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Monday, July 2, 2012

See You At Harry's

I'm very excited to share what I read this week!

I finally got my hands on See You At Harry's by Jo Knowles!  I had intended to read a couple of professional books but when I got the call from the library telling me that this book had arrived...my other reading plans were pushed to the side.

I had to order the book from another library because my local library didn't have this title yet.  It was worth the wait though - it was sort of like waiting for the teacher to get the red and white scholastic bookorder box as a child!

I started reading the book on Thursday and had a hard time putting it down.  As the mother of 4 little ones, I find that my reading time is mostly limited to naptime and occasionally after the kiddos are in bed at night (although usually by that time I'm too tired to do much besides veg in front of the tv).  However, this was a book that I had a hard time closing.  I read it every chance I found...even if it was just a page here and there.

I really connected with this story as a mom, as an aunt, as a person who has lost.  The themes, the characters, the interactions between the characters...it was a great book.  I have to say though, it is a book to read with a box of Kleenex close by, but it's worth it.

I also started reading Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani.  I'm only a bit into the book but so far it is good.  It captured my attention right away because of the letter writing format.  It is also interesting to me to hear the different voices of the characters coming through. 

I could really see using this book to teach writing with voice to students...although it may be too high to use with my own kindergarten students.  I'm still reading it with a teacher's eye - always on the look out for a piece, a mentor sentence or two, that might be good to share with my students.

I look forward to reading further into this book this week. 

I am also still trying to get to the professional reading.  I have some greats waiting in the wings: Growing a Reader by Kathy Collins and The Writing Workshop by Katie Wood Ray.

Happy reading!


  1. I loved both your fiction books, Robin-very wonderful reads. Another 'letter' book is Dear Mr. Henshaw, by Beverly Cleary. It might be more appropriate for the younger ones. Good luck on the professional reading; it takes even more time, doesn't it?

  2. I too just finished See You at Harry's this week. Heartbreaking, but touching, and I thought she just nailed Fern's many and varied emotions. Have a great reading week, where ever you can fit it in!

    1. I totally agree! The way the book was written was amazing to me. I thought she portrayed Fern very well. Not only did she nail the way a 12 year old thinks and feels normally, but she was able to capture all the feelings and emotions that Fern had during a really trying time. Awesome!

  3. See You at Harry's was so well written. It was such an emotional read, but Knowles handled the character emotions in such a way that it wasn't overpowering. I liked that the ending wasn't happily ever after, but it did leave the reader with hope. I didn't enjoy Same Sun Here as much as I thought I would, but I agree that it would be a good choice for teaching voice.

    Maria @novalibrarymom.com

  4. I cannot say enough about See you at Harry's and I love what you said about it.
    Jen loves Same Sun Here- I'll be looking forward to hearing what you think.

    Happy reading this week! :)

    1. Thanks Kellee - I really loved See You At Harry's and it's hard to put that into words without telling too much of the story. I find that the more I see myself as a writer, the more I notice the craft of the books I read. Jo Knowles did a wonderful job of drawing me into the book, grabbing my heart strings and telling a strong story. So many times during the book I had to remind myself that this was a fictional story. I found myself feeling bad for Fern and her family as if they were real people, my friends even. I think that says a lot about how well a book is written.

      As for Same Sun Here, I'm just about to the halfway point and my only observation so far is that I'm not quite sure where it's going. That being said, I'm still enjoying it. I think it might be a good book to listen to...if the reader could capture the two different voices with their distinct accents.