melendys, a family of 4 children who live with their dad in a Manhattan brownstone during the 1940s. The children start a club in which they pool their allowances to give each a turn (on a Saturday) to spend the money in any way they please.

The first half of the book is sweet. The Melendys are enjoyable characters, and their adventures have gentle humor and interest, such as befriending a homeless dog. However, the book grew stressful to my 7-yr-old...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...
Gone-Away Lake (Gone-Away Lake, #1) Thimble Summer Then There Were Five (The Melendy Family, #3) The Four-Story Mistake (The Melendy Family, #2) Return to Gone-Away (Gone-Away Lake, #2)

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