The Four-Story Mistake

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The Four-Story Mistake
The Four-Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright first edition cover.jpg
Author Elizabeth Enright
Illustrator Elizabeth Enright
Country United States & Canada
Genre Realistic Fiction
Publisher Farrar & Rinehart
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 177 pp
ISBN 9780805070613
OCLC 2023039
LC Class PZ7.E724 Fo
Preceded by The Saturdays
Followed by Then There Were Five

The Four-Story Mistake (1942) is a children's novel by award-winning author Elizabeth Enright. The second of her four books about the Melendy family, it is preceded by The Saturdays, and is followed by Then There Were Five, and Spiderweb for Two: A Melendy Maze.


The four Melendy children live with their father, a widowed professor of economics, and Cuffy, their beloved housekeeper. During the height of World War II, the Melendy family moves out of New York City and into the countryside. Miranda "Randy", the third child, dislikes change and is saddened by the move. But the house they move into turns out to be an adventure. Called by locals "The Four-Story Mistake", it is an odd-looking house with a rich architectural history, surrounded by the country.

The four Melendy children soon find adventure discovering the many hidden attractions of the house. Oliver discovers buried history, Rush is stranded in a tree during a storm, Randy finds a diamond in the most unlikely of places, and Mona learns what it truly means to be an actress. None of them could have guessed at the secret hidden in their very own play space, the office—a secret that had been shut away for over 60 years.


The Saturday Review called The Four-Story Mistake "Special because of its uncontrived, carefree humor and its modern appeal to everyone".[1] Kirkus Reviews gave it a starred review for "books of remarkable merit" and praised it for "Plenty of action and incident; good dialogue; and a feel for people and the things they think and do".[2]


  1. ^ "Six Special Books". Saturday Review. Retrieved 2012-05-20. 
  2. ^ "The Four-Story Mistake". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 2012-05-20. 

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