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How I Spent My Summer Holidays
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How I Spent My Summer Holidays

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  173 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
When How I Spent My Summer Holidays was first published in 1981 a Western reviewer wrote: “If Who Has Seen the Wind told the story of a young boy’s coming to terms with death, How I Spent My Summer Holidays tells of a young man’s attempt to come to terms with his own sexuality and that of the world around him.”

The twelve-year-old young man is Hugh, and in small-town Saskat
Paperback, 264 pages
Published March 18th 2000 by McClelland & Stewart (first published 1981)
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Apr 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: older teenagers and adults who enjoy Canadian literature
This classic of modern Canadian literature, which was first published in 1981, is, I believe, sometimes thought of as being somewhat of a children's or at least a young adult novel (and is often read in both Junior High and Senior High English classes in Canadian schools). However, while the main character of W.O. Mitchell's How I Spent My Summer Holidays, Hugh (or Hughie) is a twelve-year old child (at least during the flashbacks, the memories of that one summer), How I Spent My Summer Holidays ...more
Oct 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: canada, reviewed
When I first started my Canadian reading project, W.O. Mitchell seemed to appear on every list of recommended authors.

How I Spent My Summer Holidays tells the story of a summer in 1924 when a group of boys were set on adventure and inadvertently got mixed up with a murder.

It is only several years later when the MC returns to his hometown that he is able to put his childhood memories into context and understands the story fully.

In many ways, How I Spent My Summer Holidays reminded me of the film
We listened to the audiobook of the classic HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER HOLIDAYS written and read by W. O. Mitchell and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. This master of the English language had us laughing aloud more than once, and occasionally cringing as he related the experiences of small prairie town 12 year old Hugh and his friends in the 1920's.
W. O. Mitchell's CBC Radio broadcasts delighted a generation of Canadian listeners.
Jenya Yuss
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the most amazing books I have read in a very long time. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you think. Very fast paced and easy. If you manage to get your hands on it, I would recommend it! (although I did have a hard time finding it)
Kenton Smith
Jan 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canada, classics, fiction
Really enjoyed this, maybe more so because I was once a 12 year-old boy and lived in the country. Definitely not as innocent as the last book of his that I read (Who Has Seen the Wind) so be prepared for teenage-boy language and thoughts. Love the way Mitchell writes and this is no exception.
Jun 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
"How I spent my summer holidays" is a story about a young boy growing up on the Prairies of Western Canada. My mother's family homestead is not far from where the story takes place, as a result, this book has a special fondest.
absolutely a delightful read!
Daniel Kukwa
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian-lit
If your only experience with W.O. Mitchell is "Who Has Seen the Wind" you might be surprised by the undercurrent of darkness running through this book. Mitchell manages to take what is, on the surface, a very young adult story and add layers of grown-up revelation, awakening, and even violence. It's a surprisingly melancholy take on growing up, resulting in a very engaging & gripping story.
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent Canadian coming-of-age novel. It reminds me of my own childhood and also stories from my Grandpa who would have been a contemporary growing up on the prairies. It has an interesting plot, excellent character development, and some nice observations about memory and the creation of personal legends.
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Classic coming of age story. I could really picture the boys and their summer adventures.
Biblio Curious
Jun 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
I had to read this one is middle school or high school and didn't enjoy it. It was uncomfortable and strange to read. The only part i remember is the weird scene at the swimming pool. I was a kid once and never acted this way or saw boys act this way. I'll give it another flip through now that I'm an adult. But it was one of those painful to get through assigned books in English class. It was one of the worst I had to finish for school.

Catcher in the Rye was much better. Stone Angel was also fan
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Near the beginning of this book there is a dream that contains a disturbing image that made me shy away from reading this story. The book is about a boy's loss of innocence and the retelling of the dream led me to believe it would be a different type of tale than it was.

It turned out to be a memorable coming-of-age chronicle about Hugh who lives in a small prairie town. The year is 1924 and the details make it sparkle with life. W.O. Mitchell knew how it felt to be a boy on the cusp of adulthood
Sep 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian-fiction
I stopped writing book reviews for several years, but I can recommend W.O. Mitchell as he is always good.
Here is a quote that I underlined...
"Everybody gets scared," King said. "Nothing wrong with that. Main thing is -how do you handle it.
"How?" Peter said.
"By not thinking."
"I find that difficult to..."
"But it's right-you got to turn off thinking-right off-and do what you got to do. If you think about it, then you'll get more and more scared and more and more paralyzed. So-blank it out-
Sep 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to get into this, as I thought he was skipping around too much. Soon, I was laughing uproariously over his boyhood antics. After that, I was drawn into the intrigue and sadness of that summer. Although we may not have experienced the extreme events Hugh did, the childhood of all of us is captured in some way here.
Tawnya Roy
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually listened to this on CD while driving back and forth to work. The scene in which the kids dig the first cave had be roaring with laughter in the car. I am sure anyone driving past me thought I was nuts.
May 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Roman à clef. Not my usual, but nice. I learned a lot because I had to use Google to look up about ten thousand terms. And by the way, did Stephen King steal from this for "The Body"? He definitely stole most of it for "It".
Shar Wallis
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book right after reading "Who Has Seen the Wind" by W.O. Mitchell. I have to say that I enjoyed this one even more!
Kathy Doll
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I can't believe I've never read this classic before. Lovely coming-of-age story by an icon of canadian literature.
A Calgarian and a Windsor Professor, Wow, so many connections to the author, he seems to be a Truly canadian author, no pretense in his writing, which makes it worth while reading. a Classic
Jul 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Lovely. I love the work of W.O. Mitchell. Quite truly.
May 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
My mom actually met W.O. Mitchell, and I have an autographed copy of this book.
It's not a very big paperback, and it does deserve a reread.
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Matt B
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Rick Scott
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William Ormond Mitchell was an author of novels, short stories, and plays. He is best known for his 1947 novel Who Has Seen The Wind, which has sold close to a million copies in North America, and a collection of short stories, Jake and the Kid, which subsequently won the Stephen Leacock Award. Both of these portray life on the Canadian prairies where he grew up in the early part of the 20th centu ...more