Monday, July 10, 2006

Chapter Books - Horrible Harry Goes to Sea

Horrible Harry Goes to Sea by Suzy Kline

Why is Harry so horrible? I have yet to figure that one out. In each of the books I have read about Horrible Harry he seems a little more on the mischievous side at best than anything closely related to horrible. Maybe the author, most likely the editor, came up with the series name for him to entice boys to read the books. In this installment Harry and his classmates take a field trip aboard a riverboat. The trip came about from a class assignment where students researched their family ancestry. Among the reports given one particular student’s great-great-grandmother survived the Titanic voyage, another had a pirate in the family, and one recently sailed over from Korea. With all the sea sailing discussions it was decided the remaining field trip funds would be used to explore what traveling on ship might have been like even if only for an afternoon.

Kline does an excellent job of tying the assignments and field trip together along with the student’s activities or in some cases humorous behavior. Although the series title might lead one to believe the story is about Harry, it is really more centered around Harry and his classmates instead of just Harry. This book like the others are told through a narration style by Harry’s best friend Doug. I would recommend this book and the others in the series to all kids age 7 and up. Also, it makes for a good easy to read chapter book for possibly fourth and fifth graders struggling with reading although the characters in the series range from second to third grade. But, it is a perfect read for third graders and some better second grade readers. Kline also has another series based on the same characters, but focus on Harry’s classmate Song Lee. These you will find under that name in its own series.


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