Sunday, August 02, 2020

Harvey Holds His Own

Nelson, Colleen. Harvey Holds His Own (Harvey #2)
August 4th 2020 by Pajama Press
E ARC provided by Netgalley

Now that Austin has had to return Harvey to Maggie, he is spending more time at the Brayside Retirement Home where his grandfather works, although he is missing his friend Mr. Pickering, who passed away. However, Maggie's school requires her to do community service, and even though her friends laugh at her interest in old people, she decides to return to Brayside. Austin is thrilled to see Harvey, and feels horrible about not returning him in a timely fashion. Maggie gets assigned to help a new resident, Mrs. Fradette, settle in to her apartment and unpack, which she enjoys just as much as organizing the facility library. Mrs. Fradette slowly unrolls the story of her life, starting with the 1950 flood of Manitoba, which caused her and her mother to move in with her grandparents. Her grandfather ran a garage, and she loved to help, which was unusual at the time. Austin is worried that Brayside is going to force his grandfather to retire because they have posted his job, and he gets all of the residents to write letters supporting his grandfather, and plans a party for his "work-iversary". There is also an abandoned puppy that Harvey has found in the alley that Austin has had to turn over to the humane society, since his mother still feels they can't support a dog. Maggie's interest in Mrs. Fradette's history motivates her to write an essay for a contest, and she also starts to feel that she is outgrowing her friends at school. With all of this going on, Harvey manages to get out of the house and have a run in with a raccoon. Everything manages to end well, and the residents of Brayside not only keep Austin's grandfather employed, but surprise Austin with a gift as well.
Strengths: Brayside is portrayed as a positive environment for older residents, with activities, parties, and lots of socializing. The reality of residents ailing and dying is not glossed over, but I appreciated especially that the smell of the place was described as clean and pleasant; Maggie had thought it would smell like moth balls! Harvey is a great dog, and his interactions with the residents is very touching. Maggie's friendship with Mrs. Fradette (and Mrs. Fradette's vintage car!) really shine in this book, and her story is much happier than Mr. Pickering's.
Weaknesses: It would have made more sense for Austin to ask his grandfather about the issues at work, but that wouldn't have been as dramatic.
What I really think: I liked this better than the first book, which had some violent moments. I liked the combination of dogs with history from senior citizens, so will probably purchase the series.

Ms. Yingling

1 comment:

  1. I'm surprised that a kid these days knows what moth balls are! (I haven't seen one in literally 50 years)