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

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  4,664 ratings  ·  314 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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Melody
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
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
John
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
Emily
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
Heather

"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
Cheryl
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
Qt
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
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
Zoe
Jan 21, 2015 Zoe rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2015
This is our current driving with kids in the car audio book - and it is completely marvelous!
Elliza
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
Jane
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.
Richard


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
Betsy
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.
Mary-Jane
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
Rodney Haydon
Another juvenile book that I somehow missed growing up. This story is about the four Melendy children, ages ranging from 13 to 6, who one rainy Saturday decide to form a club called ISAAC (Independent Saturday Afternoon Adventure Club). Each Saturday they pool together their allowances and take turns doing something they couldn't normally afford to do (museum, opera, circus, etc.). A very enjoyable story, with a chapter for each of them as they go on their separate adventures. I enjoyed this ver ...more
Tracy
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
Andrea
Jan 14, 2015 Andrea rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2015
A lovely story about four siblings in 1940s New York. One Saturday with nothing to do, they decide to pool their weekly pocket money so that every Saturday one of them will have enough to do something special.

I enjoy reading children's books from this time, but there's always the possibility of something that we today would consider unacceptable slipping in. In this case it's a story about a little girl being abducted for ransom by a pair of "gypsies". Other than that, though, this is a really
...more
Heather
This probably isn't *really* a five star book but I just loved it. Kind of reminiscent of the Ramona, Fudge, and Little House books in that it's very sweet and gentle in spirit. Mostly ordinary tales of mostly ordinary kids. All four the of the Melendy children are very distinctly drawn. Definitely about days gone by - pretty sure young kids don't just wander through NYC anymore without adults and they definitely don't spend a day in NYC on $1.50 - but I think that adds to the charm. I'll defini ...more
Kris Siegel
The Melendys remind me of my all-time-favorite family, the Brady Bunch. The four Melendy kids decide to pool their allowances and allow one kid at a time to use all the money to go on a grand adventure. These adventures happen on Saturdays, hence the title. Each child does something different and interesting on their Saturday. This is a lovely family story written in 1941 hold up pretty well today, but there are a few old-timey things that will prompt discussion. Sweet family read-aloud.
Debbie
Talk about a charming book with heart, The Saturdays has it all! It is hard to believe that Elizabeth Enright's Melendy Series has been around for so long, but it is truly a delight to read!

There are four children in the Melendy family in New York City: Mona, Miranda (called Randy), Rush, and Oliver. Each of them has different interests and through a very inventive use of their weekly allowance, they get to pursue those interests in turn on Saturdays.

Their adventures take them all over the city!
...more
Jill
A book about four siblings who live with their father and housekeeper in New York City around the time of the Second World War.

When you know the setting of a story, the language, exploits, beliefs, and socially acceptable and unacceptable behaviors fit in well. Such behaviors and attitudes do not sit well for stories set in the present day. So before you begin, be ready to be surprised at some of the stories and attitudes.

But it's a book of fiction. I'm amazed what some people will read and wr
...more
Qnpoohbear
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
Patricia
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
Melanie
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
Laura
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
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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
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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“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.” 0 likes
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