First Glance: The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

First Glance: The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

First Glance

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

It is spring break-a wonderful week that is always filled with reading, no matter what my plans are. This is one of the books I have heard so many good things about from other teachers and librarians. So, I decided it was time to see what the fuss was about

The cover

At first glance, this book definitely catches your eye. The detail, the color, the title all make you want to at least pick it up and see what it is about.

Beautiful cover.


A family forced to move by a grumpy landlord? Siblings trying to convince him to let them stay? I am already hooked. You can read the full summary here on Amazon.


I mean, look at these illustrations!

Chapter illustrations

Detailed map at the beginning.


I love books with strong details. I love being able to visualize where I am. To see the characters come to life, or even be one of the characters. Glaser has so much detail about her characters I had to stop and jot notes so that I could remember all that she said about them! Her details on the home and neighborhood are the same.

Here is an example of her use of details:

Hyacinth always had her best ideas when surrounded by her favorite things: scraps of odd-shaped buttons of many shapes, fat spools of thread in a rainbow of colors, and paper packets with deadly-looking sewing needles. Hyacinth’s yellow paisley dress — her own creation — was made from an old pillow case with holes cut out for her arms and head. She knotted a wide lavender ribbon around her waist to finish the look. -Glaser, Vanderbeekers of 141st Street

Sometimes, when an author writes with great detail, it can be boring. You want them to get to the point. Glaser has found a good balance though and I am thinking I can see why so many recommend this book.

Have you read this middle grade novel? Let me know your thoughts! Stay tuned for a review shortly! (I know I will be finishing soon!)

I am a middle school teacher who loves to read ALL KINDS of books. I am part of the ARC-sharing group LitReviewCrew, a co-creator for the YouTube Channel Legit KidLit and the Podcast Read to Write KidLit. Check out my Linktree for more:

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