cover image Harris and Me: A Summer Remembered

Harris and Me: A Summer Remembered

Gary Paulsen. Harcourt Children's Books, $17 (168pp) ISBN 978-0-15-292877-3

Paulsen choreographs an antic jig of down-on-the-farm frolics in this warm comedy set a few years after WW II. The 11-year-old narrator (who has spent a good portion of his life being shipped off to various relatives) has never seen anything like the Larson homestead, where he is sent to spend the summer; nor has he witnessed anyone like second cousin Harris, prankster extraordinaire. Initiation to country life includes a swift kick in the head by Vivian the cow, run-ins with an angry rooster and the Larson's spirited pet lynx, as well as assorted dares and humiliations conducted by nine-year-old Harris, who eventually becomes a cherished friend. Days are filled with a mixture of tough work and rough play and sometime during the course of his visit the city boy--parented by a couple of ``puke drunks''--learns the real meaning of ``home.'' On the Larson farm, readers will experience hearts as large as farmers' appetites, humor as broad as the country landscape and adventures as wild as boyhood imaginations. All this adds up to a hearty helping of old-fashioned, rip-roaring entertainment. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)