Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Book Review: Happy Hollisters #1

Happy Hollisters #1

Grace, Haley, Kaya, Kirsten, Lanie, Lea, Melody, two or more

The Happy Hollisters

by Andrew E. Svenson as Jerry West
Illustrations by Helen S. Hamilton

I've called you all here today to discuss the book Lea picked out at the library.
(giggles) Maybe I should have called the meeting.
Everyone has finished reading it, right?
(all nod)
So what are your thoughts?
You know, I thought they were way too happy about the move.
And the loss of their belongings.
But it was an adventure. (giggles)
Was it ever!
The characters, I think Pete and Pam are our age. Ricky and Holly are pretty close. I could imagine hanging out with them.
I bet their mom makes great iced tea, lemonade, and cookies. (giggles)
The picnic supper sounded good!
Okay, so my favorite part, all the great secret passageways in the new house! I mean, it was scary how some stranger could get in unnoticed, but how much fun would those be on a rainy day?
I know, right!
I liked how they found the different clues to the mystery guy and found their stolen possessions at the same time.
Yeah, they all worked together finding clues and when there stuff started turning up in town.
I noticed the story followed the standard mystery plot line, but the words were straightforward. I didn't have to look anything up. I didn't add to my personal vocabulary, but I didn't stumble either.
Yeah, I bet this series is geared toward readers just getting into chapter books or moving from what is considered a chapter book today to a longer novel.
Makes sense when you consider the ages of the main characters.
Oh, speaking of characters...what did you think of Joey Brill?
Ugh! Hmpf! Nasty! Mean!
I kind of wonder why he is so mean?
Dude, when he took White Nose in that basket! I'm glad she scratched him!
You bet!
I wonder if he stays like this throughout the series or if something happens so they can all be friends?
You know, the illustrations gave the story more life.
Simple, but detailed at the same time.
It sounds like everyone enjoyed the book.
Yeah. Mmm-hmm, You bet. Good read.
So do you think we will borrow the rest of the series from the library?
I think so.
Would be easy to find.
I can show you the right shelf. (giggles)

Xyra's Review

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If you enjoy reading the Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, or other similar series you should like The Happy Hollisters. The series was written in the 1950s.

The Hollisters are happy. They are the good people who are kind to all and immediately contrite during mishaps. They look out for each other and others, even giving the annoying kid some second chances (or at least try to be ready for anything he dishes out).

During their move to a new house one of the moving vans gets hijacked and the contents disappear. At the new house, a stranger keeps lurking looking for a supposed treasure. Three mysteries for the young sleuths to solve. Pete, Pam, Ricky, Holly, and even little Sue do their best to help dad at the store, mom around the house, and themselves in the new neighborhood. They quickly make friends and start putting pieces of the puzzles together.

Overall, the Hollisters are always pleasant and happy. However, Pete loses his temper a few times with regards to the local bully. [Actually, considering how Joey tried to teach his cat a "lesson" for running off, I would have too.]

A very easy, fun read. I love reading vintage books. You get a glimpse at what style was popular during the time as well as a tiny sliver of life. In this case, a happy life.

I would suggest The Happy Hollisters for readers getting into chapter books. The version I have is nice with a few two color illustrations sprinkled through the story. Very enjoyable.


  1. Interesting. I remember The Boxcar Children from the library in the summer. Had not read The Happy Hollisters.