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Harvey Comes Home

(The Harvey Stories #1)

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  158 ratings  ·  60 reviews
A dog’s world is a world of scents, of adventure. When a runaway West Highland Terrier named Harvey wanders out of his old life guided only by his nose and his heart, lives begin to converge.

Austin, a young volunteer at Brayside retirement home, quickly finds that the audacious Harvey inspires Mr. Pickering, a bitter resident coping with memory loss, to tell stories of his
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 19th 2019 by Pajama Press
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Average rating 4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  158 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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Liana Grace
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
“Harvey runs until a bouquet of dog scents lures him to a forest path. The forest is alive with sounds and smells that lead him off the gravel path and onto one that is made of bark chips. Harvey walks along this path. His curiosity takes him farther and farther away from his home.”

I love children’s books and I love books about dogs so naturally I adored this gem. It’s a beautiful triple narrative told from the perspective of Maggie, the girl who loses Harvey; Austin, the boy who finds Harvey; a
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Colleen Nelson's seemingly simple narrative about a West Highland Terrier who strays from home is a balancing act of narratives that is nothing short of brilliant. I love the jigsaw of voices between Maggie, the girl who lost Harvey and Austin, the boy who found him.. Add to that, Harvey himself, propelled by scent, and Mr. Pickering's reminiscences of growing up in the prairies during the Dust Bowl.

This small novel packs a wallop of emotions. You may pick the book up because of the Westie, but
NOTE: I received an eARC via NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Colleen Nelson has masterfully woven together a contemporary story of a beloved dog and the people whose lives he touches and a historical fiction story of a boy and his friends, family and dog during the Depression. Harvey, the sweet dog in the middle, ties everything together and makes you have all the feels.

I look forward to adding this to my elementary school libraries when it is published. I recommend
Jill Jemmett
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This story had a unique format. The chapters alternate perspectives between Austin (the boy who found Harvey), Maggie (the girl whose family owns Harvey), and Harvey (the dog). I liked that we got to see the different sides to the story including the girl who desperately wanted her pet returned and the boy who had always longed for a dog. The dog’s perspective was original because he was stuck in between wanting to go home to Maggie and wanting to stay with Austin.

There were some upsetting parts
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canlit-pub-2019
If you have or had a Westie, this novel is for you! Harvey is adorable, spunky and full of love for people. He doesn't always understand what the humans are saying but he senses changes in people faster than the humans do.
Harvey's human, Maggie goes away on a family holiday and the dog sitter neglects to close the gate, giving Harvey a chance to run free, hopefully to find Maggie. He is found, instead by Austin who brings him to the nursing home where he volunteers. Harvey has a particular affin
Maggie (Magsisreadingagain)
Thank you to Pajama Press for the ARC of this wonderful middle-grade novel, in exchange for an honest review.

The story follows Harvey, a West Highland terrier who is loved by his young owner, Maggie. When Maggie goes on holiday, Harvey tries to find her, following his nose, and becomes hopelessly lost, but is saved by Austin, a young boy volunteering at a local retirement home where his grandfather works. Harvey quickly becomes a hit with the staff and elderly residents, particularly cranky Mr.
Jun 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This books is wonderful, it made me worried, then got me mad, and then I was happy, and I even started to cry. Seeing this story being told through Harvey (the dog), Maggie (the owner), Austin (the rescuer) and hearing the beautiful story that Mr. Pickering tells Austin is so beautiful. The end when everything is explained, in my opinion the author chose the best ending and truly wrote a wonderful book.
May 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Grades 4-7
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to NetGalley and Pajama Press for an eARC of this book.

I LOVED this book about a dog named Harvey who escapes from home while his owner, Maggie, is away on vacation. He is found by a young boy named Austin, near a retirement home where Austin volunteers after school. Austin quickly falls for Harvey, as do the residents at the home, including Mr. Pickering, a ninety-six year old who often confuses Harvey for his former dog, General. The story consists of Harvey in the present day, and t
Michelle Kadarusman
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I fell in love with little Westie, Harvey, on the first page. But this is so much more than a simple story for dog lovers. Colleen Nelson has deftly woven multiple narratives and time periods, and delivered an emotionally taut, compassionately drawn, tale of loss, loyalty and inter-generational friendships. I was fascinated to spend time on the Pickering farm and learn about the Dustbowl years on the Canadian prairies. An added bonus was to read of the origins and author's connection to the hist ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jul 11, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC from Netgalley

Harvey is a Westie whose owner, Maggie and her family go on vacation. The young woman watching him doesn't check that the gate is locked, and Harvey takes off after a squirrel, getting further and further from home. We also meet Austin, who volunteers at Bayside, a retirement facility where his grandfather works. He cleans, helps his grandfather, and visits with the elderly residents. One resident, Mr. Pickering, is very grumpy. When Harvey shows up at Bayside, Austin takes h
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book grew on me the further into the story I got. The stories told are very captivating and remind me a bit of The Little House on the Prairie books. I would recommend this book for late elementary/middle school.

Austin is a boy who volunteers at a nursing home where his grandfather works. Maggie is a girl across town whose family goes on vacation. While gone, Maggie’s dog, Harvey, escapes from the young lady who is caring for him. Austin ends up finding Harvey and takes him in. Harvey spend
The cover and title of this book might lead readers to anticipate a sweet little story of a runaway dog who is desperate to make his way home. It's so much more than that, and I found myself tearing up at various points as I read this story about a smart Westie. When his human companion, Maggie, is away on a trip with her family, Harvey follows the scent and path of a squirrel out of his yard and ends up further and further away from home. Olivia, the girl who was supposed to watch him, had fail ...more
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
At first glance at this cover, you’ll think “Oh, a super cute dog with an equally adorable name goes missing?” and you’d be right…except his journey is unlike any other “dog book” I’ve read.  HARVEY COMES HOME by Colleen Nelson is an emotional story of love and loss told through alternating chapters from three different perspectives—Harvey, Maggie (Harvey’s owner), and Austin.  Curious Harvey gets lost in pursuit of a feisty squirrel and is found by Austin, a young boy who assists his grandfathe ...more
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to the Kid Lit Exchange network and Pajama Press for the review copy of Harvey Comes Home by Colleen Nelson and illustrated by Tara Anderson. All opinions are my own.

Harvey, a West Highland Terrier, escapes his yard to chase a squirrel but becomes hopelessly lost. He wanders around town and eventually comes to rest outside Brayside Retirement Villa where Austin finds him. Austin is a young boy that helps his grandpa clean Brayside as a punishment for bringing firecrackers to school. Austi
Michelle Mallette
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
See my full review here.
This is a terrific children’s book that is a tale within a tale, offering multiple perspectives when a beloved little West Highland Terrier named Harvey escapes his yard, eventually rescued by 11-year-old Austin. Austin falls hard for Harvey, and is trying to find a way to keep the little scamp, despite his mother’s insistence otherwise. Meanwhile, Harvey’s real owner Maggie is devastated when she finds out her dog is missing, and does everything she can to find him. Harv
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My 6 year old son and I read this together, and we both loved it, especially the chapters from Harvey's perspective, which were refreshingly unique. We both also loved the chapters with stories from Mr. Pickering. I especially appreciate books which help young children gain a better understanding of dementia and all we can learn from our elders.

The historical elements of Mr. Pickering's stories were vividly rendered, helping my 6 year old have a greater understanding of the challenges of living
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Havery Comes Home is in part a fictionalized biography, another part realistic fiction and also a bit of animal fictional. Colleen Nelson weaves together the story of an eleven year old boy visiting an old man in a nursing home who relates an emotional story from his growing up in the Depression years, the story of a lost dog who becomes a companion to the old man and boy and the story of a young girl who has lost her dog.

It took awhile for the story to grown on me. I didn't really care for the
Mar 29, 2021 rated it liked it
A cute, heartwarming addition to this year's RMBA nominees. I had goosebumps for several of the last chapters and think this could have a meaningful impact on some of my students.
I did think that the narrative splicing of Mr. Pickering's story with Harvey's felt a bit drawn out - but in a realistic way. Anyone with elderly family members will recognize the mix of frustration, worry, and fondness that Austin feels whenever Mr. Pickering nods off in the midst of their conversations.
This might be
Amelia Curry
Apr 07, 2021 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sylvia McNicoll
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You might be surprised how many kids read the ending first because they can't take too much tension--I was and am that kid and have surveyed many of my young readers to find out they are too. So I took great solace in the title which indicates no harm comes to Harvey, the spunky and loving Westie. With very cute illustrations by Tara Anderson and a stunning in-time-for-Christmas red hard cover design by Rebecca Bender, this would make a great read aloud for 8-100 year olds or an independent read ...more
M.L. Little
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
@kidlitexchange #partner: Harvey Comes Home by Colleen Nelson. Available now through @pajamapressbooks.
Who doesn’t love a Westie? I sure do and this book has all the charm of one. When curious Harvey gets away from a petsitter, he finds himself far from home and in the care of a boy named Austin whose grandfather runs a retirement home. Harvey moves right in among the residents, bringing grumpy Mr. Pickering out of his shell and teaching Austin a thing or two about people.
The story is t
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Harvey is a West Highland Terrier who manages to sneak out of the yard when his owners are away on vacation and he is being cared for by a temporary sitter. He's found by a young boy named Austin who adores Harvey and brings him into the Brayside retirement home where he volunteers. Harvey is a hit with many of the people living there but especially with one reticent old man with whom Austin had never been able to make a connection before. However, when Harvey's young owner comes home from vacat ...more
Sandy  Wilmering
When Maggie and her family go on a trip, they arrange for someone to look after her beloved dog, Harvey. However, Harvey becomes lost after his caretaker forgets to close the back gate. Harvey is eventually found outside of a retirement home by Austin, who does jobs there after school for his grandfather. This is a story about the unconditional love of a dog, and their ability to open what seems like the hardest of hearts. The book also discusses friendships, loss, memories, and regret. The pers ...more
Colline Vinay Kook-Chun
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
The story of Harvey, the dog, is told alongside that of Mr. Pickering, a senior at the Brayside retirement home, and a young boy named Austin. Through these stories, readers will not only experience adventure but they will also learn what it looks like to be empathetic (as well as learn a little history). Austen is a young boy who slowly learns the importance of listening to others and of being empathetic to both Mr. Pickering and Maggie, Harvey’s unknown owner.

Young readers will love this story
Erin Buhr
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-books
A Saturday well spent. I started this book in the morning and couldn’t put it down...and I’m not even really a dog person. This is a book for dog lovers. The ones that understand the bond between a person and dog. I loved how well layered this story was. There’s the missing dog story that goes about how you’d expect, except along the way there’s the story of another dog decades earlier, there’s the story of an old man learning to open up and a boy learning a new perspective, there’s a look at li ...more
Cheriee Weichel
May 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian
Harvey is an adorable westie who runs away from his keeper when his family is away from home on vacation. He is found by Austin, a young boy who works after school at a retirement home. Austin is supposed to take Harvey to a shelter, but doesn't, and lies about it. Harvey spends his days at a care center for seniors. Through him Austin gets to know the cranky Mr Pickering who ends up telling him stories about living on the Canadian Prairies during the 1930's. Meanwhile, Maggie, Harvey's real own ...more
Cromaine Library
When his owner leaves for a vacation, Harvey the dog slips out the gate to find her. Along the way, a boy working at a retirement home picks him up to take care of him.

This slim book packed a huge emotional punch. All of the perspectives were well done, and I especially liked Austin's interactions with Mr Pickering, who had dementia. Moral dilemmas were presented in an age-appropriate way, and glimpses of the 1930s were written in such a way that the reader was transported back in time. This is
Sara Taylor
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book! I thought it was the perfect mix of charming, with the chapters from the dog’s point of view, and a little heart wrenching from the chapters about life in the prairies. I felt like it was a great reading level for this age, and I think that the kids would enjoy how engaging this book is, in two different ways. I would have an easy time recommending this book as a fun and sweet read for my young readers.
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
OH MY GOODNESS!! You see the little cute pup on the cover and think “this is going to be an adorable and heartwarming story about the lil pup!” And then you begin reading and find that it is adorable and heartwarming and SO MUCH MORE!!!

There are actually multiple stories (and points of view) occurring throughout the book and Colleen magically gets you to fall in love with each story as they connect together at the end. Truly spectacular and a must read!
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Colleen Nelson is the author of YA fiction books Finding Hope (2016), 250 Hours (2015), The Fall (2013) and Tori by Design (2011). 'The Fall' and 'Tori by Design' both won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award. 'The Fall' was also nominated for the White Pine Award. Currently living in Winnipeg with her husband, two young sons and three grown step-children, Colleen manages to eke out time to ...more

Other books in the series

The Harvey Stories (2 books)
  • Harvey Holds His Own

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