After moving uptown to the Bronx, the charming All-of-a-Kind Family has a new home, new neighbors and a lot going on! Ella misses Jules, who is fighting in World War I, Henny spills tea on a dress she borrowed without asking, Sarah works to win a prize at school, Charlotte takes the elevated train without paying her fare, Gertie make a pancake, and little Charlie is terrified when he meets Santa Claus. In true family spirit, they all come together to keep the house running smoothly when Mama goes into the hospital to have her appendix removed!
Original publication date
I loved being back with this family.
Hilarious first chapter!
Henny grew on me a bit in this book because she’s the one who’s so good with youngest sibling and only brother Charlie. It’s
It was fun to watch the kids grow up. I’m still particularly fond of Sarah, and of Ella, but all the daughters had a bit of the spotlight in this book.
I’m still deciding whether or not to read the Downtown and Ella books. I’ve loved the original, More, and this Uptown so much, and I’ve been told the other two have a different writing style. They were written long after the three I’ve read. Some people have recommended I skip them; others have encouraged me to read them. If I do read the remaining two books, it’s likely that it won’t be in the near future.
In this book, I learned a bit about what the WWI era was like in NYC.
As with the other books in this series, this book would make for a perfect family (or classroom) and/or bedtime read aloud. Each chapter works wonderfully on its own, as a short story, while at the same time contributing to the novel as a whole.
Part of the story arc concerns Ella and a boy she meets named Jules. She and Jules and her friend Grace and his friend Bill have a glorious day sightseeing in New York before the boys ship out for France in World War I. Ella's efforts to occupy her time with a boyfriend "Over There," and her increasing family responsibilities when Mama is ill show her maturing into a well-rounded young lady. By the end of the book, Bill is missing in action and Jules is wounded. The homecoming chapter is especially well done, and happy endings seem assured.
Although there seems to be some disagreement, regarding the correct order of Sydney Taylor's series, given that the fourth book to be published, All-of-a-Kind Family Downtown, chronicles events occurring between All-of-a-Kind Family and More All-of-a-Kind Family, I have always considered this book, All-of-a-Kind Family Uptown, to be the third one in the series, rather than the fourth. Leaving that issue aside, this is one that is every bit as delightful as its predecessors, with a story that swings effortlessly from hilarity to pathos, chronicling the ups and downs in the life of one Jewish family, residing in New York City in the early years of the twentieth century. It was interesting to see the girls getting older, with Ella's romance becoming more serious, and Sarah struggling so to win her history prize. As a young girl, I found the romances between Ella and Jules, and Grace Healy and Bill, very compelling stuff, and I cannot read the chapter where the four young people ride around New York City on a double-decker bus, singing songs that eventually involve all the riders in an impromptu concert, without smiling in delight. Similarly, I cannot read the scene in which Ella and Jules are parted, or the one in which Bill is declared missing in action, without getting a shiver. Taylor has a light touch here, and one never feels overwhelmed with despair, but she definitely is as capable of evoking sadness and fear in her readers, as she is good humor and happiness. Highly, highly recommended, to all those readers that have read the earlier two stories about this family, with the further recommendation that, if you are not one of those readers... what are you waiting for?!?