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See You at Harry's

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  9,649 Ratings  ·  1,464 Reviews
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. It seems as though everyone in her family has better things to do than pay attention to her: Mom (when she’s not meditating) helps Dad run the family restaurant; Sarah is taking a gap year after high s
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Candlewick Press (first published May 1st 2012)
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Alicja Dzikowski
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Nov 06, 2014 Jesse (JesseTheReader) rated it really liked it
Such an emotional story!
Jan 12, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg-fiction
Last night my husband had to confiscate our Kindle from me because I was crying uncontrollably, so wrecked by what had just happened in the book I was reading that I could barely even breathe, I was crying so hard.

This morning, though, I took the Kindle back. I started reading again, and ten minutes later, I was crying again. But I didn't stop reading until the end of the book, because I couldn't.

The book was Jo Knowles's See You at Harry's (I got an e-ARC through Netgalley), and honestly, if an
At NCTE I knew that I would be compelled to tour the exhibit halls, if only to get an ARC of Eye of the Storm by Kate Messner. Before hitting those exhibits, however, I was lucky enough to attend a session on critique groups for writing with Kate as one of the panelists. I’m met Kate a few times. She was kind enough to Skype with my school for family reading night. I’ve run into her at conferences over the past two years and “spoken” with her on twitter several times. At the end of the session I ...more
Gary Anderson
Apr 27, 2012 Gary Anderson rated it it was amazing
A book like See You at Harry’s reminds us of the absolute pleasure of becoming immersed in a terrific read. Author Jo Knowles leads us to empathize with her characters, engages us in a narrative that pulls us through in ways that render true the cliché “I couldn’t put it down,” and then leaves us with the stark knowledge that tricky currents are churning in the lives of young people from their families, schools, friends, and really, contemporary culture.

As much as I admire See You at Harry's, r
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Author interview:

I have read a couple of books recently that were really hard to review (Wonder, The Fault in our Stars, The One and Only Ivan) because they are books that reach into your heart and settle there. It is hard to write a review of a book that becomes so personal. See you at Harry's is one of those books. As I sit here trying to write a review, I don't know how to put all of my feelings into
Asghar Abbas
Jul 16, 2016 Asghar Abbas rated it it was amazing

Don't read this book if you cry easily.
Wounded people and a very human story.
Everyone overcoming their grief for each other.

In fact, read it even if you do cry easily. For the fans of Tell the Wolves I am home, this is a must .
This is how you write about real people .
GRPLTeens Grand Rapids Public Library
Appeal Characteristics: family relationships, death, restaurant business, bullies, coming out/gay relationships, school

I cried like a baby at this book. I love dysfunctional families. For some reason, I hate reading adult literary works about dysfunctional families, but I love kids perspectives on them. Fern's family is tough to beat. I felt like this was Bridge to Terabithia for the next generation. I don't want to write any spoilers because I want the magic to be there for anyone who wants to
Sandy Littell
May 23, 2012 Sandy Littell rated it really liked it
A real-life story about a busy family in the restaurant business. The parents and two older kids, Sara and Holden, are in their own worlds, dealing with their own personal and sometimes complicated issues.

Fern, the third child, has just started middle school, and discovers that someone important to her is being bullied on the bus. She spends her after-school hours at HARRY'S; greeting customers, doing homework, and babysitting for her pesky 3 year-old brother, Charlie. Her best friend, Ran, kee
Jenna~Ice Queen~Dreams
Sep 30, 2014 Jenna~Ice Queen~Dreams rated it it was amazing
I really, really loved this one. It absolutely broke my heart in 2. I thought all of the characters were very well written and thought out.

I have 2 thing though that I wanted... 1 I wish there had been an epilogue of when everyone had grown up. I wanted to see how everyone turned out. Also, I was slightly annoyed by Ran's character but more than likely that was just me. I just wanted more from him.

4.5 stars for the above mentioned. :) I love this author and definitely plan to read more books o
Nov 19, 2016 Tisha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I picked up this one from middle grade genre randomly just because I wanted to read something not very intense. So basically I had no idea that this book would hit me with such an emotional punch! I cried so hard that my eyes got swollen!

I loved this book, I really loved it. I loved the way it’s been written. Kudos to the writer.

Fern’s family is quite imperfect, but I loved all of them. The starting was amusing except the parts where Holden gets bullied. Those parts made my angry. I was mad at
Beth Dailey Kenneth
Dec 27, 2012 Beth Dailey Kenneth rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Danielle Bartos
Mar 09, 2015 Danielle Bartos rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Let me start by saying that yes, this is a great book. But, on a personal level this was probably the hardest book I've ever had to force myself through. On the surface it looks like a fun, light-hearted family drama that will wrap itself around coming to grips with the "outing" of one of the family's 4 kids. Oh, how I was so wrong. In reality the book is about one family's journey through coping with tragedy and unimaginable grief.
The incredible difficulty for me is my own reality of losing bo
Caitlin Speyer
Oct 27, 2013 Caitlin Speyer rated it really liked it
What would you do if a tragic event wrenched your family apart - and it was your fault? Twelve-year-old Fern feels invisible. Her father is too preoccupied with ideas of promoting the family business to worry about protecting his children's dignity. When her mother isn't meditating in solitude, she busies herself with just about everything but paying Fern some attention. Her sister, Sara, is taking a year off of high school while all of her friends move on to collage. Her brother, Holden, despe ...more
Mar 02, 2013 Isabelle rated it it was amazing
As Rebecca Stead said,"Heartbreaking, soul staining, and all-around beautiful." This book is definitely beautiful, and I have never called a book beautiful before. The way Jo Knowles writes is incredible. A few of the chapters were in such focus and detail. I couldn't help but smile at the writing. But... This book was also heartbreaking. I cried, kept crying, and couldn't stop crying. When Fern didn't cry, I couldn't cry. She was breaking down inside and so was I. Then, Sarah kind of forced her ...more
Ms. Yingling
Apr 17, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it it was ok
Fern's parents spend a lot of time at the family restaraunt their grandfather started, Harry's, and love to use their family in the commercials. Sara is taking a gap year and not thrilled with the whole idea, although she does appreciate one of the busboys. Three-year-old Charlie is a handful, but the light of everyone's lives. Holden is struggling with bullies at school and his first romance... with an older boy, Gray. Fern is just trying to understand her friend Ran, to take care of Charlie, a ...more
Feb 21, 2012 Katrina rated it it was amazing
All the while I read this, I kept wondering, "What is wrong with me? I pick up this book and, within pages, I'm crying, no sobbing, again." Loving Jo Knowles since my first NCTE Convention three years ago in Philly when I serendipitiously seated myself at her table for the Middle Level Mosaic, I knew I had to read her latest book, See You at Harry's. From Jumping Off Swings to Pearl, Knowles always takes her readers down a path that they don't see coming. After finishing the last page of See You ...more
May 13, 2012 Melinda rated it really liked it
This book was lovely. I read it in one sitting on Mother's Day. And that was a mistake. Now I'm covered in my own snot and my husband took the kids to the park so I could have some kid-free time to read and zone out and all I want is for them to come back so I can squeeze the crap out of my babies. Read this book without reservation if you do not have kids; read this book with some bourbon and/or a tranquilizer if you do have kids. (And if you're a teenager -- hello, actual intended audience! -- ...more
Paul  Hankins
As this is a May 2012 release we will have more to say about SEE YOU AT HARRY'S as it's release date draws near. For those of you who have loved Jo Knowles's past titles, just know this. . .she keeps getting better and better. Jo Knowles is the kind of young adult author that you want good things to happen for. . .you know? There is a real gift in "Harry's" and in May, readers will get to open it for themselves. This one of the early "can't miss" books for 2012.
Jan 24, 2012 Eliza rated it it was amazing
A heart-wrenching story of family love and healing, filled with beautiful language, vivid and loveable characters, and precious moments of uplifting humor. I admit that this book had me sobbing (the real deal) and I usually hate books that make me cry, but this was such a moving and ultimately uplifting book that it made all the tears (each and every one) worth it.
So many people told me to read this book, but I was worried that it would make me sad. It did. I cried buckets. Jo Knowles writes the most honest families. Heartbreaking and beautiful.
Sep 29, 2016 Maryam rated it really liked it
There's no fancy elements to this book. It is what it is, there's no melodrama there's no exaggeration. I cried heaps man, (view spoiler). I think the process of grief within an individual and also a family was incredibly well done and I enjoyed Holden's story as well. It also introduced me to a really beautiful poem, Epitaph by Malloy, the line "When there is nothing left of me but love, give me away" ...more
May 12, 2014 Wisteriouswoman rated it it was ok
It is surprising how many people liked this book. It must feel more real to them than it did to me. In my opinion it was too sweetie pie on the one hand and terribly depressing on the other hand. Everyone cried way too much for most of the book. I wanted more of an ending that included personal growth--it just wasn't satisfying to me the way she wrapped it up.

Fern didn't show enough resentment in my opinion. She states that she was the baby of the family for 8 years but was always ignored. Thi
Kniha sa točí okolo šesťčlennej rodiny: najstaršia Sara myslí len na randenie, štrnásťročný Holden je gay, dvanásťročnú Fern každý prehliada a trojročný Charlie je miláčik celého mesta. Otec rodiny sa rozhodne znovuotvoriť rodinnú cukráreň U Harryho a rodina nahrá televíznu reklamu, na konci ktorej malý Charlie nadšene zakričí "See you at Hawees!"

Príbeh rozpráva Fern, ktorá sa (právom) cíti v rodine prehliadaná - v dvanástich je ešte príliš malá na to, aby jej názor brali do úvahy, a dosť stará
Vikki VanSickle
here is a lot of emotion packed into this tight little book. The general plot reminded me a bit of Sara Ellis’ sublime novel The Baby Project (known as The Family Project in the US), though See You At Harry’s is for a slightly older audience. I appreciated the way Holden’s family deals with his homosexuality, which is accepting overall, but with some reservations. This felt very realistic. None of the characters are perfect or 100% likable all the time, but I thought this was a smart and accurat ...more
Sep 30, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
There's so much to recommend this story: the descriptions of the family's grief are perfectly heartbreaking and sensitive; so many readers will see themselves in Fern; the parents are flawed, but in such a realistic and relatable way... The sibling relationships are wonderful.

However, I did tire of the repetitive descriptions of Fern's feelings and her family relationships. As an example, Fern's mother repeatedly disappears to meditate in her office as a way to escape her daily stresses. But ab
Apr 01, 2015 Yanisa rated it liked it
I really liked this book. Not because it was written very thoughtfully or because the characters were that relatable/likeable but because it intertwined so many themes and aspects including family, sexuality, tragedies, bullying, ect. I found the beginning to be a bit slow but overall the story was nice. I feel like as I read more and more I begin to find less connections to characters and feel less emotional about them. The last time I remember actually relating to a character it was a 12 year ...more
Dec 14, 2013 Emma rated it really liked it
I recommend this book to anyone that likes sad book, and to people that like to read and can't put a book down because this is a type of book that's like that at first I thought it was boring but then I got a really good part and I just couldn't put this book down. My mom was even shooked when she saw me reading this book I'm not that type of person that likes t read books or anything that has words in it but this book made me realize how important reading is in my life.
Feb 12, 2013 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidlit
A poignant look at how grieving affects a family already on the cusp of other big changes. I couldn't put this book down, it was delicately and honestly written. I loved and sympathized with Fern, Holden, and Sara, but had a little trouble with the mom and dad. I guess as a mom I'd like to think I would have better communication with my teenagers, and react less selfishly in a crisis.
Jan 03, 2012 Christi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
It's only January 2 but I have a best book of 2012. Jo Knowles has created an exquisite, heart-breaking novel. I was not only welling up with tears, but straight-out bawling at several times while reading. Seriously, I love everything Jo has written, but this might be my favorite. PLEASE add this to your to-read list for May 2012!
Apr 17, 2013 Tanya rated it it was amazing
A very heartfelt read. It is told from a 12-year-old's point of view, but did not feel juvenile. I liked that the children were named after fictional characters. I guess it made me feel like them because I could see myself doing that. Of course I teared up more than once!
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Hi! I'm the author of Still A Work In Progress, Read Between The Lines, Living With Jackie Chan, See You At Harry's, Pearl, Jumping Off Swings, and Lessons From A Dead Girl. I'm available for school, library and book club visits either in person or via skype. For more info, please visit Thanks! :-)
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“I breath in and out through my mouth to feel the quiet. In. Out. Over and over. Until I fall asleep.” 9 likes
“She and this chant, "All will be well, all will be well." I started to believe them, but the whole thing was a scam. It was just some stupid thing to say to make me believe life isn't unfair. And just when I thought life was perfect, it became unbearable again.” 5 likes
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