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Parents' Guide to

Mick Harte Was Here

By S. K. List, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Difficult life-death questions are meant for discussion.

Mick Harte Was Here Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 11+

A Sad, Humorous & Very Memorable Book About Choices

This book is a touching, realistic story revealing the importance of choices in life, and the consequences those choices may have, as well as dealing with the death of a loved one. It brings laughter, tears, and most importantly provokes thought (and hopefully discussion) about the choices we make. It includes a great message about bike safety. For a short engaging book, it's packed with importance. I read it every year to my 6th graders and we have great discussions. I wish that those who read it as 3rd or 4th graders would read it again when they get older.
age 10+

Helping us all learn about a family coping with death.

Parents should read this book first then discuss with kids as they read the book. Excellent story about a family's reaction to the sudden death of a son. Tells about the families reactions to those who are trying to help but are saying the wrong things. Reasonable discussions for the usual questions about death and guilt.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (10 ):

This book is a demonstration of the devastating power of simplicity. With breathtaking economy and precise strokes, Barbara Park brings Mick Harte and his sister Phoebe to vivid life. And because Park gives Phoebe such a distinct, genuine voice, her reactions are real and familiar. Park moves the reader back and forth, from Mick to his sister, gradually disengaging them, separating the tightly interwoven strands of their lives, until Phoebe can stand alone. The author makes hardly a misstep; all the book's elements are tied together with enormous skill. Even the lesson about wearing bicycle helmets is made so directly and simply that it doesn't seem at all preachy. In fact, when the father wishes he had made Mick wear his, it's one of the book's most moving moments.

Not all young readers will want or be able to handle the questions Park asks. But those who do will find that, with MICK HARTE WAS HERE, "here" is a lasting place in their hearts.

Book Details

  • Author: Barbara Park
  • Genre: Family Life
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publication date: January 1, 1995
  • Number of pages: 88
  • Last updated: June 24, 2015

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