10-year-old Layla Adler loves mysteries and exploring. She details her adventures in her diary, giving readers a sneak peek into her life. Joining her on her adventures are her favorite cousin Hindy and the "S" cousins, Shira, Sara and Simi. They may not see eye-to-eye, but when it comes to solving mysteries they are in it together.
This lower middle-grade series is a leveled reader, F&P Text Level O, and great for readers in grades 2-4.
LAYLA'S VISTAVILLE SUMMER: In the series starter, Layla is forced to spend the summer with relatives she doesn't know. Along the way, she'll see if she can find a hidden treasure left by her great, great grandfather.
LAYLA'S SUGARLAND WINTER: Layla and her Bubbie Ida join her cousins for a vacation in Sugarland, the candy resort! But when Hindy is accused of theft, it'll be up to Layla to find out what's really happening at Sugarland in book two of the series.
What parents are saying about Layla's Diaries:
"I have a hard time getting my daughter to read. She will opt for the 'comic book' style of books and I'm not even sure if she finished those that I bought her. She loved your book and actually wanted to read it aloud (!) to me and my husband."
What reviewers are saying:
"These engaging books will sure please kids from reluctant readers to 'read-aholics.' Written in diary format, middle schoolers will travel with Layla, build new friendships with cousins she meets for the first time and search for hidden treasure. These books are a treasure!" Author Liza Wiemer, Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, December 2020
"Layla is the reluctant guest of relatives she doesn't know well in Vistaville, where she slowly--and not without conflict--forms friendships with her cousins and finds the solution to a simple mystery. Told in diary entries, the story is perhaps too easily resolved, but the breezy writing and accessible, handwriting-like font make this book a good option for reluctant readers. Judaism plays a background role, with Hebrew and Yiddish names and Shabbat observance appearing as part of the family's fabric--giving religious, and particularly Orthodox, readers a chance to see themselves reflected in a story of everyday life." --Shoshana Flax, The Horn Book, Inc. Boston, Mass., Association of Jewish Libraries May/June 2020
“Written as a diary, the story is told by Layla in a lively, sometimes humorous, conversational style. In the weeks of her Vistaville visit, she experiences self-discovery, and growth in social skills and understanding. The older relatives try to pave the way for the girls to work out their differences, but they are not heavy-handed, fully realizing that there are problems that children must solve themselves, and that some problems will never be resolved. The reader is drawn along, eager to find out more about the family relationships and the hidden mystery. This book is a quick read, with sentences that flow, and vocabulary that is easy to comprehend. But the characters and storyline have depth and interest, and the reader grows along with Layla.” Author Judith Pransky, Philadelphia Jewish Link, March 5
BEHIND THE SCENES ...
As for the names of the streets, when I was growing up the streets in my neighborhood were named by the developer after members of his family. I always thought that was cool and that inspired one of the pieces of the story.
Is Vistaville a real place? Nope, although Aunt Rivkah’s house was inspired by a picture of a real Queen Anne home.
Do people really find things hidden in the walls of their homes? Yes! There have been plenty of cases of people opening walls or floors and discovering old items. This newspaper was discovered in Buckingham Palace (Click here for more) during renovations of the royal residence!