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Henry Huggins

(Henry Huggins #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  26,154 ratings  ·  673 reviews
In the first novel from Newbery Award-winning author Beverly Cleary, boys and girls alike will instantly be charmed by an average boy whose life is turned upside down when he meets a lovable puppy with a nose for mischief.

Just as Henry Huggins is complaining that nothing exciting ever happens, a friendly dog sits down beside him and looks pleadingly at his ice-cream cone.
Hardcover, 50th Anniversary Edition, 155 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by HarperCollins (first published 1950)
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Hannah Greendale
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

Cleary's wholesome debut novel shines with innocence in its depiction of a winsome young boy and his mischievous dog.
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
(ISBN was reused, my HC from 1978 has boy leaning against bus stop obelisk, Ribsy peeking out of bag.)

Only the innocence and the prices date this, imo. There's no reason children today can't get a kick out of the pair's adventures with riding the bus, guppies, the school Christmas 'operetta,' and more. Then there's the very special ending which still chokes me up. And Louis Darling's illustrations are perfect. Read it aloud with your family. If your kids are grown, read it to your dog, your
May 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When my mom got it on CD at a book sale for our library, we got it. Then we took the train to Utah. I listened to it on the way home. The problem was that CD two was so scratched up that I had to go to CD 3. So, I had to have the Library order it for me so I could read chapters three and four. I really think that in the last chapter, Finders Keepers, was one of the most exciting of them all, where Risby, (The dog,) had to decide which boy he wanted for his master. And as I listened to the talk ...more
Published in 1950, this book takes you back to a time when an ice cream cone cost a nickel, kids bought horse meat for their dogs at the pet store, and a third-grader could run all over Portland by himself.

Henry is just an average kid with a tendency to get himself into interesting situations. He finds a skinny mutt and, after checking with his mom, brings him home on the city bus. Chaos ensues. He buys two guppies at the pet shop and ends up with a bedroom full of canning jars filled with
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Sweet, funny, quick read for my fifth-grader about an 11 year old boy, Henry Huggins, who leads what he feels like a very boring life on Klickikat Street, before a dog named Ribsy suddenly turns everything topsy-turvy.

Bonus was that mom enjoyed it too, which does not always happen with children's books. The chapter about the school Christmas play had us both giggling out loud and almost in tears. Style of story-telling and themes reminded me of A Christmas Story.

The book was originally published
Dec 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: middle grade readers and their parents

The Luckiest Girl, Beverly Cleary's Young Adult novel from 1958, was one of my favorite books in my preteen years. After re-reading it a few months ago, I decided to read her middle grade books as research for the memoir I am writing. Henry Huggins was the first of these and the first book she published.

I don't remember reading it as a child but I very well may have because it is about a boy who got a dog. I wanted a dog so much when I was in third grade that I convinced my friend across the
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
When I was a kid and started reading Beverly Cleary' s book's, I started with the Ramona series. I discovered later that Henry Huggins was her first book.
It starts with a boy meeting a dog.
The funniest part is Henry trying to get the dog home on the city bus.
From that adventure he goes to buying a pair of fish that have so many babies, he can no longer find a place for them.
The chapter about the night crawlers creep me out still, after all this time.
Another great moment is when Henry decides to
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Elementary school aged kids
Shelves: children
I never did read any of the Henry Huggins books when I was a kid, and boy, did I miss out!

My 7-year-old daughter said she wanted to give this book 4 1/2 stars, and when I asked her why not 5 stars, she said, "Because it wasn't long enough." So, given that the only "problem" was that the book left her wanting more, I think 5 stars is a fair rating for both of us.

I really loved how good-natured Henry is. I'm not sure how old he is in the book - maybe 5th grade? He is basically an all-around good
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Me: 5 stars
Son (age 11): 5 stars
Daughter (age 6): 5 stars

We all loved this book! I don't think I ever actually read Henry Huggins when I was a kid, but I did read a lot of other Beverly Cleary books. Henry and his dog Ribsy are both lovable characters, and the situations and solutions they find themselves in are just good clean fun. My kids laughed at the typical exclamations from this time period - "golly!", "gee whiz", and "jeepers!". And the narration by Neil Patrick Harris was perfect.
Feb 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: elementary, fun
I forgot how much I loved this book. Henry Huggins brings back good memories of being a kid. Like Henry, my friends and I spent our time outside, and usually had some fun project going. Henry just seems like the kind of boy that every kid would want for a friend. He had a great dog, good business sense, and a lot of spunk. This is a great book for kids and a fun way for parents to remember the joys of being a kid.
Laura (Book Scrounger)
3.5 stars

This was cute. I'm not necessarily a fan of "dog stories" in general, but I like how the focus was on Henry's relationship with Ribsy, and how he eventually became a member of the community. I enjoyed the "guppy" story especially. Of course, this book is a bit dated and from a "simpler" time (or so we call it now), but I think there's still enough here for today's children to enjoy.
I am so sad that I missed this book as a kid because I loved it now, as an adult. I was a HUGE Beverly Cleary as a kid, so I have no idea how I passed by this one. I'm just glad I finally found it.

Beverly Cleary is simply THE BEST, there's no other way around it. You can tell that she knew & understood children, which is why she remains so popular among them.

With regards to this particular book, I fell in love with Henry and Ribsy. Henry is such a likeable, clever, adventurous, and
Tatevik Najaryan
What a wonderful story! I love Beverly Cleary. Her writing is so pure and innocent. I will try to read all her works this year. They make me so happy!
The kids and I really disliked the ending of this book. Without giving too much away, there was so much selfishness that we had a hard time feeling the way the author intended us to feel about it all. Disappointing.
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Read this with Theo (5) a few months ago in an optimistic beginning of reading chapter books aloud at night. I thought it might be a little "old" for him, but we both enjoyed it (I had not read it, although I've read most of her books). I have several others lined up for us (Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, The Boxcar Children, Ramona the Pest, Ralph S. Mouse), I just need to get to it and keep at it. Bedtime is so crazy. Is there a better time to read chapter books out loud together? Ida (3) ...more
J.Aleksandr Wootton
I couldn't remember why I couldn't remember anything about this book. So I reread it, & now I do: it's boring. "Nothing much" happens to Henry Huggins before his dog Ribsy shows up, and honestly, nothing much happens afterwards either!

Most episodes (chapters) feature Henry hoping to get out of things he doesn't want to do, like enact a character wearing pajamas in the school play, or working to earn enough money to buy something he wants, like a new football. Henry is driven by a simple
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am currently working my way through a Beverly Cleary boxed set with my nearly 6-year-old boy. We moved on to Henry Huggins after finishing the motorcycle trilogy. Personally, I think Huggins is considerably better. Both Henry and Ribsy are genuinely likeable, and the scrapes they get into are both innocent, believable, and amusing. As each chapter encapsulated a complete short story, it also worked better as a read-aloud.
As an adult I enjoyed the nostalgic aspects of the book. It is set about
David Ward
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, humor, fiction
Henry Huggins (Henry Huggins #1) by Beverly Cleary (Dell 1979) (Fiction - Children's) introduces the reader to a boy in the third grade in a small town where everyone knows everyone else, all the kids walk to the school on the corner, and all families have two parents with a stay-at-home mother. Henry, of course, is Everyboy in Everytown; his hometown combines the best parts of Mayberry from "The Andy Griffith Show", Lake Wobegon, "Leave It To Beaver" (except there's no Eddie Haskell), and ...more
Jan 01, 2015 rated it liked it
It seems somewhat surprising that I never read any of these books when I was growing up. It wasn't like they weren't around or anything. Still this was a part of childhood that I passed right by so it is somewhat surprising for me to be reading them now. I became interested in reading these after watching the Romna and Beezus movie which was pretty amusing. So in response to that I went and found the first book by the author and read it. I picked it up from the Library and had at it. I found the ...more
This book details the adventures of Henry Huggins and his new-found dog, Ribsy. I re-read this book in preparation of introducing it to my five-year-old nephew. First, let me just say that I'm a sucker for tales about a boy and his dog. The characters are so likeable, and they sure get into some fun messes. I also really liked the introduction to this book (added in 2000; it wasn't in the edition I read as a kid). My only criticism is that I wish the updated version wouldn't have specified the ...more
Mary Beth Phelps
From page one, with his gloomy outlook on life and case of third grade ennui, you can't help but love Henry Huggins. His extreme propensity for accidents, combined with complete obliviousness, firmly cement Henry as one of the most memorable characters from children's lit... at least as far as I'm concerned. I remember reading about him in grade school, wishing I had a friend like him, and asking my mom for pet guppies. She said no. Fast forward a few years and now I'm a mother identifying with ...more
Sam Kuntz
Aug 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Henry Huggins is about Henry and his dog Ribsy (Ribs for short.) Henry finds Ribsy in front of a drugstore. Henry has to take Ribs home on the bus. But to his disappointment he has to have Ribsy in a box to take him home in the bus. Henry and his friends are not nice to each other. This book is very enjoyable and well paced. Sam Kuntz ...more
This was my FAVORITE Beverly Cleary book as a kid. I loved it. It includes how Henry found Ribsy, and a challenge at the end that has always stuck with me.

But as an adult, I couldn't find it. I'd confused it with the book Henry and Ribsy, which is something else altogether. So it was a really special treat to read this with my daughters. Reading it as an adult, I was surprised by how dated it was... It felt so current to a kid reading it in the 80s, who didn't understand money and prices. But
Maureen Lubitz
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on You Have Your Hands Full

A couple of years ago, Audible had a great sale on childrens audiobooks. I ended up getting most of Beverly Clearys books for about $4 apiece. Ive been reading the Ramona books with my seven-year-old twins, so weve decided to listen to the Henry Huggins books when we drive around town.

Beverly Cleary might be best known for her Ramona series, but she wrote the Henry Huggins books almost twenty years before Ramonas first book. The girls were excited to
Apr 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This audio version of Beverly Cleary's first book, Henry Huggins, is fantastic! Neil Patrick Harris does a great job as the narrator. He really brought the book to life, and made me laugh out loud several times with his expressive voices for some of the minor characters. It's been so many years since I first read Henry Huggins that I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting it in audio. I also loved the introduction by Beverly Cleary and the interview with her at the end. My one complaint would be that the ...more
Sep 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: older-kids
The first book Beverly Cleary ever wrote. It is a little dated here and there, but still a great book. I love that Henry has to do things on his own (such as find places for his guppies to live.) If Henry was my kid, I know I would just buy a tank for the guppies! There is a wonderful old-fashioned feel to these books.

The pictures are not the ones I remember. They have been completely redone. They are slightly more multicultural and show kids wearing bicycle helmets.
Sarah -  All The Book Blog Names Are Taken
Read this as a read aloud to my class, they loved it. The language (gee, jeepers) is funny to them but I think the simplicity is what they enjoyed when we talked about it being published in the 50s. It was a nice trip down memory lane for me also, as I loved the Beverly Cleary books when I was in elementary school.
A book I almost know by heart. Rereading to create questions for our Book Battles this year. Although this book came out thirteen years before I was born and is most assuredly a snapshot of post WWII suburbia there is a timelessness about the way children play, think, and interact that will never die.
Robert Arl
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Probably the 26th time I've read this book - one of the first chapter books I read.... about fifty-five years ago..... and it must be fifty years since my last read of Beverly Cleary's fine first novel. I can still relate! Maybe you can't go home again, but that doesn't mean you must abandon your inner child.
LaRae Steen
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this to honor Beverly Cleary, who turned 100 this year. Because of a book challenge to read a book published the year I was born, I researched many books. I was totally amazed to find this book on the list. Never dreamed that Beverly Clearly was 100 years old. In reading the introduction to this, her first book, I gained a great respect for her.
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Beverly Cleary (born April 12, 1916) is the author of over 30 books for young adults and children. Her characters are normal children facing challenges that many of us face growing up, and her stories are liberally laced with humour. Some of her best known and loved characters are Ramona Quimby and her sister Beatrice ("Beezus"), Henry Huggins, and Ralph S. Mouse.

Beverly Cleary was born Beverly

Other books in the series

Henry Huggins (6 books)
  • Henry and Beezus (Henry, #2)
  • Henry and Ribsy (Henry, #3)
  • Henry and the Paper Route (Henry, #4)
  • Henry and the Clubhouse (Henry, #5)
  • Ribsy (Henry, #6)

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