From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
To 12-year-old Fern, her family has become little more than a random group of people who occasionally eat dinner together. Her dad is obsessed with the family restaurant, Harry's; her mom is constantly meditating; her older siblings have their own busy lives; and three-year-old Charlie is the center of everyone's world. And then . . . tragedy. In a flash the book changes course, and readers will be reaching for their hankies. The family implodes, and it takes many heart-wrenching pages before they are able to find their way back to one another. Readers may begin this book thinking that Fern's annoying family will be the backdrop for her adventures with boys and friends, but it is just the reverse. As in John Corey Whaley's award-winning Where Things Come Back (2011), the powerful bonds of family, so casually acknowledged in the everyday, can be crippling when broken. This is highly recommended for readers dealing with their own grief issues, but any teen can benefit from the reminder that family can be simultaneously humiliating and invaluable.--Colson, Diane Copyright 2010 Booklist
School Library Journal
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Gr 6-9-Fern often feels invisible in her bustling family. Because of the restaurant her parents run, her teenage sister's angst, her gay older brother's struggle with bullies, and the incessant cuteness of her little brother, Charlie, there isn't a lot of attention left for a quiet, literary sixth grader. She isn't invisible at school, but that's just because everyone has seen the supremely embarrassing, cheesy commercial her father forced the entire family to star in. Fern finds some solace in her friendship with Ran, who repeatedly assures her that "all will be well," but this mantra proves untrue when Charlie is struck by a car while in Fern's care. Though initially appearing unharmed, his internal injuries prove fatal, and Fern must come to terms with her loss and feelings of guilt while struggling to find her place in her family and in the wider world. Knowles paints a moving and authentic picture of a family grieving, but readers may be put off by the repetitiveness of the plot elements that at times bog down the pacing. However, the book might appeal to precocious readers who will enjoy Knowles's allusions to literary characters and use of rich vocabulary. Additionally, See You at Harry's will fill a niche for those seeking works with a gay character in which his sexuality is not the main focus of the book.-Gesse Stark-Smith, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.