The Saturdays – Elizabeth Enright

the saturdaysReading level: 5.8
Series: The Melendy Family series book 1
Genre: Classic
ELL-Friendly: Kind of
Library recommendation: Middle school

The Saturdays is certainly outdated (written in the ’40s), but in a heart-warming way. Think Anne of Green Gables or Little Women. I can’t say I liked it very much because there wasn’t much substance, character development, or problems. It was just a bunch of well-off, white kids being bored and getting into minor trouble. The book really was dripping with privilege. I also found it unrealistic that all four siblings got along so well all the time.

As I read The Saturdays, I wondered if students would actually enjoy this book. It’s got no action, has strange words, and is lacking a plot for the most part. There are lots of positive reviews on goodreads about children liking it, so we’ll see.

I say that it’s “kind of” ELL-friendly because you’ll be reading along, everything’s great, then – what is that word? There were a handful of words I’d never seen, and there were also outdated words like “swell” and “keen.” The dialogue between some characters may also be confusing to all students due to how various dialects are written. I think most of the servants and workers of the Melendy family were not white – maybe African American? The only hint of racism I found was at the end when Wilkins calls Mrs. Oliphant “Mrs. O,” and the lady explains that Wilkins only likes to talk in short sentences and abbreviates names.

It’s definitely a book for middle school, and I think that if kids are still reading classics now-a-days, they might enjoy this book too.


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