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The Not-Just-Anybody Family (Blossom Family #1)

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  275 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
When Junior Blossom wakes up in the hospital, his last memory is of crouching on the barn roof with cloth wings tied to his arms, and of Maggie and Vern in the yard below, urging him to fly. That had been just before Junior spotted a police car approaching the farm in a cloud of dust.

Meanwhile Pap, the children's grandfather, sits in disgrace in the city jail. He was arres

Published 1991 by Macmillan Children's Books (first published 1986)
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May 19, 2011 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kate by: read to our 4th grade class by Mr. Harrison
I've been looking for this book for a while. All I could remember was one scene. But it was a very memorable scene.

In 4th grade (circa 1989), my teacher would read to us at the end of class while we sat with our eyes closed. I remember him reading a scene where the teacher in the book had the students close their eyes, but the main character didn't, and he saw his teacher use the moment to adjust her bra straps. My teacher made a comment before he read this scene to the effect of: "Well, if you
Aug 31, 2014 Laurie rated it really liked it
Interesting, surprising, beautifully written. Loved this little book.
Katie Fitzgerald
This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.

The Blossom kids know better than to hang around when the police show up, so when the cops come looking for their grandfather, Pap, both Maggie and Vern run off into the woods and hide. Unfortunately, Junior, their brother, is on the roof of the barn attempting to fly with cloth wings, and his getaway is thwarted when he falls and breaks both his legs. With their mom away with the rodeo, their dog, Mud, missing, Pap in jail and Junior in the
Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: Betsy Byars is one of my absolute favourite MG/YA authors. I've read a lot of her books and have been anxiously awaiting for my ds to be ready for this series in particular, as it is my favourite by her. I read this aloud to him. I've collected the whole set so we will be continuing with it this coming year.

The Blossom Family books are absolutely hilarious! This first book in the series had us laughing out loud from chapter one straight through to the end. DS just loved it an
Books Kids Like
Junior Blossom, wearing a pair of long white wings, stands at the edge of the barn roof. His sister, Maggie, and brother, Vern, shout encouragement from the ground. Just then, a police car drives up. Maggie and Vern hightail it to their hiding place in the woods and don't see Junior fall from the roof. He wakes up in the hospital with both legs in casts. Maggie and Vern return home after dark to find crumpled wings lying beside the barn. Figuring that Pap is in trouble with the police, they walk ...more
Feb 21, 2013 Ionia rated it really liked it
This book was fun and even as an adult, I was able to enjoy it. The way this is written reminded me of the children's novels I used to red as a youngster.

The characters are enjoyable and lively and of the variety that make you laugh as you grow to love them. I particularly enjoyed the humor strewn throughout this book. Betsy Byars has a brilliant grasp on how to write a story for her intended age group.

I find it more and more difficult to locate books that are appropriate for younger children
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"When Junior Blossom wakes up in the hospital, his last memory is of crouching on the barn roof with cloth wings tied to his arms, and of Maggie and Vern in the yard below, urging him to fly. That had been just before Junior spotted a police car approaching the farm in a cloud of dust.

Meanwhile Pap, the children's grandfather, sits in disgrace in the city jail. He was arrested for disturbing the peace after his pickup truck accidentally dumped 2,147 beer and soda cans (worth $107.35) on S
Brett Jonas
Jun 06, 2013 Brett Jonas rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Younger kids (if read aloud), older kids (10-12) if not.
From a kid trying to fly (and really hurting himself) to another kid breaking into jail to be with his Grandfather, this is a wonderful story about family and how they would do anything to be together again.

The characters were lovable, and the conflict was mostly family friendly. The grandfather does go to jail, so you may want to read this book with your child to explain it to him/her. It does leave you plenty of opportunities for discussing things with children.

There were several things didn
May 21, 2013 Shaha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
At first I thought there was going to be some sort of magic involved, and there is, the magic of the story being a completely heartwarming one and making me feel all happy.

Junior, Maggie and Vern are Blossoms and they are not just anybody family! From attempts to fly, breaking into jails and dogs gone missing, this is a tale for all ages. I loved the story line and how completely beautiful everything was. There was happiness, suspense and lots of laughter. Small details that just made this stor
May 16, 2015 Loonyhiker rated it it was amazing

I thought this was a great book! It was fun to read and I believe children would enjoy this. They can either read this book to themselves or an adult can read it aloud. There were great opportunities for discussions such as: Safety when playing, situations that scare you, stranger danger, family issues, fear, loneliness, siblings, pets, abandonment issues, the court system. Many children feel like they belong to a family that may be very different from their peers. These are just a few ideas but
A.E. Shaw
Dec 16, 2012 A.E. Shaw rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012

A book I remember really liking as a child, but this is one of the first books I've revisited that seems completely different to me now. Perhaps it's because I knew virtually nothing about America when I was however old I was when I read this - five or six - and it seemed to me that this odd, isolated, fascinating family might very well be representative of a nation. I had some very odd cross-purposed memories of this. Also the chapters with the dog I found extremely moving this time, where befo
Sunnyvale Librarian
Their little brother Junior is in the hospital with two broken legs because he tried to fly off their barn. Their grandfather, Pap, is in jail because of a traffic accident, $107 worth of aluminum cans and a gun. And their mother is out working the rodeo circuit, and they can't seem to contact her. Oh, and Mud, their dog, has run off. It falls to Maggie Blossom and her older brother Vern to straighten everything out. Read this old favorite and find out about a family who, as Maggie says, "have n ...more
Apr 17, 2008 Dorothy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loved
Another childhood favorite I was insanely devoted to. Remembering it now, I have all those little, dear details in my head -- the harmonica Junior's roommate keeps playing in the hospital (is his name Ralphie?), the ketchup his sister makes him take as pretend medicine when they play doctor, the planks the older brother and the sister stack up to get into Pap's jail cell and sleep through the night with him. It's a really sweet novel, although I hated reading about Mud the dog getting lost and t ...more
Sep 14, 2008 Duane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun book for the beginning reader to try. It involves a family of three kids and a grandpa who finds himself arrested for dumping cans in the middle of the street. The youngest ends up in the hospital with two broken legs and soon finds himself enjoying the pampering he recieves. The other two kids end up trying to bust into jail to rescue their grandpa. A fun clean book that keeps you interested from beginning to end.
Apr 05, 2009 Josiah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Betsy Byars neatly succeeds at building a suspenseful plot around a very likable (though highly unusual!) family in this book, one of many about the Blossoms. Betsy Byars's fiercely independent kids in the story are as compelling as always, and a part of me wonders perhaps why this did not taste of Newbery success in 1987. The Not-Just-Anybody Family is very much worth the read.
Apr 02, 2008 Kristen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I first heard of this series because I bought a used book on tape from a garage sale. The kids and I listened to it and loved it, and when I realized it was one of a series, I wanted to read the rest.

This is a funny and quick read, with really interesting characters. There is a lot of love and loyalty in this family, and they have unique adventures. Kids should love it.
May 19, 2013 Nancy rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
This book takes off like a rocket and what a ride! Kids that fly and break into jail. A dog on his own and a family reunion. A great group of characters. I can't wait to meet them again. This is fun for all ages!
Jan 13, 2016 Leslie rated it really liked it
My fourteen-year-old son and I listened to this audio book in the car. While it may be a bit young for him, we both enjoyed it and had several parts where we were laughing out loud or at least had big grins. Fun book!
Jun 05, 2014 Havilah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children, want-to-own
We listened to this audio book in the car and we ALL loved it. The book entertained the 4 year-old as well as the .. ahem.. well "older" people. :) We will be adding this one to our library. Highly recommended!
Oct 12, 2012 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great adventure and very entertaining. However, I didn't like it being mentioned that the kids' grandfather made beer in the basement. This is a children's book and that was totally irrelevant to the plot. It really took away from my sympathy toward the grandfather too.
Katy Noyes
Mar 19, 2013 Katy Noyes rated it really liked it
Lovely family drama/adventure. Really enjoyed this one. Short but great family dynamics, novel written children (and dog!). Good short chapters, timeless story that wouldn't date, simple enough language and you root for the family to get back together.
Jan 18, 2010 Kim rated it liked it
Shelves: chapter, family
This is the first in the Blossom family books. Their grandfather is in jail and their mother is on the rodeo circuit - that leaves three siblings to handle things on their own. This book is entertaining and will leave you wanting to know more about the Blossoms.
Biblioteka Reviews
Jul 02, 2013 Biblioteka Reviews rated it really liked it
This was my first Betsy Byar's book. Very nice, short and sweet for the younger reader. Lovable characters, I adored the dog's POV scenes. A few things didn't quite make sense, but nothing that bothered me. Lovely story.
Aug 08, 2008 Elizabeth rated it did not like it
Shelves: betsy-byers
Mostly weird, but there were some random ok points in the book.
Sep 09, 2015 Carrie rated it really liked it
Fun cast of characters...surprised I never came across this in my librarian days!
Camilo loved this audiobook and we listened to it twice. It was pablum to me and I couldn't get into it either time.
Jul 14, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it
This one was nearly perfect and I can't wait to read more Blossom Family books! I also need to revisit some Byars books from the 70s and 80s that I haven't read since I was a boy.
Well written, sort of odd story about an unconventional family. First in a series of 5.
Jun 02, 2014 Christina rated it really liked it
This is a cute little book about a family going through a "crisis" and how it gets resolved. Set in the 1950's era, so very quaint and humorous.
Jan 28, 2014 Kristi rated it it was amazing
Such a timeless classic. I loved this maybe even more now as an adult, than I did as a child.
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Betsy Byars has written over sixty books for young people. Her first published in 1962 and since then she has published regularly. Her books have been translated into nineteen languages and she gets thousands of letters from readers in the United States and from all over the world.

She has won many awards. Among them are the Newbery Medal in 1971 for her novel The Summer of the Swans, the American
More about Betsy Byars...

Other Books in the Series

Blossom Family (5 books)
  • The Blossoms Meet the Vulture Lady (Blossom Family, #2)
  • The Blossoms and the Green Phantom (Blossom Family, #3)
  • A Blossom Promise (Blossom Family, #4)
  • Wanted... Mud Blossom (Blossom Family, #5)

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