History of Helpless Harry
Knopf, 1980
out of print; look for this book at your favorite library
more comedy
more historical
History of Helpless Harry:
a Variety of Amusing and Entertaining Adventures

Eleven-year-old Harry's adventures, involving lies, attempted robbery, and the possibility of murder, begin when his parents go away for a few days and he is left in the care of the young Miss Trowbridge.

Behind the Book

Avi writes:

I had written—I thought—a very serious novel about a mistreated boy in the Nineteenth Century. I gave it to my agent, and she read the book. We met for lunch to discuss it. She had some good things to say about it. But then she said, “Avi, I must admit, there were moments in your book which I found very funny. Have you thought of rewriting it and turning it into a comic novel?” I was startled. I had written a very serious book. Or so I thought. I took her remarks home, took a deep breath, and reread the book using, so to speak, her eyes. She was right. It was absurd. And therefore almost funny. I sat down, and rewrote the book, and it came out as a very funny tale. Talk about helpless. Authors often are too!

Review

School Library Journal:

"Subtitled 'A Variety of Amusing and Entertaining Adventures', it is just that."

Awards and Honors

Starred Review, School Library Journal 1980
Starred Review, Booklist 1980
Book of the Month, PCRRT, 1980

 
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