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The Saturdays
Elizabeth Enright
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The Saturdays (The Melendy Family #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  7,097 Ratings  ·  458 Reviews
From Newbery Award-winning author Elizabeth Enright comes the reappearance of the four-book series about the heartwarming Melendy family. In this first book, the children form a club to keep busy on rainy Saturday afternoons.
Hardcover, 0 pages
Published December 28th 1941 by Henry Holt & Company (first published 1941)
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) That's too subjective. I liked it, you might hate it. All you can do is try and see. If you don't want to spend money on a book you're not sure about,…moreThat's too subjective. I liked it, you might hate it. All you can do is try and see. If you don't want to spend money on a book you're not sure about, check your local library.(less)
Amanda If you like Edward Eager or Eleanor Estes, you'll like this.
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Community Reviews

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Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Hilary by: Lisa Vegan
Shelves: favourite-books
We loved reading about this family of two sisters, two brothers, dad, and Cuffy who has looked after the family since their mum died.

We were sent a different book than the one we had paid for ( was refunded and told to keep the book) sadly this copy had a hideous cover, even worse than the one pictured here ( why do they feel the need to replace a beautiful old cover with something new but much worse? it happens all the time) which also meant it had no illustrations.

After a page or two we reall
Sep 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
Oct 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth Enright is a treasure. This is funny and warm and happy and exciting - and really well-written - and a great example of the "summer book" genre -

I have no idea why it took me so long to reread this.

By the way, Mona gets her hair cut and styled and her nails done for $1.50. Times have changed.

This was published in 1941, and there are two mentions of Hitler and one of Mussolini and the Blitz. Mostly, though, the Melendys run around in a glorious idyllic sprawling city, where the days ar
Apr 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
An Odd1
Jul 31, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delightful. 1941 - four siblings decide to pool their allowance and each Saturday one takes it all (a whopping $1.50) to do something special - go to a museum, an opera, the circus. A Very special book filled with great warmth and good humor. Episodic and easy to read, this is a classic for good reason.
Jun 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"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
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love these books. I hate, hate, hate the new covers. Hate. What in the world could be better than Maginel's little girl's watercolors? Ahem.

Oh how I love Enright's books. This one has a special place in my heart, naturally. They all do. This one has the alligator! Oliver! The bob! The opera- though even Enright failed to make me appreciate opera in real life.

One must never forget Enright's keen eye for botanizing. One can rest assured that if Enright says it's blooming, then it is in fact bloo
Jan 02, 2008 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathryn by: Quasar
Shelves: stalled
March 28, 2008 Well, as this is a library book and as I'm becoming toooo busy with wedding-preparations, I have to stall on this one. But, I'll hope to return someday as it began very sweetly.

So nice to read a book about children who knew how to be creative with thier childhoods; knew how to play and be imaginative. (This was written in the early 40s!) So far, reminds me a bit of an "All-of-a-Kind Family" sort of tale. We shall see how it progresses...
Amy Kannel
Sweet, lighthearted story about four likable children and their adventures in 1940s New York City (which are nearly impossible to fathom...9yo going out on her own for the day?!?). My 8yo wasn't super into this but the 5yo *loved* it and was begging to listen to more Melendy stories.
Mar 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovely, charming book! I loved reading about 1940s city life and all the adventures the Melendy kids have. Great fun.
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
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Josh Ang
Dec 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Juliana by: Children's Books Group
I always like children stories like this, when everything was so much simpler. No TV, no cellphone, no video games. Just the children, sometimes with the dog, and the backyard or playground.

Reading The Saturdays reminds me a lot of my own childhood. I am so lucky to have been raised in a small city in Papua island, in the east of Indonesia. Our house was near the sea. The beach was only 10-15 minutes walk. I remember watching the sun rises from our windows. Running around and playing in the dirt
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are a few dated notions in this book, as in any text with a domestic story from the 1930s or 40s. What's more impressive is how much of the novel still feel fresh.

Unlike many of the "children" in books from this time period (yes, I'm looking at you, Boxcar Children) the Melendy siblings are not sensible little adults dressed in smaller clothes. On the contrary: they are intelligent, vivacious, curious characters who make startling and authentic observations about their house and their wor
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
Somehow I missed out on Elizabeth Enright while I was growing up, an oversight I intend to avoid for my children! "The Saturdays" is exactly what children's literature should be: innocent, erudite, interesting, and fun. I enjoyed reading about a New York City in which 10 year olds could be allowed out on their own without anyone calling the cops having the parents arrested for endangerment and neglect. And I loved the fact that what our kids wanted to do on their days off was visit an art museum ...more
I want to be a Melendy. Nevermind the fact that I am a 35-year-old woman and that they fictitiously lived in the 1940s. I want to hang out in "The Office," the Melendy siblings' attic hangout complete with a saggy sofa, a trapeze swing, a piano and shelves and shelves of books. I want to traipse around New York City when $1.60 could buy a serious adventure.

But since I cannot be Melendy, I will settle for reading their adventures to my children. Next up: The Four-Story Mistake.
Tricia Douglas
Another good children's book from Enright. Four children live in NYC and pool their money in order to have their own adventures. This takes places in the 1940s so maybe things were different back then, but wandering around a big city without supervision is a little dangerous in my mind. Enright does a wonderful job of telling individual tales about the children visiting an art museum, an opera, the circus, etc. It's a nice story and one that I found entertaining. There are four books in this ser ...more
Julie  Durnell
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
This book of the four motherless siblings is an old-fashioned tale to be sure, but it was well written. Each child, their father, and grandmotherly housekeeper were wonderful characters from a simpler time and way of life; ie: allowing children to roam New York City on their own! The children are typical kids who misbehaved and were mischievous but are also respectful and polite. The exploits on their "Saturday" were well thought out and planned, exhibiting their own interests and dreams! This w ...more
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
When I add books to my TBR list, I need to start noting where I heard about each book because I really wish I knew where I first learned about this one.

My kids and I loved reading about the Melendy children and their Saturday adventures. We thoroughly enjoyed this non-preachy book about children gallivanting around Manhattan sans parents, getting into and out of scrapes, and learning self-sufficiency (and---bonus!---their adult caregivers don't get arrested or lambasted on the Internet).

One star
Fun audio listen to the adventures of this 1940s era family living in NY. Each of the children unique with varied interests that get them into trouble or unusual situations. A freedom for children that isn't possible today, it was a pleasure to participate in their fun.

Excellent audio of the Melendy Family experiences, I'd enjoy carrying on with them in their further activities in the series.
Elinor  Loredan
Jun 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Why did I not like this book the first time? This time I found it highly amusing, entertaining, and valuable. Each of the children learns something important on her individual Saturday--a changed or deeper understanding of people or aspects of life. And by the end the children learn to share with each other and be gracious. The childhood atmosphere is very strong and realistic. I definitely want to pursue the series.
Mar 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was so cute and funny. It was about four kids who got to go out every Saturday. one person would go out with everyone else's allowance and go somewhere they always wanted to go. they cant spend it on toy though. They have to spend it on an experience. You never know what will happen next in this book. This book is good for kids of all ages. I would recommend this book to everybody! Thanks for taking the time to read my review.
Rea K
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was fun. And definitely for children. And dated. I rolled my eyes when the family freaked out over the haircut and the nail polish even though the other daughter had short hair. My family barely notices when I cut my hair, they'd probably notice if I dyed it bright pink, but not a mere haircut. The nail polish may have been more of a freakout thing, because it's the 1940s. And it's red.
Seems like a fun group of kids.
Jackie "the Librarian"
Sep 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Families
Shelves: childrensbooks
I love stories like this one where the kids travel around NYC completely on their own, going to the circus, the opera, etc. I have a New York City that lives in my head, built from how it is portrayed in children's books like this one, Harriet the Spy, Roller Skates, and Madeleine L'Engle's book The Young Unicorns.
Highly recommended.
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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
“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.” 4 likes
“And for heaven’s sake don’t play Bach,” ordered Randy. “It’s so jumpy for today.” Rush” 0 likes
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