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: The Wrong Heaven
    The Wrong Heaven
    by Amy Bonnafons
    The narrators of the short story collection The Wrong Heaven are plagued by critical talking lawn ...
  • Book Jacket: Southernmost
    Southernmost
    by Silas House
    Southernmost opens with a devastating flood in Cumberland Valley, Tennessee. Could it be divine ...
  • Book Jacket: Confessions of the Fox
    Confessions of the Fox
    by Jordy Rosenberg
    In Confessions of the Fox, a fictional academic, Dr. Voth, finds a manuscript in the library where ...
  • Book Jacket: Tango Lessons
    Tango Lessons
    by Meghan Flaherty
    Meghan Flaherty's touching memoir, Tango Lessons, reveals some hard but important truths about ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

The incredible true story of the women who fought America's Undark danger.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Meet Me at the Museum
    by Anne Youngson

    A celebration of letters, kindred spirits and writing a new story for yourself.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    So Much Life Left Over
    by Louis de Bernieres

    An evocative and emotional novel set between the World Wars.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Our House
    by Louise Candlish

    A disturbing and addictive novel of domestic suspense.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Vox

VOX by Christina Dalcher

The story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter in a society where half the population is silenced.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T B Y Speak

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.