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Mick Harte Was Here Paperback – August 27, 1996
Frequently Bought Together
From Publishers Weekly
"I don't want to make you cry. I just want to tell you about Mick. But I thought you should know right up front that he's not here anymore. I just thought that would be fair." Phoebe, the eighth-grade narrator of Park's (Buddies; Don't Make Me Smile) heart-wrenching novel, weaves together diverting anecdotes about her endearingly eccentric brother with her reactions, and those of her parents, to his death in a bicycle accident at the age of 12. The genius of this novel is Park's ability to make the events excruciatingly real while entirely avoiding the mawkish; likable Phoebe's frank, at times even funny narration will leave readers feeling as though they've known the girl-and Mick-for a very long time. Park's ability to convey so affectingly both the individual and collective pain of this family's members is remarkable. She focuses on small moments-the father closing the door to Mick's room upon returning from the hospital; the mother covering her ears because she cannot bear Phoebe's talk about her brother. But the novel has another crucial dimension in that it stresses the importance of wearing bike helmets. Midway through the story, in response to Phoebe's misplaced sense of guilt, Phoebe's father introduces the subject: "He heaved a God-awful sigh and whispered, 'If only I had made him wear his helmet.'" The message is skillfully reprised toward the conclusion, in a powerful scene in which Phoebe overcomes her own pain and anger to participate in a school assembly on bicycle safety. An author's note at the end reinforces the message. To Park's great credit, the lesson never dominates-the story reads not as a cautionary tale, but as a full-fledged and fully convincing drama. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6?In this wrenching story permeated with humor and hope, a young girl must come to terms with the death of her brother in a bicycle accident.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
"So this isn't the kind of book where you meet the main character and you get to like him real well and then he dies at the end", says narrator Phoebe Harte. Mick Harte is dead, to begin with. In a straightforward voice, thirteen-year-old Pheobe tells of how her brother's death was an accident in the purest sense of the word. He was on his bike, he hit a rock, and he smashed into a passing truck. Instantaneous head wound. Instantaneous death. But before you get to that you get to see a little of Mick on that last day. You see how he messed around with his sister and how they had a mild fight that morning. You get a sense of his sense of humor and wacky style.Read more ›
The sad part is that Mick dies. Mick died from a bicycle crash because he didn't wear his helmet. Mick's family was like zombies. They wouldn't even eat in the dinner table because they saw the empty chair and they missed Mick. The dad didn't even iron his pants, and his mom didn't even change clothes. She didn't talk to her daughter, either.
At the end of the book Phoebe went to the soccer field to sit there, when she saw a stick. Phoebe thought was a perfect size and small enough to carve the letters into the concrete so they could stay forever. She wrote the letters big enough to see them: MICK HARTE WAS HERE. That was the saddest thing I ever heard, and I want to tell everyone you should wear your helmet, if not, every day there will be deaths. This is a great book for everyone.
After that, the book ranges from horrifying to sad to hilarious. (I always laugh out loud when the story of the monkey in the driveway is told -- read it and see if you don't crack up!)
Park captures the pain of losing a sibling perfectly without being cloying or portraying the dead child as perfect. The family is REAL: they speak like real people, fight, laugh, cry, love, hurt, and heal like humans... this isn't a paper family
Park wrote this conversational story with such heart and humor, I’d swear narrator Phoebe Harte really was Park’s 13-year-old self. As a storyteller, Park knew and loved her audience. She tackled the complex subject of death candidly, yet compassionately, without being overdramatic or condescendingly romantic about the deceased person’s life. We felt Phoebe’s pain and we marveled in her hope. MICK HARTE WAS HERE is the perfect writer’s resource on how to be real. I can see why it was a counselor's favorite.
But I can still remember the exact conversation I had with Santa Claus when I was in kindergarten.
He said, “Ho ho ho.”
I said, “Your breath smells.”
And he said, “Get down.”
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mick Harte Was Here will make you laugh and make you cry ... and teach you some of life's most important lessons.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent book and great to use in lessons to promote bike safety. Plenty of lesson plans online.Published 10 months ago by Amandine Midori
My kids and I love this book. It'll having you bawling and laughing all at once!!Published 13 months ago by Sara Cavalli
Read it with my fifth grader and it was just as fantastic as I remembered. We laughed and cried together. Barbara Park's best work.Published 14 months ago by BrownEyedGirl
This was different than I expected but a good (short) read. It's a story about how an accident changed a family and the ending is an unexpected twist but insightful.Published 14 months ago by Cynthia Bergakker MSW
This book is so moving. I read it as a child. To this very day this book is still the best book i ever read.Published 15 months ago by nisha1991