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

4.24  ·  Rating Details  ·  17,104 Ratings  ·  666 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 togethe ...more
Hardcover, 188 pages
Published August 23rd 2005 by Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers (first published 1951)
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) Read a few of the reviews posted here. Read the blurb under the title. Better yet, try reading the book!
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Manybooks
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
...more
Melody
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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
Beth - I SNIFF BOOKS
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
...more
Luann
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 read ...more
Kathryn
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.
CLM
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.
Deb
Aug 05, 2007 Deb rated it it was amazing
These books are underappreciated! In my mind they rank with the Little House books - every little girl should read them!
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
...more
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.

In
...more
Pili
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
...more
QNPoohBear
At the turn of the 20th century, a family of five little girls, known as the All of a Kind Family, live with their Mama and Papa in the Lower East Side of New York. They enjoy visiting the library and choosing books with the kind library lady; buying and eating treats; poking around Papa's peddler shop; visiting Coney Island and celebrating holidays both American and Jewish.

This story is the first in a series. It's a series of vignettes about the seasonal activities of ordinary girls. The stori
...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
...more
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
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 li ...more
Namratha
All-of-a-kind Family (#1) is a sweet idealistic tale about the everyday adventures of five young siblings, Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte and Gertie. These bursting-with-beans sisters belong to a poor immigrant family that live in New York's Upper East Side at the turn of the century.

The book is replete with the coziness, petty squabbles and rose-tinted dreams that close siblings share. While it does give a glimpse into Jewish culture, it was more about how these little ladies managed to have th
...more
Abigail
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.
Michelle
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. :)
Jennifer
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.
Jennifer S. Brown
Feb 04, 2015 Jennifer S. Brown rated it it was amazing
My 9-year-old daughter can't handle books with anything scary or tense, which makes for some really boring reading. Which is why I was so happy to re-discover the All-of-a-Kind Family. The adventures of the five girls aren't wild or extreme--in fact, they are quite tame--but it's such a wonderful insight into life in New York City pre-WWI and a way to see how our own immigrant ancestors might have lived. The Jewish elements of the story are woven in, not forced at all, and my daughter loved seei ...more
Natalie
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.
Brenda
Jul 25, 2014 Brenda rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Brenda by: Classic Middle Grade read-along
I loved how All-of-a-Kind Family was short little stories about this close knit family. I loved how it wasn't just centered on the five girls points of view, but included Mama and Papa's as well. I learned a great deal about the Jewish culture and customs from how the holidays are depicted as the seasons went by. With the inclusion of their extended family of Tanta's and Uncle's I had a rich view of the Jewish-American family during the early 1900's. I also adored how Charlie and the Librarian h ...more
Maggie Anton
Mar 29, 2014 Maggie Anton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
I first read this book when I was a child and loved it, along with the sequels. I have reread it many times as I've gotten older and still enjoy it. Growing up in a secular Jewish home, this is where I learned so much about Jewish holidays and life cycle events. I proudly admit that this series was kind of a blueprint for my Rashi's Daughters, Book I: Joheved: A Novel of Love and the Talmud in Medieval France trilogy - a multivolume saga of a Jewish family with lots of daughters set in a fascina ...more
Janelle
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
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
...more
Cami
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
...more
Gale
FAMILY VALUES IN OLDE NEW YORK

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
...more
Kate
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
...more
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5323
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
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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