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See You at Harry's

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  10,284 Ratings  ·  1,517 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 ...more
Published May 1st 2012 by Candlewick Press
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Alicja Dzikowski
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Anna This is a really good book. You can't say much about the book without spoiling it but what I can tell you is make sure you have a tissue box nearby.…moreThis is a really good book. You can't say much about the book without spoiling it but what I can tell you is make sure you have a tissue box nearby. It deals with the issue of blame. Fern's brother Holden is gay and it does deal with this issue, but it's not really overpowering the rest of the story. There is no way around it, you are going to cry, but it is totally worth it. I have read this book at least 6 times since I got it. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Such an emotional story!
Lola  Reviewer
3.5 stars.

Too often, stories centering on characters that have lost a loved one—so death, loss and grief—do not introduce the departed in a way that familiarises us with the latter. In those cases, it’s hard for me to care about the dead characters.

But SEE YOU AT HARRY’S is especially emotional and impactful because we do spend quite some time with the character whose fate is a tragic one. It’s easier for the reader to understand emotional reactions to loss when they’ve met the deceased and got
Sep 08, 2011 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Gary Anderson
Apr 24, 2012 Gary Anderson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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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
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
Nov 19, 2016 Tisha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Asghar Abbas
Nov 24, 2015 Asghar Abbas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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 .
Sandy Littell
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
Beth Dailey Kenneth
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
If you are a parent of small children, do not read this book.

I love Jo Knowles. I think she's a brilliant writer, and whenever she comes out with a new book, I don't even bother to check what it's about--it's an instant Must Read for me. That was the case with this book, too. I was so excited for a new Jo Knowles book. I dove in, and got immersed in her pitch-perfect characters and middle grade voice. There were all these lovely bits and elements, and I was looking forward to seeing where it was
Danielle Bartos
Sep 04, 2013 Danielle Bartos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Priscilla Cho
Dec 04, 2014 Priscilla Cho rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't find the right words to describe this book. My outlook on life has changed a little bit. It showed me that life is unpredictable. You never know when you'll have to say good-bye to the world, or when someone else you love will have to. You have to live life to the fullest, and learn to accept things even when it's not easy to. No matter what happens, there are people who love you and that's all that matters. This clear message just stood out to me throughout the whole entire story. I thi ...more
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.
Olivia Tiseth
Jan 18, 2017 Olivia Tiseth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't think I've ever cried more while reading a book (thanks Kylie) I wasn't really expecting it to be so sad, and this author really knows how to bring out all the grief and emotions from every character even if it's not told in that characters point of view. It's what critics would probably call "heart-wrenching". It all starts with a 12 year old girl named Fern and between her brothers, sister, and the family restaurant she's always felt invisible and average. A horrible accident occurs in ...more
Caitlin Speyer
Oct 16, 2013 Caitlin Speyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 18, 2017 Terris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this for a group read for "The Top 100 Children's Books on Goodreads." It is written for Grade 7 - Up. It is a family story of what looks to me like a fairly typical family. These could be any of us living our everyday lives. So there is "happy" in the book, but "sad" also comes in and hits pretty hard. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but this book tackles some pretty heavy topics. However, as it is narrated by a seventh grade girl, it is told in a very real way. It is well writte ...more
"See you at Hawee's!" is Charlie Wallace's new catch phrase for the family's restaurant. It is only fitting that Charlie's line become iconic for the restaurant as he is the center of attention in the Wallace family.
Just 3 years old, Charlie was a surprise baby, with an overlooked older sister, Fern, a unique older brother, Holden, and Sara, who is taking some time off of school.
When an unexpected tragedy shakes the Wallace family, will they ever be able to have good and happy days ahead?

Kaitlyn Gerrick
Mar 16, 2017 Kaitlyn Gerrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
সালমান হক
I hate it when I am reading a book and someone starts cutting a onion. How can one hold up the waterworks when someone is cutting onions nearby? This book is like that. You are reading and all of a sudden the writer starts cutting onion on the pages. :/

Vivid characters, beautiful writing and a heart wrenching plot. Such a emotional story!

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 úva
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
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
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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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