See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles (Candlewick, 2012) is so full of heart that it will touch your heart and forever change it. The characters are so real you’ll feel sure you’ll run into them the next time you’re out. And, you’ll know them so well, you’ll be sure they know you too.
Fern’s family runs a restaurant that keeps them busy. Her older sister and parents spend most of their time working or caring for her baby brother. Fern’s older brother is the one she’s closest to, but he’s dealing with being bullied and is sensitive to her witnessing that. Fern feels almost invisible in this big family. And then a tragedy happens, and the family must learn all over again how to be a family and what each of them means to the others. These characters will live in your heart long after you read the last page.
Read an amazing interview with Jo on Libba Bray’s blog and enter to win a copy of See You at Harry’s!
Another literary family I love is Dicey’s family in Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt (Harper Collins, 1981). This is a family I have followed through several volumes, including books that focus on minor characters that Dicey meets in her life. I always love the glimpse of Dicey and her brothers and sister in the books about the other characters. It feels like a secret the author and I share when I recognize them.
Dicey and her two younger brothers and younger sister spend a day waiting in the car in a mall parking lot for their mother. When Dicey realizes her mother is not going to return, she’s afraid the family will be split up in the foster care system. She decides to take her family to relatives they’ve never met. The book follows their journey—on foot—from Connecticut to Maryland. This is another family I feel I could meet on the street and know. I’m sure Dicey and Fern and I would be great friends.
Who are your favorite families in books?