Cecille's Reviews > Harris and Me

Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen
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's review
Aug 18, 2012

liked it

As I was reading this book, I kept getting the sense that the buddy, buddy companionship between Harris and the narrator was going to end tragically. It was almost as if from the beginning, it was too good to be true. At first, I felt bad for the narrator because I couldn't appreciate how reckless Harris was, but the tables turned quickly for me when Harris tried to keep him all to himself and away from that girl. So after becoming so attached to Harris' character, I kept anticipating something horrible and real to happen to one of them, but that didn't happen until the end when we saw Harris picked up from the farm. I personally didn't enjoy the ending because I felt it left it too wide open for a satisfying conclusion. I would have liked to have seen an epilogue where it fast forwards to the following summer and if they were able to pick up where they left off their friendship. Their understandings of the real world were evolving at such different rates that it would have been interesting to see if they still bonded over playing make believe as much.

I think the part that middle grades students would connect with are the themes of looking for acceptance and a home of sorts when placed in a new situation. It's also a good book for showing a lot of inner dialogue and self discovery at that age. However, from a young female's point of view the only part I could connect with was when the narrator was talking about falling for his first love and how mad he got at Harris for messing up his chance. I thought this part played well into how invested young people feel for what seems like the most important thing to you at the time. The narrator went as far as holding a grudge to plot lethal revenge on Harris over the love of his life. Besides that part, I could have done without some of the farm shenanigans as they were a bit repetitive at a certain point.

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