Can’t Wait for No Vacancy by Tziporah Cohen

Tuesday is gone and Thursday hasn’t arrived, so that must mean it’s time for Can’t-Wait Wednesday. This week I’ve been on a bit of a middle grade fiction kick—the grand marketing niche that boils down to books focused on young characters and their issues. And I think I’ve found a new story solid for any age.

Today I’m waiting for…

One of the things I love about middle grade fiction books is, while they tend to be shorter in terms of length, they pack plenty of action and heart into every single word.

Seeing the blurb for Tziporah Cohen’s No Vacancy, I know it manages all of that and more. Plus, it seemingly has that collision of worlds and sense of community that I’m always on the lookout for in fiction.

Add in a motel backdrop and grape pies?

I can’t wait.

From the publisher:

Buying and moving into the run-down Jewel Motor Inn in upstate New York wasn’t eleven-year-old Miriam Brockman’s dream, but at least it’s an adventure. Miriam befriends Kate, whose grandmother owns the diner next door, and finds comfort in the company of Maria, the motel’s housekeeper, and her Uncle Mordy, who comes to help out for the summer. She spends her free time helping Kate’s grandmother make her famous grape pies and begins to face her fears by taking swimming lessons in the motel’s pool.

But when it becomes clear that only a miracle is going to save the Jewel from bankruptcy, Jewish Miriam and Catholic Kate decide to create their own. Otherwise, the No Vacancy sign will come down for good, and Miriam will lose the life she’s worked so hard to build.

Title: No Vacancy
Author: Tziporah Cohen
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Expected Publication: September 01, 2020
Classification: Middle Grade

Cohen’s Twitter | Goodreads

Note: Can’t Wait Wednesday is a feature hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, so be sure to check out her weekly post to find other participants. Fair warning: don’t be surprised if you come away with an expanded TBR pile.


  1. I just requested this based on your description. It does have elements that appeal to me. For one, I realize I have not read as many Children’s or Middle Grade books as I really would like to include in my reading time. Another silly, emotional reason is one of my favorite books from my youth was The Pink Hotel, purchased through the Weekly Reader book club. My blue collar parents scrimped and saved for our educations. Mother gave haircuts to 7 at home and sewed our clothes. We didn’t eat out or go on vacations, BUT she always found a little money for books, besides our regular trips to the library. Is it any wonder I love to read? Big deviation, but I assume you get the connection. I also am looking forward to reading about some young people from different backgrounds who see a problem and are empowered to do something about it. Thanks for putting this on my radar.


    1. Thank you so, so much for sharing that. It’s amazing how each of us came to enjoy reading so much—especially when many individuals don’t. Having such an important emphasis placed on books from an early age certainly doesn’t hurt. My family was very similar. And with all of the noise that comes with being a kid, when you find that special book—one that you maybe read over and over again, that tickled you or made you think—and it still impacts you as an adult? That’s pure magic. Now you have me wanting to dig through some of my old favorites! And I’m going to track down a copy of The Pink Motel. I wasn’t familiar with it before now, but I like Carol Ryrie Brink and it sounds brilliant.


  2. Now that my daughter is getting into middle grade, I’m paying more attention to what’s out there. So many great sounding books! I think I get more excited about them than she does. 😊 No Vacancy sounds like it will be good. I hope you love it when you read it. Stay safe and well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks, Christopher, for your lovely shout out. I tried making a grape pie as part of my research for this novel, but can’t say it turned out all that well…will have to try again as publication date approaches! (Which has been moved to Sept. 1 due to the pandemic.) Stay safe, everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hadn’t realized the publication date was pushed back, but I’ll update the post to reflect that! Hopefully we’ll be experiencing much calmer times. Your grape pie reference had me going down a rabbit hole of recipes, and it sounds like such a unique treat. Fingers crossed for a great pie and an even better launch.


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