In Barbara Park's short 88 page novel, Mick Harte Was Here, she takes on bike safety. We learn in the first two pages of the book that Mick Harte is dead. What proceeds is his sister's account, older by ten months, of Mick Harte's life and death.
This slim novel carries a lot of emotional weight. The text size is large and there is plenty of white space on the page, which makes this one great for reluctant readers.
Park gets grief correct in this book, but she does a magical thing and makes the reader laugh out loud sometimes in the same sentence or paragraph where she just evoked tears. That takes good writing.
If you have a child who refuses to wear a helmet when they cycle, have them read this book. As Phoebe tries to come to terms with the death of her brother, she longs to make sure that he is not forgotten.
Park even has a part for those left behind and the guilt they feel. Park chooses her words carefully, making this slim little book pack a powerful message.
First published in 1995, this novel is still in print.
Read to a child today even if that child is you.
Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies.