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Also Known As Harper

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,499 Ratings  ·  232 Reviews
Harper Lee Morgan is an aspiring poet, which isn't surprising, seeing as how she's named after her mama's favorite writer, Harper Lee. And life is giving her a lot to write about just now. Daddy up and walked out, leaving them broke. Then Harper's family gets evicted.

With Mama scrambling to find work, Harper has to skip school to care for her little brother, Hemingway. The
ebook, 256 pages
Published May 26th 2009 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Community Reviews

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Jul 24, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When I was in middle school, my mom invented a phrase for schmaltz: Hokey Wombat Shit.

If we were watching television and the plot became mushy or sentimental, Mom would groan, "Oh, please. Hokey Wombat Shit!"

If two characters in a movie smooched while strings swelled and onlookers clapped, the film was immediately filed under Hokey Wombat Shit.

If my mom read Also Known As Harper, she would definitely roll her eyes, put it aside, and exclaim, "Hokey Wombat Shit!"

Because that's what it is. In fa
Destinee Sutton
Sep 24, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 9-13
Mock Newbery 2010

There were a lot of things I disliked about this, but let's start with the positives: it portrays homelessness in an interesting way, from the family being evicted, to living in a motel, to pitching a tent in the woods, all the while making the best of it and trying to stay together and support each other. It also features one my my favorite books, To Kill a Mockingbird, heavily.

But To Kill a Mockingbird it is not. I thought Harper Lee's voice as a narrator was too flowery. It
May 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ALSO KNOWN AS HARPER is a book I'm excited to share with my middle school students for a few reasons. First, the characters Ann Haywood Leal has created here are some of the most memorable I've met in a long time. Harper, with her book of poems, her larger-than-life heart, and her mixed up feelings about her alcoholic father, has been dealt some rough blows as the novel opens. Her family is close to homeless, her mother keeps her home from school to babysit, and still, she's able to reach out to ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

Harper Lee Morgan was named after the author of her mother's favorite book, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. She has grown up hearing her mother read the book aloud - 36 times in fact, if the tally marks on the kitchen wall are accurate.

For a while it's just been Harper, her mother, and her little brother, Hemingway (Hem), at least since her father up and left them. They used to be a happy family. They didn't have a lot, but they loved each o
Daniela Trybula
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i rate this book a 5 because i think that this book is pretty interesting from the title of the book to the cover of the book.So i think
Linda Lipko
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Those who might think that YA is all fluff, please take some time to read this book.

Dealing with the difficult, tragic subject of homelessness, the author shows keen insight into this travesty.

Told through the eyes of fifth grade Harper, we witness the plight of her mother and her family.

Her father's absence leaves Harper with conflicted emotions, Harper remembers her father before the alcohol became #1 priority in his life, before he grew more and more dependent upon the liquor, before his chil
Eva Mitnick
Jun 07, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
After Harper Lee Morgan, her little brother Hemingway (Hem for short), and their mom are evicted for not paying the rent, they move temporarily to a nearby cheap roadside motel. Because her mom is working extra hours trying to earn enough money to get them out of this fix, Harper Lee is forced to stay out of school to babysit her little brother, a particular onerous situation because this is the week that the entries for the Whaley County Poetry Contest are due at school.

Harper Lee, you see, is
Purr More
Mrs. Rodriquez is collecting poems this week for the school’s poetry contest, but Harper Lee (named after her mother’s favorite author) can’t turn her poem in because her family just got evicted from their house and she has to take care of her little brother, Hemingway, while her mother looks for work. All Harper wants to do is stand up on that stage and read her “words”. Unfortunately, life has other plans. Her father left last year leaving her mother to support their family and also pay back r ...more
While sad, this is a very hopeful book. The character's know how to love and choose to love. Harper Lee is a 5th grader, writer, poet and deep, deep thinker and feeler. After her baby sister dies at birth, her father despairs into a bottle and eventually leaves the family. Harper's mom is then unable to pay the rent and they are evicted from their rental home in a small town. They end up in a community of homeless and Harper and her brother Hemingway develop deep friendship with another sister a ...more
Jan 11, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
This is a 3.5 from me.

This is a strong portrayal of homeless families in our own neighborhoods. It is packed with interesting characters, and gets the point across without overwhelming the reader with misery and hardship.

Harper has been very excited to enter the poetry reading contest at school this year. But then her family gets evicted from their house. And her mother makes her babysit her brother at the motel instead of going to school. She meets some other kids living in a tent community, an
Jul 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love it! Love it! Love it! Love it! Love it! Love it!

This is one of those books that surprises you. At first you think you are going to get a story about a family that has just had their lives turned upside down and are struggling to get back on their feet. And I would have been ok with that. Well, more than ok. Harper is such a lovable, believable character that you can't help but want to potect her along with her mom and younger brother.

But what Ms. Leal did that sets this book apart from just
Feb 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story is about this girls life living with her mom and younger brother. They have to go through rough times when her dad leaves because of his drinking habitats and the family is kicked out of their house and have to live in a run down motel, until they can pay up the money they owe.

I thought the book was very sweet and nice, even through the rough times. I felt this way throughout the book because Harper the main character has a gift for words and uses that in her poems. So if something d
Jul 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the book I have been waiting for this year! It is CLEAR that Leal used her background as teacher to craft this novel. From start to finish I could put names to the faces of the characters. Not the names that they are given in the novel, but the names of students I have encountered in my classroom over the last 11 years. It made me think more of those students and their lives. I smiled, laughed, and cried.
This book would be great for a literature circle or a situation where you could real
Jun 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
great writing by first time author Ann Haywood Leal. Harper is a young poet living in poverty with her mom and brother, Hemingway. Mom loves literature obviously and dad has moved on because his sadness makes him drink too much. Loved reading this...loved winning this book from Shelf Elf's blog.
Kristi Bell
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book! Clean read about a girl named Harper Lee and her brother Hem, short for Hemingway. Harper Lee is an aspiring writer who loves to write poetry and has high aspirations of reading her poetry on stage in front of the whole school. Harper encounters some obstacles along the way: her father has left her family and they are to fend for themselves. Her mother works several jobs and gets evicted from their home they are renting. Will Harper get her poetry to her teacher to read ...more
Tori Underwood
This was a easy read and gave great insight to living in poverty. It was sad to see it from a young child's perspective. It made me wonder what it would be like to live in my car, motel, abandoned building, or tent. I definitely have more understanding for homeless people and children after reading this. I also have a new understanding. for children who been raised by parents with substance abuse problems.
Kelly Grimes
This book was eye opening for me. Since I grew up in home that didn’t have to deal with these situations that Harper struggles with, I was clueless of how the effects took a toll on children. I really enjoyed this book because this story provided me with some of the struggles and family issues students in the classroom might be dealing with themselves. I was able to gain the knowledge that every student will come from a different family and background. I did find this story to be at times depres ...more
In the book, Also Known as Harper, the main character is Harper Lee. Harper has a little brother that she is constantly looking after. Harper’s mother loses her job and Harper really becomes an adult in her little body. Harper learns to take on many adult roles while she loses her child innocence. I found this chapter book to be very surreal. As readers, we generally lean to the happier side of children’s books, however this book was different in a very good way. The realism of Harper and the ob ...more
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Harper is named after her mother's favorite writer Harper Lee. Harper is an aspiring poet. Life is giving Harper a lot to write about these days. Dad has up and left leaving too many bills and not enough money and to top it off harper her brother Hemingway and her mother have been evicted. They move to the Knotty Pine Deluxe Motor Hotel and Harper has to stay home from school so her mother can work both day and night. Harper wants nothing more to read her poems on stage at school. Harper learns ...more
Lexus Beedy
Personal reaction:
I didn’t fall in love with this book as much as I have heard others have. Putting aside my own personal reaction to this story, I do see how it could be a great resource for children who are either going through a tough situation or opening children’s eyes to what is going on in the world around them. This book discusses topics of divorce, death, alcoholism, poverty, and homelessness that we don’t always think of as issues involved in a 5th-6th grade book but are realistic issu
Judy Desetti
p243 grades 5-8

Subject matter for mature readers.
realistic fiction, poverty, homelessness, family, friendship, death, single parents, alcoholism, tragedy.

Story of a family that falls apart and spirals into poverty, eviction, and homelessness. The father developed alcoholism and has run away and left them penniless. Mother is a house cleaner struggling to feed the family and not able to pay rent. They are evicted and the family must leave everything behind and take only what fits into their car.
Megan Koval
Although this was not a traditional upbeat and cute children's book, I thought it was very good. I think this book did a good job of presenting almost controversial issues in a way that children will understand. I think that a reader can really connect with Harper and feel the pain and struggle that she goes through. Harper's issues are incredibly accurate as to how they would really be in real life and it really made me aware of the obsticles that many children must face on a day to day basis. ...more
Also known as Harper is about a girl who is a writer and she is named after Harper Lee, her mom's favorite writer. Her father laughs at her trying to write and says she is never going to be a writer. He leaves Harper, her brother,Hem,and her mom and doesn't plan on coming back. Hem waits for his dad every day but he never comes. Since now they are on their own, Harper's mom can't make enough money to keep paying the rent to Mrs. Early. She is forced to leave her house immediately. They go to a ...more
Micaia M.
Dec 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book Review

Have you ever missed school to babysit your younger sibling? If so or if not enter the worlds of Harper Lee in Also Known As Harper by Ann Haywood Leal as she takes responsibility of her younger brother Hemingway.
Harper dreams of sharing her talent as a poet in her school auditorium, But Harper has an enemy name Winnie Rae who sometimes gets in Harpers way since Winnie Raes mother was Harpers mom landlord Winnie knows what is happening with Harpers family. Along the way Harper me
Megan (The Book Babe)
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Due to copy and paste, formatting has been lost.

Also Known as Harper was another one of those "cute, but not memorable" kind of books that seem to be making their way on to my bookshelf lately. It's just one of those things-- I've been in the mood for light and fluffy books, and I just can't help but pick ones that sound cute. But for some reason, I just haven't found a book that's fluff and substance lately, meaning that I have to write reviews like this.

I liked it. I truly did,
Sep 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book grabbed me from the beginning with a wonderful voice, and I felt sympathetic toward Harper and the mean Early family, but all too soon i became annoyed with Harper's mean-spirited comments toward them. Protagonists who come across as not much nicer than the antagonist rapidly lose the sympathy vote. At times I was irritated with Harper and didn't want her to resort to name calling of the other characters. it's the biggest complaint I had with the book. Other than that, I enjoyed readin ...more
Morgan Schmidt
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
BR #2
“Also Known As Harper ", is an incredible life changing story, written by Ann Haywood Leal. The story is about a girl who is going through a very hard time in her life. This book helped me to realize what is going on in my life could be worse than what it is. I still can't believe that the writer was able to fit this much meaning into 246 pages. This book includes lots of plot devices in the form of flashbacks, her flashbacks come and they motivate her to great things. Although the flashb
Kristina Befort
Also Known as Harper tells the story of young Harper Lee Morgan, an aspiring poet whose family was just evicted from their home. Her baby sister recently passed away, and her father already left her family. Now essentially homeless, their family moves into a motel and struggles to make ends meet. Harper's mom eventually loses her job, and they find themselves back on the street. Harper is put in charge of her little brother, Hemingway, and she has to miss the poetry contest that she is looking f ...more
Steph Su
Jul 01, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: debs09
ALSO KNOWN AS HARPER is an easy and gentle read that introduces young readers to the delicate issue of homelessness through the eyes of a thoroughly appealing protagonist.

The occasionally whimsical and melodramatic plot is anchored by Harper Lee, whose passions, vulnerabilities, and narration contain ageless appeal. She is a very well realized character, and approaches the events in her life with objectivity and fluidity: she is healthily skeptical of some scenarios, but is willing to admit that
Oct 19, 2011 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
School Library Journal (June 1, 2009)
Gr 4-6-Fifth-grader Harper Lee Morgan has a lot on her mind. Her father left a year ago, her mother has fallen behind on the rent, and her five-year-old brother waits every day on the porch for his father's return. A talented writer, she desperately wants to enter an upcoming poetry contest. All of her worries can be forgotten when she is writing poetry or her mother is reading To Kill a Mockingbird to her and Hem. Then her family is evicted and they move to
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Class of 2014: Also Known As Harper 3 11 Jun 06, 2013 09:18AM  
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