Review: The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden by Karina Yon Glaser

I read The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street earlier this year and loved it (see my review on Instagram here) so I was very excited to be able to read an advance copy of the sequel from NetGalley.  Below is more information on the book and my thoughts!


Disclosure:  I received an advance e-copy of  this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a review.  This post may contain affiliate links. I get a small commission if you purchase an item from an affiliate.



The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden by Karina Yan Glaser

Release Date:  September 25, 2018

Published by:  HMH Books for Young Readers

Age range:  7-10 years

Page numbers:  336 pages


Return to Harlem’s “wildly entertaining” family in this funny, heartwarming sequel. When catastrophe strikes their beloved upstairs neighbors, the Vanderbeeker children set out to build the best, most magical healing garden in Harlem–in spite of a locked fence, thistles and trash, and the conflicting plans of a wealthy real estate developer.

While Isa is off at sleepaway orchestra camp, Jessie, Oliver, Hyacinth, and Laney are stuck at home in the brownstone with nothing to do but get on one another’s nerves. But when catastrophe strikes their beloved upstairs neighbor, their sleepy summer transforms in an instant as the Vanderbeeker children band together to do what they do best: make a plan. They will create the most magical healing garden in all of Harlem.

In this companion to The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, experience the warmth of a family and their community as they work together to bring a little more beauty and kindness to the world, one thwarted plan at a time.




I was so happy to return to reading about the lovable Vanderbeeker family!  It was so sweet to see more of the new relationships that were formed in the first book and to see the new elements it brought to their tight knit community.

It is so nice reading about a family who is loving and respectful to each other and wants to spend time together, but that also sometimes fights and makes mistakes.

The ingenuity and hard work that the kids put in of their own volition (while also making mistakes and having setbacks) as they sought to build a garden is inspiring and a great example to children reading the book.

I wouldn’t say I loved this one quite as much as the first one–perhaps because it doesn’t have the same joy of being introduced to the family and neighborhood for the first time, or because I had to read this one more sporadically– but I still really enjoyed it!  And it had me emotional at the end.

I highly recommend this sweet series and I’m looking forward to reading more about the Vanderbeekers in future books.


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