To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Review this product
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
5.0 out of 5 starsWho doesn't love a story with a maybe miracle?!
Reviewed in the United States on October 20, 2020
One of my biggest criteria for a great book is if I forget everything else and get lost in it while I'm reading. This sweet story totally delivers on that. I love the way the author immerses you into the culture of the very religious – which I'm not – and not just one religion but two: Judaism and Catholicism. The set up is so awesome and then two girls who just want to help. It is a great read for older elementary and middle school. I would love it as an all school summer read, especially in a time where we could use more understanding of our differences. It is charming and engaging with lots of heart.
Reviewed in the United States on September 8, 2020
I am not a young woman; indeed, I am of grandmother age, but this book caught my eye, so I bought it. It really is a lovely, warm story that promotes a positive image of Jews and Christians getting along with each other. I had to laugh because one of the stories in the book -- that of the Jewish girl wearing a friend's necklace with a crucifix and her mother's reaction -- mirrored a similar incident that happened to me when I was a little girl. The book, which is written with a lot of humor, is easy to read, and the voices of the characters felt real to me. A great bat mitzvah gift for someone!
Reviewed in the United States on September 9, 2020
From my daughter, “No vacancy was a great book and I enjoyed it immensely. It said so much about the world and that part of the division in our world is a choice on all sides. These characters were so likable and I would definitely suggest this book.”
Reviewed in the United States on December 31, 2020
This is a book about miracles—both invented and the authentic kind that unfold before our eyes. About differences—some visible and some not, some real and some imagined. And about the power of community and big-heartedness to bring us together. I loved this book.
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat reading covering many issues
Reviewed in the United States on April 21, 2021
This book had a lot of themes going through it but it worked. Miriam, an 11-year-old girl is the protagonist in the story as her family moves into a rundown motel, in the hopes of creating a new future for themselves and the business. They had only planned this to be a short-term plan, hoping to save some money and then move on. Moving into a small community was different than New York City and the longer I read, the more I realized what this family was hiding internally.
As the family moves into The Jewel Motor Inn, the two children live in one of the rooms and the parents’ take-up residence in an adjoining room. As an 11-year-old, I thought that would be fun but I could understand the novelty wearing off. Maria, continues to work at the Inn, taking care of the housekeeping issues and helping the family become familiar with the motel. I loved how she helped Miriam learn Spanish and I felt that Maria was a very kind and tolerant individual. As her parents start the clean-up process, Miriam pitches in. On an errand to the diner next door, she meets Kate. Kate’s grandmother owns the diner and eventually, Miriam ends up helping out at the diner making pies.
Now that Miriam has met a friend, the two girls start hanging out together. While talking about their small town, they come up with a plan that they think will benefit everyone in it. Now, if only they don’t get caught creating their plan! An innocent plan which when you think about it, was harmless. I thought the girls were rather clever. As guests arrived to the hotel, Miriam meets Anton. This child was a gem! Anton arrived with his mother and his wheelchair. Miriam saw the wheelchair. I really think she saw the wheelchair before she saw Anton until Anton met her in the swimming pool. After that, Miriam changed how she looked at him. Anton was not the only person who tried to help Miriam with her fear of water, Uncle Mordy tried his hand at that, too. Uncle Mordy arrived to help out the family so he decided to help Miriam. Slowly, he introduced her the water, letting the water touch her upper thighs, it was a start.
The girls felt guilty for what they did for the town but they didn’t want to admit to anyone what they did. Just as the family is enjoying their new home, they discover something painful and disturbing at the motel. This event has a snowball effect on the community which all began because of emotions and the lack of accountability. I cringed to see this happened to them and I had to hope that somehow, they found find strength to fight it.
A middle school read that packs religion, faith, friendship, disabilities, and family all in one book. I found it to be a fast read and I really enjoyed it. 4.5 stars
" They stand with their arms around each other. The man points and traces somthing in the air. The woman nods and smiles and I see tears rolls down her cheeks. " "Is what we did good or bad? Yes, we fooled people, but if it makes them happy and gives them hope and saves the motel and the diner, is that so bad?"
4.0 out of 5 starsStruggle with Religious Identity
Reviewed in the United States on April 13, 2021
Life is not always easy as Miriam, an eleven year old, discovers. As her family faces financial distress, she is uprooted and transplanted to a motel in upstate New York. She leaves behind her close friends and spends her summer days helping her family revive the failing motel. Success for the motel would also mean better times for the Whitleys, a generous and kindly couple next door whose granddaughter Kate becomes Miriam’s best friend. When Miriam’s Uncle Mordy suggests it might take a miracle to keep the businesses afloat, Kate and Miriam decide to provide one!
As she is dealing with challenges at the motel, Miriam is trying to understand what it means to be Jewish and why she is different from others in her new community. She also wrestles with a fear of swimming.
Tziporah Cohen’s No Vacancy is a gentle, but thoughtful look at religion, ethics, and community. This work of fiction is aimed at middle schoolers, but I enjoyed reading it. I like Miriam and find that her interactions with other characters as she struggles with being open about being a Jew and about her aquaphobia gives the book more depth. Uncle Mordy shares differences that exist among Jews in practicing their faith. The Catholic priest acts as a counselor without being intrusive or preachy. The interactions between Miriam and Kate demonstrate that differences in faith don’t preclude a happy and healthy friendship.
I would like to extend my thanks to NetGalley and to Groundwood Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
4.0 out of 5 starsReligion, Friendship, and Motels
Reviewed in the United States on September 29, 2020
Tziporah Cohen’s debut novel is a unique middle-grade book set in summer. Featuring a Jewish protagonist, No Vacancy is an exploration of religion, friendship, and discrimination. If you enjoy slice-of-life stories with motels, kids working, warm family dynamics, and eccentric characters, you’ll enjoy this one.