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See You at Harry's [Kindle Edition]

Jo Knowles
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)

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Kindle Price: $6.15
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Book Description

Starting middle school brings all the usual challenges - until the unthinkable happens, and Fern and her family must find a way to heal. Twelve-year-old Fern feels invisible. It seems as though everyone in her family has better things to do than pay attention to her: Mom (when she's not meditating) helps Dad run the family restaurant; Sarah is taking a gap year after high school; and Holden pretends that Mom and Dad and everyone else doesn't know he's gay, even as he fends off bullies at school. Then there's Charlie: three years old, a "surprise" baby, the center of everyone's world. He's devoted to Fern, but he's annoying, too, always getting his way, always dirty, always commanding attention. If it wasn't for Ran, Fern's calm and positive best friend, there'd be nowhere to turn. Ran's mantra, "All will be well," is soothing in a way that nothing else seems to be. And when Ran says it, Fern can almost believe it's true. But then tragedy strikes- and Fern feels not only more alone than ever, but also responsible for the accident that has wrenched her family apart. All will not be well. Or at least all will never be the same.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month for Kids, May, 2012: 12-year old Fern just wants to be normal. Instead she must endure her father’s endlessly embarrassing advertising ploys to boost the family business and the invisibility that comes with being the middle child in a family of strong personalities….including her adored younger brother Charlie. While everyone seems to be too busy for Fern—her mom dotes on Charlie, her brother Holden is mysterious and absent, and her sister Sarah seems not to care—Fern is left feeling she is all alone. But when a sudden tragedy occurs, Fern’s family must learn to stick together to overcome their grief and sadness. With engaging characters and an endearing protagonist who transports the reader back to the tumult of adolescence, See You at Harry’s is the kind of book that will make you laugh, cry, and wish you could go back and read it again for the first time. --Heather Dileepan

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-Twelve-year-old Fern is quiet and conciliatory, and often taken for granted. Left to take care of whatever the rest of the family members are too busy to deal with, she feels alone and resentful. Dad is constantly trying to boost business for the family restaurant, Mom is always escaping to meditate, Sarah is spending an embarrassing post-high school gap year working in the restaurant, and Holden is teetering on the verge of announcing his sexual orientation. The glue that holds the family together is three-year-old Charlie. Everyone's biggest joy, and sometimes Fern's biggest pain, Charlie's uninhibited glee in life keeps everything in perspective. Then, while in Fern's care, a freak accident takes Charlie's life. What starts out as a wonderfully realistic look at growing up in a semi-dysfunctional middle-class family turns swiftly into an equally realistic portrait of profound loss and guilt. Knowles's novel (Candlewick, 2012) takes us step by painful step through the days leading up to the funeral, the day of the funeral, and onto the impossible process of getting back to "normal" life. Kate Rudd gives a brilliant performance as, through the eyes, heart, and soul of Fern, she gives voice to the full breadth of grief experienced by each member of the family. Listeners are taken through every stage of the dark, heart-wrenching grieving process with throat constricting immediacy, and then led slowly back into the light. A beautiful, if painful, story delivered with remarkable clarity and sensitivity through an exceptional performance.-Cary Frostick, Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Product Details

  • File Size: 391 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Reprint edition (May 8, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007PVOFIK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,850 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully composed tradic story for MG readers May 30, 2012
Format:Hardcover
This is really a great read that I think a lot of MG readers will enjoy. It deals with a lot of the emotions of being a 12 year old just starting middle school, family dynamics, and the grieving process. When I started this one, I don't think I was fully prepared for the emotional roller coaster ride that it was going to take me on. So, while I definitely don't want to spoil anything for you (and I hope you don't find spoilers anywhere else), definitely be prepared for a few moments of truly devastating grief.

Fern is a very realistically written 12-year-old, with the common insecurities that many kids feel at that age. Older siblings create havoc that gets them notices; younger siblings get all the love and attention. New schools, new people, changing friends. It's easy to feel invisible. I thought Fern gave readers a very realistic look at the emotions that you deal with at that age--you do a lot of growing up right around the time in life.

The tragedy that rocks Fern's family--I didn't see that coming at all! I mean, obviously you knew that something was going to happen, but the tragic event really creeps up on you. It is the kind of event that is accompanied by painful emotions and tears (well, if you're like me, then there are probably at least a new tears). The character development and family dynamics shift in unexpected ways as a result and it added a whole extra layer to the story.

See You At Harry's tackles the topic of dealing with tragedy quite masterfully. While this isn't the sort of book that every 10-12 year old will thoroughly enjoy, I think that there are probably a decent number of middle grade age kids dealing with these types of emotions and this book would be a perfect companion.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wrenching read, but message conveyed very well July 30, 2012
Format:Hardcover
Perhaps like most kids about to start middle school, Fern is simultaneously dependent on and horrified by her family. She loves them, but at the same time, they annoy the heck out of her. Her dad, who runs the town ice cream shop and has grand visions of taking on Ben and What's-His-Face, constantly enlists his family to appear in advertisements for the restaurant. Her mom, who named all four of her children after characters from books, compensates for the ice cream parlor by feeding her kids aggressively healthy vegetarian dishes.

Fern's two older siblings, Sara (named after A LITTLE PRINCESS) and Holden (named after THE CATCHER IN THE RYE), have their own dilemmas. Sara, who's taking a gap year while she figures out where (or whether) she wants to attend college, just wants privacy from her well-meaning parents, but that's hard to find when she works at the family restaurant. Holden is mercilessly tormented by the bullies on the school bus, and despite Fern's reassurances, he's terrified of coming out as gay to their parents.

And then there's Charlie, named after CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. Fern loves three-year-old Charlie (of course she does), but she also finds him draining. He clearly adores her and likes to show her by pulling her ears and calling her "Ferny." Fern never asked for a baby brother when she was nine, and now that she's almost a teenager, the last thing she wants is to feel like she has to take care of him all the time.

Fern's family is a lot like most families --- they take each other for granted a lot of the time. But when tragedy strikes in the sharpest and most unexpected way, they must redefine and reestablish relationships with each other, even as they all figure out how to move forward both individually and together.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt and Heartbreaking Middle Grade November 26, 2012
Format:Hardcover
I never thought I would be into reading middle grade books, myself being 25+ I didn't think i'd be able to find anything relatable in these stories, but i've honestly read quite a few this year, and its totally changed my opinion. See You at Harry's definitely takes the cake for the best middle grade book i've read this year. Anyone can relate to this story despite your age. Everyone has family in some shape or form and dealing with grieve is unfortantually a part of life.

I haven't read any of Jo Knowles other books although I do have a copy of Pearl sitting on my TBR which definitely has moved its way up my list to be read, because I found her writing to be truly breathtaking. She wrote pain and utter heartbreak in such a geniune way. The characters were all so unique and I loved that all of the kids had literary-related names!! Something every booknerd can appreciate.

I voted for this book in the goodreads book awards for 2012 and although it didn't make it into the final round I still think It's a book that anyone of any age will love. It's heartfelt and heartbreaking and truly showcases Jo Knowles as a superstar of a writer. This might have been my first read of Knowles, but it definitely will not be my last.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sad, sad tale February 2, 2013
Format:Hardcover
It is just one of those families, where you, a 6th grade girl have a younger three-year old brother who is very annoying, an older brother+ sister, a strict-organic mother, and work-tied father. What is the big catch of the story then? Well... (SPOILERS) her 14 year old brother is a gay dating with a 17 year old guy, her dad is running an ice-cream café he inherited from his father, and the worst part is, he puts up an embarrassing advertisement to "boom" the restaurant.

Though there might be enough family problems already, things get worse when she gets in the school bus: bullies. After seeing them mock her brother, Fern (the girl) decides to do something about it, and it naturally does not work out well.

The book seems to focus on the middle school life of the kids at first, but moves on to the family business (the ice cream shop named Harry's), friend relationship, but most importantly back to the main goal of the novel, love.

Caring, feeling, forgiving, sharing, and understanding. These all come together when fern's little brother dies of a blood clot in his brain, day after an accident that occurred due to the family's lack of interest in each other.

The point of the story changes rapidly from there, but that is where the "good" stories are. Family trying to keep together, looking after each other, and loving each other.

I think it was a nice twist in the book, and enjoyed all of it. Even though the story may be a sad, sad tale, keep reading and find out what happens in the end! You will not regret reading this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Really sad but I loved the book fern is a great sister!! This book has changed my life forevermore I love it!!!
Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good story
This story is an amazing story I recommend it to every one who loves story's about love feelings and growing up
Published 8 days ago by Ashlynn Brissey
5.0 out of 5 stars I thought See You At Harry's was an AMAZING book. It is filled with...
I thought See You At Harry's was an AMAZING book. It is filled with sadness yet love and happiness, which gives you a great mix of emotions. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Susan Reif
5.0 out of 5 stars Social issues story
A great social issue story for middle schoolers.
Published 23 days ago by Mary Anne Kenyon
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Jo Knowles!
I remember with absolute clarity the angst and turmoil that came with being a preteen and entering middle school: hormones, self-image issues, embarrassing family members,... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Shawna Briseno
5.0 out of 5 stars Get your tissues ready!
This was an amazing book! You think of everything and everyone differently. Honestly,this was not only the best book I have ever read but also the saddest. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Erika
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
So, so, sad, but such a good book! It really got me thinking. Everybody absolutely HAS to read this book!
Published 1 month ago by SumoAllie
5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic Fiction
Knowles creates a literary experience that mimics all the people, events and emotions of real life - both the good and the bad. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Elizabeth r stiffler
5.0 out of 5 stars See you at hawwes
I loved this book so much!!! I am 11 And it was good for me.... it's sad but also so good!! Must read!!!
Published 2 months ago by Lauren hudson
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally charged, powerful
A great coming of age novel to help children understand grief, guilt, and the importance of family. I would recommend this to anyone especially those that may want to feel more... Read more
Published 3 months ago by smajjr
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More About the Author

Jo Knowles is the author of the young adult novels Lessons From A Dead Girl, Jumping Off Swings, Pearl, and See You at Harry's.

To learn more about Jo, visit www.joknowles.com or follow her blog on LiveJournal at http://livejournal.jbknowles.com.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/JoKnowles
Facebok: http://www.facebook.com/JoKnowles

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