Jul 5, 2011

Tween Tuesday: Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen

5 bittersweet chocolate chip cookies.

Cover Love:
There are many different covers out for this one. This is the one for the edition I read. It's an okay cover, but not really eye catching.

Why I Wanted to Read This:
We had a run on these books in school last year when a teacher was reading it aloud to her class of sixth graders. So many of the kids came in gushing about it I knew I had to read it.
Here's the synopsis from Good Reads:
This summer will be different. That's for sure. When an eleven-year-old city boy is dropped off to stay on a farm with relatives, he doesn't know what to expect. His cousin Harris soon takes care of that. Harris is rude and crude and finds trouble at every turn. He leads his city cousin into everything from wrestling slippery pigs to catching mice to a daredevil jump out of a barn loft. And that's not all. There are swimming and cowboy movies and enough good food to fill the boys up for days.

Farm life is hard but never lonely. Before long, Harris's cousin has found a place where he belongs. If only summer could last forever.

I Kept Reading Because: I fell in love with this book! I didn't want to stop reading.

Romance?: Nope.

What I Liked (& Didn't):
First off, I adore Gary Paulsen, but I view him as a survival author. I don't think I have read anything beyond the Brian books (no, I take that back, I did read the first two Mr. Tucket books). I am forever recommending his books to readers in my libraries to great success. But, I have just never tried any of his other stuff.

Consider me a convert. I had this one and the Lawn Boy books on my summer reading list.

This book was wonderful. Just wonderful.

It is told from the point of view of the cousin (whose name we do never learn). This is kind of a throw away kid, but rather than go into the system, he gets bounced around to relatives. We never hear of any of the other situations he was in (besides an overseas stint), this book is just about the summer he spent with Harris.

Harris is so amazing. He just accepts this city kid as a brother and immediately indoctrinates him into farm life. His ideas and schemes and plans are just fantastic. I have read some of the Soup books by Richard Peck, and Soup is fine and all, but I have not seen anyone to match Harris. This is a kid I love and am so glad I don't have to raise.

And I knew I would cry. I just knew that he'd have to go back in the end, but I so hoped and hoped that he wouldn't have to go back.

When my son saw me reading this he commented that it was a really good book. He'd had to read it in sixth grade. Today when he noticed me crying as I reached the end he just nodded.
This book brought out many emotions for me!

To Sum Up: If you have a child who wants a funny read after finishing Diary of a Wimpy Kid, hand them Harris and Me. I think they will enjoy it!


  1. This sounds great. I've never been a huge Paulsen fan since I'm not into the whole survival thing. But this is the type of book I would have loved. It is odd that you never learn the cousin's name though.

  2. I loved the Brian books but am so glad I picked this one up! Super different and super great.