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All-of-a-Kind Family (All-of-a-Kind Family #1)

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  17,826 Ratings  ·  700 Reviews
It's the turn of the century in New York's Lower East Side and a sense of adventure and excitement abounds for five young sisters - Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte and Gertie. Follow along as they search for hidden buttons while dusting Mama's front parlor, or explore the basement warehouse of Papa's peddler's shop on rainy days. The five girls enjoy doing everything ...more
Hardcover, 188 pages
Published August 23rd 2005 by Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers (first published 1951)
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Dana Weiczman I found these books when I was 8 or so, in mid 1960's Philadelphia, in the library. So glad I did. Love them.
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Community Reviews

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Feb 21, 2016 Manybooks rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys traditional family stories, anyone interested in Jewish-American culture
A heart-warming, gently humorous and informative family story, my one main regret is that I only recently discovered Sydney Taylor's All-of-a-Kind Family and its sequels.

Wonderful, delightful episodes show the joys, the struggles and the close family and neighbourhood ties of a Jewish-American family in early 20th century New York City. I love how the different Jewish holidays, how Jewish cultural and religious traditions are depicted and shown throughout the story, informatively, but with no hi
Mar 02, 2011 Melody rated it it was amazing
First re-read of this book in years uncountable.

This is the book from which I first learned about the Jewish faith. As a little heathen child, I'd been dragged to various Christian churches by friends and cousins, and I knew (I thought) all about that religion which was boring, boring, boring. But this...nobody I knew ever built a little bitty house in their backyard. Or got to eat parsley dipped in salt water. I was fascinated.

Not only was I a little heathen, I was also a little singleton. Re
Lisa Vegan
I first read this book about 50 years ago (yes, I am dating myself) and the last time I read it was probably 49 years ago. I remember loving the book at the time but I think read it just the years I was 9 and 10, and I think I always read library copies. I am wondering if I even read it in third grade but I don’t remember for sure, so I’m sticking with my original read date, which was when I was in fourth grade.

I did a reread, something I’ve long wanted to do, mostly because the Children's Books
Wendy Darling
Aug 06, 2014 Wendy Darling rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Little House, Betsy-Tacy, Eleanor Estes
This is a series I reread every year. No one else has ever captured the early 1900's in the Jewish lower side of New York like this, and it's fascinating to read about the holidays and customs and everyday life that this little troop of girls experiences. I still wish I could walk through those streets teeming with peddlers selling big dill pickles, candied orange slices, and spiced chick peas!

These books are great for those who love old-fashioned stories about growing up, like the Little House
All-of-A-Kind Family is made up of Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte, and Gertie, plus their Mama and Papa. They all live in the Lower East Side of New York City in the early 1900s. They are all Jewish. However, the book is more a “slice of life” story showing how things were for this particular family back in the days of yore. The Jewish bits really are just a few chapters relating how the family prepares for celebrates some specific Jewish holidays.

I have re-read All-of-Kind Family (AOAKF) many, m
All-of-a-Kind Family is another book I would have loved when I was younger - such a nice, wholesome story. I probably would have had to rush right out and find all of the All-of-a-Kind books. I still enjoyed the book very much reading it for the first time as an adult, and wouldn't mind reading more of them sometime. I really liked that although the family was poor, they were very happy and their lack of "things" wasn't a huge issue for them like it is in some stories. I also really enjoyed ...more
Hilary Woolf
Aug 01, 2016 Hilary Woolf rated it it was amazing
I am so suprised this book (appears to me ) to be unheard of in the UK. It took some trouble and cost quite a lot finding a copy, but so glad we did.

A beautiful book describing daily life of a close Jewish immigrant family. We loved the adventures of these sisters. Having lived in Israel, the descriptions of Jewish festivals brought back happy memories of time spent with friends. The descriptions of the festivals and their meaning for the family, illustrates how humans seem to benefit from ritu
Oct 18, 2007 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
Charming, sweet, heartwarming and thoughtful! This entire series is a gem. The family is so sweet, so tight-knit. While the book is a pure pleasure to read simply because you will love the family so much, it's also interesting from a historical/social standpoint to read about early 1900s America and this Jewish family's experience.
Hannah Messler
Apr 04, 2009 Hannah Messler rated it it was amazing
Hurrah! A Jewish tenement family in turn-of-the-century LES New York. My Mom can distinctly remember being in fourth grade, in her little bedroom in their trailer in Kentucky, reading this book while her Dad called her to come to dinner. If only for that, I would love this book, but it turns out the book is TOTALLY charming.
Apr 05, 2009 CLM rated it it was amazing
Recommended to CLM by: Ward School library
What a fabulous book! How many girls like me learned about Judaism from these books? I just picked up a copy for my nieces - I think we are having a slumber party next week and this would be great to read aloud.
This is yet another book that I've read and loved thanks to the very awesome ladies at The Midnight Garden. As another of their middle grade challenge read-along books, this is a new discovery for me and yet again, a lovely lil gem!

All-of-a-kind family is the kind of lil story that would really help children see how different things were quite a few years back, and it works the same way with adults. Every description felt so genuine, so well done, and nothing in the narrative, not the descriptio
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Dec 14, 2015 Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) rated it liked it
Recommends it for: kids aged 10-12 and their parents
Shelves: children
A nice, quiet read for another sleepless night, this story of a Jewish family on the Lower East Side at the beginning of the 20th century puts the "chapter" in "chapter book"--in the sense that each chapter can be read as a unit. That's my one complaint; there isn't really a unifying thread, or if there is, it feels chopped off at the end of each chapter, and the following one begins a completely different vignette with little to no sense of flow. The Gentile romance thread felt shoehorned in.

Naomi Sarah
Mar 11, 2016 Naomi Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
Aw, this book is SO CUTE. No, I didn't enjoy it half as much as I did when I read it first (as a younger person) - but I still like it a lot. Let's lists some of the goods and the bads, shall we?

The good.
1. It is, as I mentioned earlier, disastrously cute. The girls are cute, the writing is cute, the romance is cute, the stories are cute. (And now I'm tired of the word 'cute.')
2. Oh, and the pictures. OH I LOVE THE PICTURES IN HERE. They're just so classy and lovely and old-fashioned and r
Georgia Herod
May 07, 2014 Georgia Herod rated it really liked it
What a delightful read! Although this book was published in 1951, the year after I had started school, I had only read references to it or excerpts from it, until my 8-year-old granddaughter highly recommended it. She loved Ella, Henny, Charlotte, Sarah, and Gertie, the five girls in Sydney Taylor's family that is "close and loving and loyal," where harmony prevails, where faith is lived out in every aspect of life, where life is an adventure. My granddaughters love going to the library, just ...more
Laura Verret
I had chosen my books, narrowed them down to those I thought looked most promising, and begun to wait for my mother and sister to wrap up their purchases. The library sale was practically over. But while I was waiting, I figured that I might as well glance through the children's books one last time before we left..... and that's when I found All-of-a-Kind Family.

The Story.

Because All-of-a-Kind Family doesn’t exactly have a plot-line, it is difficult to describe what 'the story' is. Each chapter
Skylar Burris
Apr 06, 2010 Skylar Burris rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens, judaism
This children’s novel, set in the early nineteen hundreds in New York City, follows a year in the life of an orthodox Jewish family with five daughters. It provides a good overview to most of the Jewish holidays and was a good way of introducing my daughter to Jewish customs. (She kept asking me, however, why only the dad went to synagogue, and I wasn’t sure of the answer.) I personally didn’t find it very interesting; it’s slow-paced and not written in a particularly alluring style, and, on the ...more
Rebecca McNutt
I don't often read children's novels, but All-of-a-Kind-Family is both a classic and a wonderful story about history, friendship and growing up in New York. There are so many classics about growing up in rural areas and on farms, but very few that take place in an urban setting like this one.
Jan 13, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I just introduced this stellar series to a fourth grade Little House reader and she came back with stars in her eyes. Ella, Henny, Charlotte, Sarah, Gertie and Charlie, the sweetest little family on the Lower East Side, you did it again.
Mar 25, 2015 Abigail rated it it was amazing
this book gave everyone a perfect view of what growing up Jewish a long time ago. really adorable children that grow up in this really adorable world. what's not to love? I highly recommend this book. Thanks for taking the time to read my review.
Sep 19, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it
Wonderful! I loved the peek into daily life in a Jewish family of all girls, early 20th century NY. Charming and fun to read, with a couple of lovely plot twists toward the end. I would have recommended this book to myself around age 9-11. :)
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I read the whole series about 20 years ago and loved them. It was fun to follow the family as they moved around and as the various family members had adventures growing up.
Mar 01, 2015 Natalie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, junior-books
Very cute and easy read. The characters are charming and it was interesting to take a peak into the life of this sweet Jewish family of the early 1900's.
Sarah Grace
Oct 07, 2016 Sarah Grace rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
All of a Kind Family is just so amazing! Such a sweet story of a Jewish family living in the early 1900s. So sweet and innocent. I remember reading it when I was younger and loving it, and was beyond excited when I found out it was a series. The five little girls are so adorable. Their personalities are so unique and different, yet they get along so well. A must must read for pretty much anyone! Especially girls. 6 out of 5 stars! ;)

This special book opens the private doors into a warm, boisterous, Jewish home with five daughters, in New York's East Side in 1912. Although they were poor by external standards, this first-generation family was rich in more meaningful ways: loving, caring and sibling interaction. Imagine--5 girls sharing one bedroom in a four-room upstairs flat. It was quite a challenge to keep secrets from Mama and each other.

We are indebted to the author for the privilege of e
Dec 06, 2014 Janelle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juvenile
This book was originally published in 1951 but escaped my attention as a girl, despite its many comparisons to the Little House series in terms of importance to young readers. I just learned about it when listening to a talk on the Tenement Museum's YouTube channel. This book is known for being the first (or one of the first?) children's books that features Jewish characters. The story is set on New York's Lower East Side in the early twentieth century and features a working class family with fi ...more
Mar 13, 2011 Klippels rated it it was amazing

All of a Kind Family is a genuine treasure and must read for the family. As we started to read it as a family my daughter Gwyneth enjoyed listening to it so much, she took it during the day and finished it up. I couldn't resist either, I also read ahead and finished it too. Set in the turn of the century this book is simply about a sweet family. There is a mother, father, and five little girls. What I enjoyed so much about this book was the children's adoration for their parents, especially for
Sarah Sammis
Jul 11, 2008 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
Back in April I read and reviewed All-of-a-Kind Family Uptown by Sydney Taylor. Having so enjoyed it I went back to read the first in the series, All-of-a-Kind Family.

This first novel introduces the family, five girls, who jokingly call themselves an "all-of-a-kind" family since they don't have any brothers. As with the Uptown novel, the is told as a series of vignettes over the course of a year. One can track the timeline by following the Jewish holidays they celebrate: Passover, Purim and so f
Maureen E
by Sidney Taylor

I really love this family. It's one of those where I can believe that the girls would really both bicker and love each other as they do. And actually, there's not a lot of bickering. I think my favorite has always been Ella, just because she's the oldest and so am I (I tend to really identify with oldest children in books. Yes, I have problems with fairy tales.)

I also loved and love the glimpse into another culture. The family are observant Jews and their faith is the main underp
Apr 15, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
"All-of-a-Kind Family" is a wonderful children's book, following a young Jewish family in early 1900s New York. Each chapter is a short story in itself, a vignettes of a certain season or event in the lives of five sisters - eldest Ella, mischievous Henny, studious Sarah, daydreamer Charlotte, and little Gertie.

I first read "All-of-a-Kind Family" as a child, and loved it. Having no sisters myself, I was captivated by the sisters' interactions. Also, growing up in a Christian home, I was unfamili
Dec 03, 2010 Cami rated it really liked it
I give this four stars for education content.
This is a sweet slice-of-life tale of a young, large Jewish family living on the Lower East side of New York City at the turn of the century.
While reading, you get to follow around five little sisters through the neighborhood they knew at that time as well as a trip to Coney Island. The details are wonderful and kept on child-like terms, yet were still completely enjoyable and informative to me.
I read this with my 6 yr old daughter and she delighted i
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Taylor was born on October 31, 1904 on New York City's Lower East Side. Her Jewish immigrant family lived in poverty conditions, but they felt great respect and appreciation for the country that gave them hope and opportunities for the future. This childhood led Taylor eventually into writing.

Taylor started working as a secretary after she graduated from high school, married her husband, and spen
More about Sydney Taylor...

Other Books in the Series

All-of-a-Kind Family (5 books)
  • More All-of-a-Kind Family (All-of-a-Kind Family, #2)
  • All-of-a-Kind Family Uptown (All-of-a-Kind Family, #3)
  • All-of-a-Kind Family Downtown (All-of-a-Kind Family, #4)
  • Ella of All-of-a-Kind Family (All-of-a-Kind Family, #5)

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