Saturday, July 24, 2010


A Girl Called Harry by Philippa Werry, Scholastic NZ

Harriet Jasmine Emerald Florence Mabey McDonald likes cats, drawing, and exercising her imagination. She doesn’t like sport, Karl Ballentyne (a boy in her class) or the new girl, whose name is Mallory. So she’s happy when her uncle gives her seven cats to look after while he’s overseas. But she’s unhappy when her best friend Jessica rejects her in favour of Mallory. She also unhappy when her mother starts working for Mallory’s father – Harry’s imagination runs away with her, and she imagines all sorts of terrible things. But everything works out in the end – and Harry is surprised to find that Mallory isn’t so horrible after all.
On the surface this is an amusing light-hearted story about classroom events, but underneath lie themes relating to growing up, friendship, tolerance and keeping an open mind. The phrase “sense and sensibility” even comes to mind. I’m not sure how old Harry is – maybe about eleven? It’s a strongly child-focused story that should be enjoyed by girls aged around nine to twelve who like a solid and entertaining read. Teachers’ Notes are available on Scholastic’s website. Read an excerpt on Philippa Werry's website.
ISBN 978 1 86943 970 5 RRP $18.99
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

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