The Second Annual Community Reads for Kids

Submitted by cccl_carolineo

Community Reads for Kids is a countywide reading program that encourages everyone in our community to read and discuss the same book. This year, we are reading The Vanderbeekers Make a Wish by Karina Yan Glaser. The library will host a virtual book discussion on March 29th leading up to a live Zoom event with the author on April 13th. Register here with your email to attend each event. 

The Vanderbeekers Make a Wish follows the charming Harlem family as they plan the perfect fortieth birthday celebration for Papa, but a new mystery leads the siblings to discover more about their family history. It is a heartwarming story full of laughs, love, and characters that are diverse in personality as well as representation. Glaser’s writing has been praised for its old-fashioned feel yet relatable appeal for modern audiences that all lends to a delightful reading experience. The first installment of the Vanderbeekers series was a California Young Reader Medal Finalist and a Junior Library Guild Selection. The series as a whole has received acclaim from publications such as Booklist and The School Library Journal.

Writing what she knows, Karina Yan Glaser lives in Harlem with her husband, two daughters, two dogs, and three cats. As a mother, one of her proudest achievements is raising two kids who can’t go anywhere without a book. As a writer, Karina is a New York Times bestseller and a contributing editor at Book Riot, where she writes the weekly The Kids Are All Right newsletter as well as children's book recommendation posts, opens a new window. She has had a varied career teaching and implementing literacy programs in family homeless shelters and recruiting healthcare professionals to volunteer in under-funded areas around the world. 

Although The Vanderbeekers Make a Wish is the fifth book of the Vanderbeekers, it works as an excellent introduction to the series even if you have not read the other four installments. However, if you want more Vanderbeekers (and you will!) the library has plenty of copies of the whole series, opens a new window. Use the catalog, opens a new window to reserve the books, eBooks, or eAudiobooks. Also, be sure to check out our staff-curated booklist, opens a new window for more wonderful middle grade reads with heartfelt family romps like the Vanderbeekers!