The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street

Available October 3, 2017! Preorder on IndieBound, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, Apple iBookstore (ebooks), Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Powell's, Google Play, or at your local independent bookstore. Please support your local independent bookstore whenever possible!

It’s five days before Christmas and the Vanderbeeker children — Isa, Jessie, Oliver, Hyacinth, and Laney — should be dreaming about sugar plums and presents. But when Mr. Beiderman, their seriously unpleasant landlord and third floor neighbor, says they need to leave their brownstone apartment by New Year’s, there are suddenly more pressing worries. And the Vanderbeekers aren’t the kind of kids who will sit by sucking candy canes while some grouchy old man kicks them out of the home and Harlem neighborhood they love. 

While their parents bring out the packing boxes and talk about moving to the suburbs, the kids know there must be another way — convincing their landlord to let them stay. They try everything they can think of. Breakfast delivered to his door. Handmade gifts. Blackmail. But it’s harder than they thought to win him over, and there are other distractions, too. Isa and Jessie, twelve year old twins, get into a monumental fight. Oliver, age nine and the only boy, pens and sends a letter so rude even he’s ashamed. Hyacinth, six years old and the nicest person in the world, steals a kitten. And Laney, four and three-quarters years old, keeps disappearing to the second floor with her pet bunny and handfuls of cilantro.

The day of the move approaches, and packing boxes start crowding them out of the house. The kids know they need to pull it together for Operation Beiderman, and there’s nothing they won’t do to convince their grump of a landlord to like them. It’s an operation that has to succeed.

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street is a contemporary middle grade novel with an old school vibe. Publication is planned for October 3, 2017, with a sequel scheduled for 2018.



Sequel to The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, coming in Fall 2018!

It’s summertime on 141st Street, and the Vanderbeekers are ready for three months of… absolutely nothing. With the exception of Isa who is at sleepaway orchestra camp, Jessie, Oliver, Hyacinth, and Laney find themselves left to fill up the long summer days on their own. But when their beloved neighbor Mr. Jeet collapses and is hospitalized, their sleepy summer transforms in an instant. To keep their brains from being consumed by worry, they plan the best welcome home gift for Mr. Jeet and Miss Josie: the Vanderbeekers will convert the eyesore of 141st Street—a small piece of land next to the church that has been abandoned for a decade—into a community garden for their flower-and-plant-loving neighbors.

But creating a garden from scratch is not as easy as it seems, especially when there is a giant “NO TRESPASSING” sign hung on the locked metal fence and the land itself is filled with trash and weeds. But a locked gate and some weeds are no match for the Vanderbeekers, and with the help of old and new friends, the kids discover that a garden can grow even in the most unlikely of circumstances.