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Meet the Austins [1997 edition with The…
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Gave this to a friend's daughter for Christmas in 2011 and she loved it. She raved about it and wrote a book report saying it was the best book she'd ever read. So if you're concerned it's dated, it still has some appeal to modern kids. ( )
  rlsalvati | Jul 5, 2016 |
Meet the Austins by Madeleine L'Engle is an episodic type book about events in the lives of the Austin family. The book starts off with them being informed of the death of a close family friend and then shortly afterward they take in a little girl who was orphaned due to the same accident that killed their friend. The child turns out to be a difficult spoiled brat and it takes the family a long time to adjust to her living with them. Each chapter tells of different random events in the lives of this family until the future of the orphan can be decided. For the most part I found this book to be rather dull and I was glad that it was a fairly short read so it didn't take me too long to get through it. I probably would have rated this book as two stars, but there were some parts of the book that were really quite funny and made me laugh, so I gave it an extra star for that. I doubt I'll be reading it again though. I still plan to read the other books in this series because there are some character's that overlap with the author's Time Quintet series which I love, and I recall reading other books in this series as a child and enjoying them much more than I did this book. I probably wouldn't recommend this book unless you are a big fan of the author or a completionist as far as series go.



I also have some additional thoughts on this book. I found a lot of similarities between the family in this book and the family in the author's other book, A Wrinkle in Time. Both families have four children and multiple pets and they both live in similar types of houses. They both live in small towns and both live in the same part of the country. The main character in both books is the eldest daughter and both of them are rather plain looking and insecure about their appearance. I also noticed at least three character names that were used in both books, though there were some variations in two of the names. I'm not saying that all of this is a bad thing necessarily, but it did give me the impression that the author had some creative difficulties. I can overlook most of the similarities, but I found the name thing a bit annoying and feel it shouldn't have been too difficult for the author to come up with more original character names. ( )
  Kythe42 | Aug 10, 2014 |
I liked this book. I thought that I was reading it for the first time, but found that I had read it long ago. There was one chapter where Vicky was having a bad day. She got mad and then found that she couldn't stop herself from doing things she knew were wrong. I remembered that chapter so clearly from my childhood reading. I knew just what she was talking about then and I still do. Do we never grow out of that? I loved the characters and their struggles. I loved the lessons that were part of the story. I was carried away by the emotions of the characters. Ms L'Engle is a terrific writer. I'm glad that the Vintage Book Circle chose to read this one. ( )
  njcur | Jul 22, 2014 |
A very easy read, you can read this in a day. It is an excellent book for children but not so suited for adults. It did not impact me the same way as the "Wrinkle in Time" series. I think L'Engle is better suited in writing science fiction/fantasy book. I felt like I was reading a diary of my sister. I did not enjoy it that much but I'm still looking forward to the next book. ( )
  krizia_lazaro | Mar 10, 2014 |
My favorite part in meet the Austins when they all go to the grandfathers to visit.I also like how they explained what were they are looked like and stuff.
  Julia4 | Oct 25, 2013 |
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This book is "Meet the Austins" by Madeleine L'Engle, with the short story "The Anti-Muffins" as an additional chapter. Please don't combine with editions of "Meet the Austins" without this chapter.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312379315, Paperback)

Reading award-winning author Madeleine L'Engle's Meet the Austins is like taking a vacation with the warm, compassionate Austins--an extraordinary family who takes a little girl named Maggy Hamilton under its wing when her father is killed in a plane accident. Adjusting to a new household member is not easy, as the 12-year-old narrator, Vicky, will testify. Maggy is spoiled, "ubiquitous," laughs in a "horrid, screechy way," and appears to be a child of an entirely different species from the thoughtful, intelligent, kind, yet not cloyingly so, Austin kids. Still, Vicky and her other siblings (Rob, Suzy, and John) grit their collective teeth and struggle to understand her, which becomes easier and easier as the loving family seems to rub off on the newly orphaned Maggy.

The Austins are beyond question a charming family, but their path is by no means rock-free: Vicky sneaks off to a friend's house and severely injures herself in a bike accident, they all get the measles, John is beat up after his guest sermon in church, and they almost lose little Rob. Despite ordinary family setbacks, there's no use pretending this is a run-of-the-mill family. When Vicky is sick, her older brother, John, comes into her room and soothes her with a discussion of the solar system, our atomic composition, and the relativity of size. Family dinner-table talk includes the ethics of meat eating, and a chat with Grandfather ends up with a discussion of whether Einstein believed in God. As in all of L'Engle's novels, she asks the big questions: What is the meaning of life, and how does death fit into that? Are there different kinds of intelligence? What happens when you remove a screw from a radiator? This strangely comforting novel, first published in 1960, is an ALA Notable Book, and was followed by four other books featuring the Austin Family: The Moon by Night, The Young Unicorns, A Ring of Endless Light (a Newbery Honor Book), and Troubling a Star. (Ages 9 to 12) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:22 -0400)

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"For a family with four kids, two dogs, assorted cats, and a constant stream of family and friends dropping by, life in the Austin family home has always been remarkably steady and contented. When a family friend suddenly dies in a plane crash, the Austins open their home to an orphaned girl, Maggy Hamilton. The Austin children -- Vicky, John, Suzy, and Rob -- do their best to be generous and welcoming to Maggy. Vicky knows she should feel sorry for Maggy, but having sympathy for Maggy is no easy thing. Maggy is moody and spoiled; she breaks toys, wakes people in the middle of the night screaming, discourages homework, and generally causes chaos in the Austin household. How can one small child disrupt a family of six? Will life ever return to normal?"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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