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The Happy Hollisters and the Old Clipper Ship: (Volume 12) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 180 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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|Age Level: 7 - 12|
|Grade Level: 1 - 6|
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Sexism finally rears it's ugly 1950s head: Pete and his friend and Ricky get to build and sail a mini-clipper ship out of the rowboat they are making a film with (foreshadowing: the mark of good literature!) and Pam and Holly and Sue only get to sew the sails. However, in a cute sequence that I loved, Ricky and Holly get separated from the rest of the family on a visit to Boston, visit a market, and buy some tea to throw into Boston Harbor! Nice to know in the Hollister universe seven- and six-year-old kids know history when today's teenagers can barely figure out what century George Washington is from! And of course when they are at the harborfront they accidentally stumble over a clue to the clipper ship Tom is looking for.
Seriously, this is fun if you don't mind all the coincidences. Just one thing: what is with Joey Brill's mother? Is she completely clueless or what?
The Happy Hollisters are somewhat of a relic of an era gone by. The family consists of five children, Pete, Pam (Pamela), Ricky, Holly, and Sue, and their parents Mr. and Mrs. Hollister. There are also Zip, a collie, and White Nose, a cat, who has five kittens. Mr. Hollister runs a store called The Trading Post, which is similar to what was once called a general store in days gone by.
Throughout the series the children solve mysteries, usually as a family. This story begins with a storm and a car wreck. The man in the car is Tom King, identified as a Polynesian from the territory of Hawaii. Since this book was written in 1956, Hawaii had yet to become a state. I wonder whether Tom King is Polynesian or whether he was actually Hawaiian. Tom King is seeking clues to the disappearance of the clipper ship Winged Chief. If he can find the log from the ship, he can prove he is related to a wealthy cousin who passed away, leaving a fortune to anyone who can prove they are related.
Soon after the Hollister children meet Tom King the shenanigans begin. Tom King has valuable sketches of the Winged Chief that will help prove his identify. The children make copies of the originals, which turns out to be fortunate because the originals are stolen. Soon a pair of famous actors appears at the Hollister home, and suddenly the children find that they are going to be in a movie!
The children travel to Boston and then Orient Harbor where the film is to be made. Along the way the Hollister family encounters crooks several times without understanding what they want. The children then learn that someone is trying to claim Tom King's inheritance, and he may have difficulty proving who he is because he lost the original sketches. As the story comes to its exciting conclusion the children struggle to solve the mystery of the disappearance of the Winged Chief, and try to find the ship's log. Along the way the Hollister children break into show business in one of the most interesting Happy Hollister books.
The Happy Hollisters series remains a reasonably good, if somewhat outdated, read for younger children, perhaps from ages 4 to 9. I suspect that by age 9 most children are entranced by more modern pursuits. Also, many children may consider families of five children to be somewhat unusual and that may take some explaining. These books may be an excellent way to introduce children to the changes that have taken place in our society over the past half century.
One last word of caution. These books are becoming very difficult to find, and thus their price varies substantially. If you are interested in reading this series you may find editions without covers that sell for less than editions with covers.
I hope you enjoy The Happy Hollisters. They are a reminder of a simpler age.