[The Vanderbeekers on the Road]: A Review

Hi y’all!

Hope your weather is a turning towards spring. We keep waking up to snow and I think we’re all over it. Hoping our spring break is actually springy in April!

Today I am here with a review of The Vanderbeekers on the Road by Karina Yan Glauser. I love this series so much! It’s always a treat to read a new book in the series and this was a fun addition.

Check out my reviews of books 1 & 2, book 3, book 4, and book 5. And my review of Karina’s stand alone novel: A Duet for Home.


Book Summary: “A surprise road trip turns rocky when the younger siblings try to keep their family from ever facing change.

The popular Harlem family is putting the VAN in Vanderbeekers as they hit the highway to give their dad the best birthday surprise EVER! Re-creating a road trip Papa never got the chance to take with his own father, the whole crew is packed and ready for a cross-country adventure.

Things get off to a rocky start when the car breaks down on their way to pick up Papa. But they really veer off course when Laney discovers that Jessie and Orlando are interviewing at a college once they get to California. How can they even think about leaving New York? Wouldn’t that change their family? And how can she and her other siblings stop them?

I enjoyed the new settings and change of pace in this addition to the series. I have really enjoyed the New York City setting and the now familiar Vanderbeeker brownstone of the previous books. This was an enjoyable change of pace from that. It was a fun road trip and I was amazed at all the new places they saw. This really was a cross country vacation from New York City to the midwest, down to the Grand Canyon, and over to the California ocean coasts. So much driving! I enjoyed their misadventures along the way as they met new friends when their van broke down, ended up with a diaper wearing stowaway chicken, and scrambled to make several big events in California. There was so much going on, of course. Would have liked more description of those places like the grand canyon. The ending is very fast paced and I would have loved more build up to that climax. Overall, such a fun road trip!

There is just something about the Vanderbeekers that makes them so easy to cheer for and incredibly endearing. I love how the family comes together to support each other. But also how they disagree and try to keep each other doing other things. I loved Laney’s attempts to keep her family together but man a lot of time could be saved if everyone just talked to each other!! They are not perfect and they don’t always agree. But I love that they come together for each other. They give Papa a surprise road trip after he experiences some tragedies in his life. They work together to get Mr B to a surprise location. And they overcome less than ideal camp grounds, a shoe stealing animal, and car troubles and miscommunications. And I love that they adopt Orlando and Mr B who get to go along for the ride. The Vanderbeekers are so fun to journey with!

One of my favorite parts of this series are the beautiful messages about family, change, and love. This family always sticks together and shows incredible loyalty. In each book, some challenge comes up and they work together to solve it. Not everything goes as planned and somethings things go pretty much horribly wrong for a time. But they don’t give up until they solve all the problems. At the heart of this story is change. The siblings are getting older and the twins are starting to think about life when they move out of the house. The younger siblings are trying to stop them from moving far away. Fear of change is so relatable. And yet, the only thing constant in life is change, right? 🙂 The Vanderbeekers are so relatable because of these types of discussions. And while it takes some time for them to finally talk to each other about everything they are feeling, as usual, the Vanderbeekers find a way to show what’s most important.

Love this family and the great messages in these books!


Who are some of your favorite literary families?
Any Vanderbeeker fans out there? Which are your favorite books?

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