We are not buying back used books for the rest of 2017. [details]
 

Happy Hollisters

Maybe suburban America in the middle of the 20th century really was paradise—a place where families were wholesome and moral, prosperity was ubiquitous but not too demonstrative, and all problems were able to be resolved. What's certain is that plenty of the literature of the period paints exactly that picture, especially books for children, and that the Happy Hollisters series is no exception.

It's a pretty appealing world the Hollister family lives in. The children are active and healthy, mom is capable and kind, and dad is a paragon of affable masculinity. Their house in Shoreham, NY is clean and spacious, and their animals have personality and intelligence. The five kiddos (the oldest is 12) enjoy solving mysteries, which they do with surprising success and some help from their folks, even when neighborhood roustabouts Joey Brill and Will Wilson get in the way.

Each of the 33 novels is easy to read and features a relatively lighthearted mystery for the kids to solve. Author Andrew Svenson (writing as Jerry West) based most of the characters in the books directly on people in his own life—his own kids, their pets, neighborhood figures, local bullies. Despite the aura of not-quite-believable shangri-la that runs through the series, there is a level of humor and realism not present in comparable series, largely due to this basis in actuality.

The Happy Hollisters series was originally commissioned by the Stratemeyer Syndicate (the folks responsible for the Bobbsey Twins, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and about a bajillion others), but was entirely the creative work of Svenson. This means the books enjoy a level of continuity unachievable in any series co-authored by multiple writers.

This is by no means "classic literature" in the sense we usually use that phrase. Still, it's better than 99% of the books currently marketed to young readers, and it's better than many of the books published during the same period (1953-70). We would urge you to distribute these throughout your kids' reading diet (not all at once, certainly not as the exclusive choice), but once in awhile these can take us back to a time when fiction, at least, was far more innocent and virtuous.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

List of titles

  1. The Happy Hollisters
  2. The Happy Hollisters on a River Trip
  3. The Happy Hollisters at Sea Gull Beach
  4. The Happy Hollisters and the Indian Treasure
  5. The Happy Hollisters at Mystery Mountain
  6. The Happy Hollisters at Snowflake camp
  7. The Happy Hollisters and the Trading Post Mystery
  8. The Happy Hollisters at Circus Island
  9. The Happy Hollisters and the Secret Fort
  10. The Happy Hollisters at the Merry-Go-Round Mystery*
  11. The Happy Hollisters and Pony Hill Farm*
  12. The Happy Hollisters and the Old Clipper Ship
  13. The Happy Hollisters at Lizard Cove
  14. The Happy Hollisters and the Scarecrow Mystery
  15. The Happy Hollisters and the Mystery of the Totem Faces
  16. The Happy Hollisters and the Ice Carnival Mystery
  17. The Happy Hollisters and the Mystery in Skyscraper City
  18. The Happy Hollisters and the Mystery of the Little Mermaid
  19. The Happy Hollisters and the Mystery at Missile Town
  20. The Happy Hollisters and the Cowboy Mystery
  21. The Happy Hollisters and the Haunted House Mystery
  22. The Happy Hollisters and the Secret of the Lucky Coins
  23. The Happy Hollisters and the Castle Rock Mystery
  24. The Happy Hollisters and the Cuckoo Clock Mystery
  25. The Happy Hollisters and the Swiss Echo Mystery
  26. The Happy Hollisters and the Sea Turtle Mystery
  27. The Happy Hollisters and the Punch and Judy Mystery
  28. The Happy Hollisters and the Whistle Pig Mystery
  29. The Happy Hollisters and the Ghost Horse Mystery
  30. The Happy Hollisters and the Mystery of the Golden Witch
  31. The Happy Hollisters and the Mystery of the Mexican Idol
  32. The Happy Hollisters and the Monster Mystery
  33. The Happy Hollisters and the Mystery of the Midnight Trolls

*These titles are sometimes found in reverse order.

Did you find this review helpful?
Parent Categories
Related Links
Wikipedia: Booklist and Background
Happy Hollisters website
Background on books and author, plus reprints!
33 Items found Print
Happy Hollisters
Happy Hollisters #1
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Happy Hollisters and the Castle Rock Mystery
Happy Hollisters #23
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Happy Hollisters and the Cowboy Mystery
Happy Hollisters #20
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Happy Hollisters and the Cuckoo Clock Mystery
Happy Hollisters #24
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Happy Hollisters and the Ghost Horse Mystery
Happy Hollisters #29
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
Happy Hollisters and the Haunted House Mystery
Happy Hollisters #21
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Happy Hollisters and the Ice Carnival Mystery
Happy Hollisters #16
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
Happy Hollisters and the Indian Treasure
Happy Hollisters #4
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (3 in stock)
Happy Hollisters and the Merry-Go-Round Mystery
Happy Hollisters #10
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
Happy Hollisters and the Monster Mystery
Happy Hollisters #32
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 3rd-6th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
Happy Hollisters and the Mystery at Missile Town
Happy Hollisters #19
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 4th-6th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Happy Hollisters and the Mystery in Skyscraper City
Happy Hollisters #17
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Happy Hollisters and the Mystery of the Golden Witch
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 3rd-6th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
Happy Hollisters and the Mystery of the Little Mermaid
Happy Hollisters #18
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 4th-6th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (2 in stock)
Happy Hollisters and the Mystery of the Mexican Idol
Happy Hollisters #31
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 3rd-6th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (2 in stock)
Happy Hollisters and the Mystery of the Midnight Trolls
Happy Hollisters #33
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 3rd-6th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
Happy Hollisters and the Mystery of the Totem Faces
Happy Hollisters #15
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Happy Hollisters and the Old Clipper Ship
Happy Hollisters #12
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Happy Hollisters and the Punch and Judy Mystery
Happy Hollisters #27
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
Happy Hollisters and the Scarecrow Mystery
Happy Hollisters #14
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Happy Hollisters and the Sea Turtle Mystery
Happy Hollisters #26
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
Happy Hollisters and the Secret Fort
Happy Hollisters #9
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Happy Hollisters and the Secret of the Lucky Coins
Happy Hollisters #22
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Happy Hollisters and the Swiss Echo Mystery
Happy Hollisters #25
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Happy Hollisters and the Trading Post Mystery
Happy Hollisters #7
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Happy Hollisters and the Whistle Pig Mystery
Happy Hollisters #28
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Happy Hollisters at Circus Island
Happy Hollisters #8
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Happy Hollisters at Lizard Cove
Happy Hollisters #13
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Happy Hollisters at Mystery Mountain
Happy Hollisters #5
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 4th-6th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Happy Hollisters at Pony Hill Farm
Happy Hollisters #10
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
Happy Hollisters at Sea Gull Beach
Happy Hollisters #3
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Happy Hollisters at Snowflake Camp
Happy Hollisters #6
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
Happy Hollisters on a River Trip
Happy Hollisters #2
by Jerry West
from Doubleday & Company
for 2nd-5th grade
in Happy Hollisters (Location: A10-01H)
$6.00 (3 in stock)