MLA Gold Award Site

Excerpt from See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

See You at Harry's

by Jo Knowles

See You at Harry's
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2012, 0 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2013, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Sara crosses her arms. “ Whatever,” she says. My mom just sighs, and we continue to drive in silence, except for Charlie’s quiet singing of “ Rudolph, the Red- Nosed Reindeer” in Doll’s left ear. I lean my head against the window and watch the neighborhood houses swim by, wondering if all families are as frustrating to live with as mine.

2

When we get to the restaurant, my dad hurries over to us with a huge grin on his face. “ Finally! What took you so long? The photographer will be here any minute. Quick, kids, put these on.”

We’re still in the parking lot as he hands us each a neon- colored T- shirt. I notice that he’s careful not to unfold them so that we can’t see the drawing on the front. I don’t know why, since he’s sporting his own neon- yellow T. As soon as he hands out all the shirts, his chest is in full view and so is the horrible design — a huge dinosaur sitting on top of a badly drawn image of our restaurant. The dinosaur is eating an ice- cream cone, and drips are slipping down the front window. Little faces peek out the window around the drips. I think they are supposed to be ours.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Sara says. “Seriously, Dad?”

My mom gives her a warning look.

“What?” my dad asks as he helps Charlie pull an electric-blue shirt over his head.

“We all have dinosaurs?” I ask.

“What’s wrong with dinosaurs? Kids love ’em. Right, Charlie?”

Charlie nods excitedly and roars.

“What do dinosaurs have to do with Christmas?” I ask. “ These are for the annual card, right?”

“Come on, come on, come on. We don’t have time for dillydallying,” my dad says, ignoring my question. I pull my own bright orange T over my head. It feels bulky over the T- shirt I’m already wearing. Sara puts hers on inside out. My dad is so busy fussing with Charlie, he doesn’t even notice.

“I can’t believe we have to do this,” Holden says, stretching his neon-green T-shirt out in front of him. “And why did I have to get green? It makes me look pale.”

My mom clears her throat in this way she has that means we’re supposed to look over at her without making it obvious. We all look and watch as her right hand, which is in a fist, slowly unclenches and she stretches out five fingers.

Holden, Sara, and I exchange glances. We wait. My mom sighs and slowly unclenches her other fist. Five more fingers. That’s ten bucks each if we keep our mouths shut and cooperate.

We’re in.

I don’t know when my mom turned to silent bribery to prevent family conflicts, but it seems to work. It’s not that we want to disappoint my dad. We know he means well. But why do his ideas always have to be so lame and humiliating? And why does the humiliating part always have to include us?

We all follow my dad to the front of the restaurant, where he starts to position us under the window just as a van pulls into the parking lot blasting the Grateful Dead. It’s “ Uncle John’s Band,” Charlie’s favorite, and he immediately starts shaking his bum.

“They’re here!” my dad yells.

Sara fidgets with her dreadlocks again. “At least they have good taste in music.”

“ Everyone, this is Eric,” my dad says when the photographer walks over to us. “And Sky,” he says, gesturing to a woman wearing a head scarf.

“I love your hair,” Sky says to Sara.

“Uh, that’s not a regular camera,” Holden points out when Eric lifts the camera to his shoulder. “That’s the surprise!” my dad yells. “ Surprise! We’re making a commercial! Isn’t that great?”

Excerpted from See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles. Copyright © 2012 by Jo Knowles. Excerpted by permission of Candlewick Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  The Real Harry's

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Atomic Weight of Love
    The Atomic Weight of Love
    by Elizabeth Church
    A prologue set in 2011 introduces readers to this novel's unforgettable narrator. Meridian ...
  • Book Jacket: Murder at the 42nd Street Library
    Murder at the 42nd Street Library
    by Con Lehane
    It doesn't matter if you're stopping in your favorite library to quickly pick up a book, or settling...
  • Book Jacket: The Loney
    The Loney
    by Andrew Hurley
    Landscape can be a writer's best friend. Whether it's the mountains of England's lake...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Dark Lady's Mask
    by Mary Sharratt

    Based on the life of the first professional woman poet in Renaissance England, and her collaboration with Shakespeare.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Win this book!
Win The Children

From NYT bestselling author Ann Leary

The captivating story of an unconventional New England family.

Enter

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Girl Waits with Gun
by Amy Stewart

An enthralling novel based on the forgotten true adventures of one of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Word Play

Solve this clue:

I I A Greek T M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.