The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright—the first in a series of four books, and not to be confused with the Brit-pop girl band of the same name—was our household obsession during the last days of summer. Its premise is simple: Four siblings decide to pool their meager allowances in order to allow one of them a week to have a solitary adventure. Then it follows them along on four of those adventures, starting with younger sister Randy’s visit to an art gallery. Although it seems at the beginning that this tale might spin off into endless anecdote, an intricate and engrossing tale unfolds. And in fact, Randy’s initial encounter with an elderly and potentially adventure-ruining old lady proves to be an important cog, not only in this book, but in the ones that follow. I’m most of the way through the second (The Four-Story Mistake) and Ada has just embarked on the third (And Then There Were Five) and so far there are no signs that interest will wane by the time we reach the fourth (Spiderweb for Two).
Ada compares this book to another favorite, All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor, which I mentioned here some months ago. I’d say it’s possibly even better, if only because its sequels are its equals—unfortunately, not quite the case with the Taylor quartet. Although as usual, Ada disagrees with me.
For great books picked by someone other than me (James Patterson, in fact, who is a major kid literacy advocate), have a browse around readkiddoread.