The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden (ebook)
by Karina Yan Glaser
I was so happy to read this second book about the Vanderbeeker family, and it was as sweet and wholesome as the first. In The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden, the kids are suffering from summer boredom when Miss Josie suggests they plant a community garden in an empty lot next to the church. When Mr. Jeet suffers a stroke, the love and respect the Vanderbeekers have for their friends and neighbors makes the garden an act of love. At first, the kids go through the right steps to get permission, but when they don’t get a clear answer, they go ahead with their plan, and face consequences later. They recruit help from their friends and an unlikely helper. They keep the garden a secret from most adults until they need help in the end. The strong relationships this smart group of kids have with their community helps them with their garden.
What I liked about this book was the kindness and creativity of the children. Their parents brought them up to be respectful and solve their own problems, and although they faced a few issues, they faced consequences and worked together. I really hope there are non-fictional kids like the Vanderbeekers out there. They are generous and willing to spend their own money to help their community, and one went above and beyond to make sure another was able to make it to camp. They truly care for and respect one another.
What I didn’t like about this book was that Isa was absent for most of it! She was my favorite character in the first book, and she was away at camp for most of the story. I also loved the food mentions and crafts in the first book (to the point of creating a Pinterest page with links to their suggestions), and there weren’t as many summer foods mentioned in this one. Although, I desperately need some cheese croissants and someone to teach me to knit. Overall, I enjoyed this story and I hope to read more from this family.
Book 8 of 20 (summer goal)
(Book 54 of 2018)