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All-of-a-Kind Family

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

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  23,724 ratings  ·  1,120 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 (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!
Carissa I read and enjoyed it a great many times when I was around 9-12.

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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  23,724 ratings  ·  1,120 reviews

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As a kid the first chapter book I remember reading was All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor. In the perfect historical fiction book, which later became a series, for Jewish girls, Taylor detailed the life of a family of five girls who lived in the tenements of the Lower East Side around the turn of the 20th century. I read the entire series so many times when I was growing up that I felt as though I was part of the family. When a challenge I entered called for a classic book I read as a child, ...more
Sep 10, 2007 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
Feb 22, 2010 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, and my one main regret is that I have 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 ...more
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) 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
May 08, 2011 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
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
What a wonderful, endearing, lovely read this was! The adventures of five little girls (Gertie, Charlotte, Sarah, Henny and Ella) aged between four and twelve living with their mama who looks after the home, and papa who runs a junk shop in the East Side in New York City. I shouldn’t perhaps say adventures, for really this is the story of their daily lives, the daily happenings, chores, trips to the library, the little ups and down, the joys and sorrows that life brings every day―but that in its ...more
Kellyn Roth
One of the best books ever. I love all the little girls and Mama and Papa and their friends and relatives. The setting is amazing, too. I kinda want to go there, even though it was probably a pretty hard life. :)
Sydney Taylor’s fictionalised account of her childhood revolves around New York’s Lower East Side and its bustling Jewish community in the early to mid-1900s: where Taylor the daughter of German-Jewish immigrants grew up. When Taylor’s book was accepted for publication in the early 1950s, it was a tense time for Jewish-Americans, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg had been arrested as communist spies and reporting of their case frequently emphasized their Jewish backgrounds, provoking extensive fears of ...more
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: family-stories
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
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Brina
Shelves: young-children
I love to read good children's literature and this book of a bygone era (1912) was informative and charming. I was hoping this might be the book I would choose to read with my grade-school grandchildren this summer, but I am not sure if it would meet the diverse needs. I loved the family solidarity and I particularly enjoyed the traditional religious observances. If I do choose this for the summer, I would look for a book on Jewish traditions with pictures to share with the children. I would lik ...more
Sarah Grace Grzy
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! ;)
One of the great delights of my childhood, Sydney Taylor's All-of-a-Kind Family books were some of my absolute favorites as a girl, and I have read and reread them countless times over the years. Unlike some readers, they didn't serve as my introduction to Judaism - my father sat on a number of ecumenical and interfaith councils, and my first experience of Jewish religious tradition was probably the Passover Seder we attended at the home of a rabbi friend of his, when I was very young - but they ...more
Luisa Knight
I love, LOVE this series! If you want something fun and engaging to read to your family, you'll certainly want to check these out. The children are all wonderfully enjoyable and they learn some valuable lessons along the way. You'll discover what New York City was like at the turn of the century and experience many Jewish costums too.

Ages: 5 - 12


Children's Bad Words
Mild Obscenities and Substitutions - 1 Incident: heck
Name Calling - 2 Incidents: slowpoke, foolish
Religious Profanity -
Dec 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Updated 2020 - Everything I knew about quarantines, I learned from this book. I had forgotten that their quarantine and scarlet fever coincided with Passover, so it was particularly appropriate to re-read this Quarantined Pascha and Passover season.

These books are always worth a re-read.
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. UPDATE 10/2019: Rereading this for the first time as a mother, and sharing it with my oldest (six-years-old) was a wonderful experience. My love for this story only d ...more
Allison Tebo
Dec 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Mini review.

I think I would have enjoyed this more if I had read this when I was small and been less aware of the slightly stilted dialogue and characterization – but nevertheless, a sweet little book and fascinating look into the daily lives of Jewish family around the turn of the century. Definitely a book that I would share with young readers!
Liza Fireman
All-of-a-kind family is a set of short stories, oh, and it is so very dated. My daughter actually loved it much more than I did. Maybe I am way too used to having a point when telling stories, and this one was much of the day-to-day of a Jewish family. From taking books from the library, getting sick or cleaning the house, most stories are fine, but that is it. Each chapter is its own, telling about a different situation and finished without having much of a storyline.

It is overall cute, girls t
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
Hannah Garden
Apr 04, 2009 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.
A delightful and incredibly sweet book about the daily life of a Jewish family growing up in New York city in the 1910s, based on the author's childhood. It's been a favorite since my own childhood, when I read it over and over, and I've always loved reading about the five sisters and their parents. ...more
Valerie Kyriosity
Feb 25, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Very sweet. I appreciated that the first story involved a child having to take responsibility and suffer the consequences of her actions straight up. Others were kind to her and helped bear some of the burden, but she wasn't completely rescued or shielded...or crushed and berated, for that matter.

Reader was very good.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
I loved the ALL-OF-A-KIND-FAMILY books when I was a child. Sydney Taylor’s series begins with five sisters, two years apart and their weekly library trip and ends with a surprise.

ALL-OF-A-KIND-FAMILY takes place on 1912. Written decades ago, as expected, I cringed a few times at the dated ideas like human circus “freaks” although mostly the values of family, responsibility and love hold up to modern scrutiny.

Stories of Jewish families were rare when Taylor first penned her books, but the family
Aug 05, 2007 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 think it is still a great choice to read aloud or give to girls from 6 to 10. Here is a link to my review:
Aug 05, 2007 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!
Victoria Lynn
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
TOTALLY LOVED THIS BOOK! oh my goodness! One of the best children's level chapter books ever! I have read it more than 5 times including read-aloud's to my younger siblings. Such a sweet, adorable story full of rich detail about Jewish families in the 1900's. ...more
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
Erika Mathews
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a cute, happy old-timey story about a close-knit Jewish family and their adventures and struggles. I loved how each girl had a unique personality and I loved the glimpse into Jewish holiday celebration. Even as an adult, I love reading cozy family stories such as this one.
Georgia Herod
May 07, 2014 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
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Apr 14, 2015 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.

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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

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All-of-a-Kind Family (5 books)
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