Summary and book reviews of See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles

See You at Harry's

by Jo Knowles

See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles X
See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles
  • 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

Book Summary

Starting middle school brings all the usual challenges - until the unthinkable happens, and Fern and her family must find a way to heal.

Twelve-year-old Fern feels invisible. Her dad is always busy planning how to increase traffic to the family business. Her Mom is constantly going off to meditate. Her sister Sarah, who's taking a "gap year" after high school, is too busy finding ways not to work; and her brother Holden is too focused on his new "friend" to pay attention to her. And then there's Charlie: three years old, a "surprise" baby, and  the center of everyone's world.

If it wasn't for Ran, Fern's best and oldest friend, there would be nowhere to turn. Ran is always calm, always positive. His mantra "All will be well" is soothing in a way that nothing else seems to be. And when Ran says it, Fern can almost believe.

But when their lives are unexpectedly turned upside down, Fern feels more alone than ever, and responsible for the event that wrenches the family apart. All will not be well. Or at least, all will never be the same.

Ages 10+

1

The very best day of my life, I threw up four times and had a fever of 103 degrees. I was pretty sure I was going to die, and sometimes by the look on my mom’s face every time she took my temperature, I think she was pretty sure, too. It was all because of Random Smith, a boy in school who never had any lunch. I’d given him a bite of my sandwich and all of my crackers, he looked so hungry. Growing up, my mom wasn’t the kind of mom who said never drink from the same cup as someone else. That stuff didn’t occur to her. So I’d given him a sip of my milk, too.

But in addition to being hungry all the time, Random was also usually sick. People never knew what he had, so they always just said he had “some random thing”— which they all thought was hilarious but I just thought was mean.

That day at home, my mom spent every minute with me. My older sister and brother were at school, and my dad was working at my parents’ ...

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!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Even though Fern and her siblings are named after fictional characters, and they, in turn, are fictional characters, it's tough to remember that they aren't real... Knowles imagines each one with such resonant details and pitch-perfect emotions that they could easily be the family who lives next door. They're funny, messy, complicated, and loving. They're dealing with emerging sexuality, bullying, sibling rivalry, and all sorts of other typical family and growing-up issues... Because they are so believable, and because Knowles writes with careful attention to every word in this tight, clear novel, Fern and her family wiggle their way into the reader's heart from the very beginning.   (Reviewed by Tamara Smith).

Full Review (436 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

Media Reviews

VOYA
When tragedy strikes, readers will feel the blow almost as intensely as the family does. Readers will savor every bite of this bittersweet novel

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. Sit back in a comfortable chair, bring on the Kleenex and cry your heart out... Prescient writing, fully developed characters and completely, tragically believable situations elevate this sad, gripping tale to a must-read level. Ages 11+

Author Blurb Lauren Myracle
Sometimes your heart has to break before it can heal. See You At Harry's will make you weep, but it will also fill your soul with the extravagant gift of love. This may be the most beautiful book ever.

Author Blurb Rebecca Stead
Heart-breaking, soul-sustaining, and all-around beautiful.

Author Blurb Sara Zarr
This story of an imperfect but loving family and how it holds together through shattering tragedy as well as everyday complications is full of true heart. Jo Knowles' love for her characters shines through on every page.

Author Blurb Libba Bray
Jo Knowles has crafted a shimmering, pitch-perfect novel of love, loss, and resilience which finds the beauty in the small joys of everyday living, the comfort in the often-infuriating bonds of family, and the gentle hope that grows from the heartbreak of tragedy. Beautiful and life-affirming.

Reader Reviews

Reviewer

Awesome book!
I read this book as a seventh grader, and enjoyed it very much. There are twists and turns, happy moments, sad moments, and many moments that keep you on the edge of your seat. I recommend this book for kids from 6-8th grade. Maybe fifth if they are ...   Read More

Write your own review!

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

BookBrowse's own Tamara Smith talks with Jo Knowles about her childhood experiences growing up in the restaurant business that inspired See You at Harry's.

Much of See You at Harry's centers around the family restaurant. Do you have experience with such a place?

Yes, my family owned a series of restaurants when I was a kid, starting with Kellers' Ice-Cream, which was a family-style place as well as an ice cream factory. Later they opened a second restaurant, and a tiny sandwich place called The Hole in The Wall. Later, they sold these businesses and bought a beautiful old Victorian home which they converted into a more upscale restaurant called The Hathaway House.

Harry's is such a warm, fun restaurant. I get the feeling that the...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

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!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Jo Knowles

If you liked See You at Harry's, try these:

  • Six Feet Over It jacket

    Six Feet Over It

    by Jennifer Longo

    Published 2016

    About this book

    Darkly humorous and heart-wrenchingly beautiful, Jennifer Longo's YA debut about a girl stuck living in a cemetery will change the way you look at life, death, and love.

  • Family Life jacket

    Family Life

    by Akhil Sharma

    Published 2015

    About this book

    Heart-wrenching and darkly funny, Family Life is a universal story of a boy torn between duty and his own survival.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
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!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Your Duck Is My Duck
    Your Duck Is My Duck
    by Deborah Eisenberg
    In this collection of six short stories, Deborah Eisenberg presents characters confronting limits ...
  • Book Jacket: Unsheltered
    Unsheltered
    by Barbara Kingsolver
    Willa Knox's house is falling down. She recently inherited a Victorian residence in Vineland, ...
  • Book Jacket: Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree
    Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree
    by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
    Ya Ta, the main character in Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani's novel, Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, ...
  • Book Jacket: The Boneless Mercies
    The Boneless Mercies
    by April Genevieve Tucholke
    The Mercies are assassins, part of a long tradition of killers who serve to end the suffering of the...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Winter Soldier
by Daniel Mason

A story of war and medicine, of finding love in the sweeping tides of history, and of the mistakes we make.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Kennedy Debutante
    by Kerri Maher

    "An engrossing tale of family, faith and love in the life of one remarkable woman." - Booklist
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Gone So Long

Andre Dubus III's First Novel in a Decade

A masterpiece of thrilling tension and heartrending empathy.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

G H E Rope A H Will H H

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.