Andrew Svenson (Jerry West) loved to correspond with his young readers and would be delighted to know that fans are still writing today! Please feel free to share your memories, stories, questions, or comments below. For fastest response to questions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!
The Happy Hollister series taught me to read. I mean that quite literally. In 1st ad 2nd grade I was having a very difficult time with reading and writing until my mother bought me the HH series. It was tough at first but I loved the books so much I read them over and over and over again. I remember how exciting it was when I got a new copy in the series every few weeks. I was born in 1961, just for reference. Not only did I learn to read but I learned to love reading which was even more important for me. It has been a lifelong habit and I don’t know if I ever would have developed the habit had it not been for the series. Funny, after all these years, not having read any of the books in decades, I still remember the kids names Pete, Pam, Ricky, Holly and Sue. I have a 6 year old son now myself and my Mother still has all of the books from nearly 50 years ago. Hopefully my own boy will enjoy them as much as I did.
As an author myself, and as one of the people who were around when just about all of The Happy Hollister books were written, I can only say how intrigued I was to finally discover them about three years ago. I appreciate how “Jerry West” wrote these wonderful mysteries not to speak down to the children who were his primary audience, but straight to them as if he knew they could understand a lot more than many of the adults around them ever gave the kids credit.
It is through books such as his that young readers became adult readers with good vocabularies and a sense of what the printed word can do. It is also through mysteries such as these that I and many others became enamored with mystery books.
What I do not know, and possibly may never find out, is whether he envisioned adults reading his stories decades later and enjoying them just about as much as they did as children. I can only think of a few series from my own youth that still hold such fascination for me as someone in my 6th decade of life. Tom Swift, Rick Brant, Ken Holt, and darned few others! Well, of course there are others like this series, but with only a few books in each (Eleanor Cameron’s Mushroom Planet books, the Dig Allen science fiction books, Tom Corbett books, etc.) they can be re-read far too quickly to totally satisfy.
But, thirty-three books in this series? Magnificent.
Too bad that only a few of them are readily available and a couple are barely to be seen out there. Sigh!
Anyway, thank you, the family of Andrew Svenson, for renewing these books for generations to come. I only hope you will eventually have all of the books in this series available.
I’m 38 years old. My first exposure to the Happy Hollisters was when I was six years old. Already able to read chapter books (I was homeschooled, and learned to read at the age of 3), I found a dusty, scuffed copy of HH Ghost Horse Mystery in a box of used books my parents got from somewhere. Not sure whether I would like it, I scanned the table of contents, since this was how I judged a book at that time. The chapter titles were interesting enough that I gave it a chance. I was quickly pulled in to the story, possibly aided by the fact that, as a Maine native, I unknowingly had a connection to the Ghost Horse Mystery, since the rugged, quaint section of coast the Hollisters stopped in for their mystery, was clearly in New England, and by description, probably in Maine. I quickly made best friends with Ricky in my 6-year-old mind. If it hadn’t been for Ricky, I’m not sure if the series would have interested me so much. He really made it pop!
Over the 30+ years since those mid-eighties days when my eagle-eye scowered the library, yardsales, used book stores, and grandparents’ shelves for Hollister books, I accumulated a half dozen or so of them, but through a series of moves and personal tragedies, I eventually ended up with just two– Book #1, and the faithful, tattered old Ghost Horse Mystery, which I have probably read at least ten times. Poor GHM is massively torn to pieces, with pages come out, covers taped and barely hanging on, someone colored in it, and both myself and an earlier reader made notes in the margin. But a couple months ago, I started reading Book 1 to my own kids (I have seven young cubs!) and they loved it. When we finished Happy Hollisters, I read Ghost Horse Mystery to them, and they loved it even more.
I can definitely say the Hollister books shaped my thinking and my vocabulary for my entire life. “Yikes” is still one of my favorite interjections, and the Hollisters’ analytical detective minds have taught me to think outside the box and read the clues for myself. Perhaps more than anything else, for readers who did not grow up in the Hollisters’ 1950’s and 60’s, reading the books gives a vivid and sobering window onto a much more innocent and virtuous time. May we each do our part to help our society regain the innocence, integrity, and purity of a world we’ve lost.
I was one of those kids in the 1960’s who was supposed to be sleeping at bedtime, but, instead, hid under the blankets with a flashlight so I could read just one more chapter of one of The Happy Hollister books. Today I have the complete hardcover set of The Happy Hollisters including Book #18 with the missing panel on the spine. They occupy a prominent place on my living room bookshelf and I am proud to display them. This wholesome series ignited my love of reading as a child and allowed me to escape into a world of fun, adventure and mystery. I used to read these books to my own son when he was small and we both reflect on those memories as some of the best !! Thank you ‘Andrew Svenson’ and family for such a precious contribution and legacy that has enriched the lives of so many children !!
I became an avid reader thanks to The Happy Hollister series. My mother encouraged my love of reading by joining a book club and having The Happy Hollister’s delivered. I would take my collection to my grandmother’s house when visiting for the summer and instead of playing outside or watching TV, I would sit in a rocking chair on the porch or inside with homemade lemonade and read. Of course I still played some, but only after finishing a book and before starting the next. I am still an avid reader, at least 2 books a week. The memories of The Happy Hollister’s are very special to me.
Words cannot adequately express the pleasure I found in the pages of the Happy Hollisters books, and I’m so glad to see that they meant so much to others. Between the Hollisters, Carl Barks’ Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge Adventures, and National Geographic, I felt like I traveled the globe, and I’m sure instilled my love of adventure.
I was introduced to the Happy Hollister’s in 2nd grade. My teacher would read them to us. I fell in love with their adventures. As an adult I Homeschooled my children and I used this series as my material. Great vocabulary, science experiments, history, geography, culture…..Every time I see them in an Antique store I pick them up, whether I have that title already or not. Thank you for listing them in order. When I started collecting them about 15 years ago, I couldn’t find a complete list.
Wow, I’m so glad I found this site. The Hollisters were some of my favorite books when I was 5 and up. My ‘book’ aunt sent me a subscription, and I eagerly awaited the books that would arrive every few months. I enjoyed them so much, and that gift made such an impression on be that I also became a ‘book’ aunt when my siblings started having kids. They are grown, so now I’m the book aunt for their kids. Thanks for reviving this.
I was thrilled to find your website! My first collection of the Happy Hollisters was a small one but receiving the books in the mail through the book club was an exciting day…and each book was read from cover to cover upon arrival and many times afterward. With much searching, today my collection (w/DJ) is complete except for the elusive #33. The search continues for a copy that won’t break the bank, but what fun searching. One could call it The Happy Hollisters and the Mystery of the Hunt!
These books are truly magical and remind me so much of my own childhood. With twelve of us children we lived the ‘rural’ version of the Happy Hollisters with many mysteries and adventures of our own! The memories of these stories were the catalyst to publish the first book of our own escapades.
I am excited to see that the series is again in the process of reprint. For a book can take a child anywhere they desire and the Happy Hollisters accomplishes this with such pureness and love of family. Thank you for so many wonderful hours of reading, as a child and again today. How I love to pick up a volume and read it through to help clear out the business of a day and relax with the Hollister family once again. What a joy it will be to share and pass on to my own grandchildren!
I was first introduced to the Happy Hollisters when I was in first grade. My school librarian read some of the books to my class, and I was immediately hooked. By the time I was reading the books by myself, we had five children in our family, and I was so excited that we were like the Happy Hollisters. I now have three girls of my own (and our first son is due in July), and I just finished reading the first Happy Holiisters book to my two older girls. This was the first of my favorite childhood books that I have shared with them, and they LOVED it! They begged me to keep reading when each chapter came to and end, and now the we finished the first book, they are yearning for book number two. Thankfully, I’ve been able to collect the entire series throughout the years. I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to share this series with my children and see that they enjoy it just as much as I did! What a blessing the Hollisters are!
Thank you so much for this website! I began collecting the Happy Hollister books when I was around 6 or 7 years old. My mother had started buying Dr. Seuss books for me through a subscription series but quickly realized that they were too simple for me. She began ordering the Happy Hollister series and I also remember them coming two at a time. I was so excited to receive those books! My younger sister still teases me about how I would promise to play outside with her and I would tell her, “Just let me finish this chapter and then I’ll play with you.” Of course, I would get to the end of the chapter and there would be that delicious cliff-hanger, enticing me to read further. Poor Sue would have to wait even longer, and I feel guilty to this day that I lied to her!
I never found anyone else who knew of the HH series of books until one day I walked into a fellow teacher’s classroom and saw a set nearly identical to mine sitting on his bookshelf. We had quite the discussion about how much we loved the books and how important they were to us.
I always imagined traveling to all of those wonderful places the Hollisters visited, but reading about their adventures made me feel as if I were right there. I wrote many a book report about various Hollister books, and I have reread them over the years. I am now 58 years old and retired from teaching, and through a recent serious illness when I could not do much of anything, I took comfort in rereading several Hollister books again.
We are planning on moving soon and I had been debating about donating my HH books, but now I know I am keeping them. The memories are just too strong! How wonderful that these books are being re-released for a whole new audience.
I stumbled upon these books quite by accident while at the library trying to find appropriate reading material for my 8-year-old daughter, who has a voracious appetite for books and reads well above grade level. What a godsend! I can’t believe I missed out on these great books as a kid! Since our library only has a few volumes in the set I’m thrilled to be able to purchase them for our own personal library. The current set is fabulous, but are there plans to eventually re-release all 33 volumes?
Wow!!! Your website is fantastic! I was introduced to The Happy Hollisters through our church library when I was about 10 and was immediately hooked.
I have a complete set in dust jackets except for The Mystery Of The Midnight Trolls [got the book, however, no dust jacket) and will not pay the high prices that are currently being asked. I’ll just have to be paticient and keep looking.
I am additionally beginning to pick up variations, I have found copies with different color pictures and ones with light and dark color variations, as well as the Doubleday symbol on the spine verses the the Garden City printing and dust jackets with and without the price and with and without the series number on the spine. Were the green books Austrailian or Canadian versions and I understand their dust jackets have different pictures than their USA versions? It will be slow going, but, that’s half the fun.
Anybody ever thought about writing a Happy Hollister edition bringing them to now with Pete, Pam, Ricky, Holly and Sue’s offspring picking up where their parents left off. Hmmm… THe Happy Hollisters and the Mystery at the Family Reunion. LOL!!!
Thank You for giving us an outlet to conect with other fans!
I am a reader from Spain. As a little child, the very first book my parents gave me that wasn’t a picture book was the Spanish edition of The Happy Hollisters. There were some pictures, but it was a prose book, and I remember being displeased because I thought it would be boring and difficult to read. Nothing further from the truth! As soon as I finally started reading, I fell in love with the family and their thrilling adventures. The accompanied me through the years and I completed the whole collection. I followed Pete, Pam, Ricky, Holly and Sue through the world (with my imagination). They taught me the joy of reading. Thank you very much for so many happy memories!
I particularly appreciate that you are making it available as ebooks now because, unfortunately, I lost the collection during one of several moves. I hope you release the complete collection as ebooks!
One of my happy childhood memories is reading the Happy Hollisters books, and especially anticipating reading the newest one I could get my hands on. I learned about so many places I had never been before, such as Cape Canaveral, the Southwest, Denmark, and New England, and in a way that I didn’t feel like I was “learning”, and it fueled, or maybe even initiated, my lifetime love of geography. I don’t have any of my copies anymore, but I’m hoping that my sister might have some of them, or that I’ll be able to purchase some soon and share them with my 9-year-old!
Hello-What a surprise to stumble across your great website! When I was in the 3rd grade (1968), my teacher would read from the Happy Hollisters each day after recess. I kid you not, it was my favorite time of the entire day. I can still remember the excitement building and then the chapter would end until the next day. I must say, it was a great way to encourage me to get to school every morning. I was smitten with the series. My mom and dad let me sign up for the book club which I liked so much; it was a thrill when that brown flat box arrived in our mailbox with 2 new issues. I literally would read them in the course of a couple of days. I still have my entire set, dust covers included, and through the years my own children have enjoyed them as I did. I saw my 3rd grade teacher a few years ago and told her what an impact she had on my life, specifically her Hollister story time. I honestly don’t know if I would have the interest in reading that I do today had it not been for this series of books. I think it made her day–and she told me she still had her set, too. THANK YOU to your entire family….I had no idea there was a correlation to the characters in the books, but what a neat thing! Now….time to go to the Trading Post to do a little T Shirt shopping….I think I just found myself a perfect gift!!
I loved the Happy Hollisters! Growing up on a family farm in Iowa the Happy Hollisters visted places that were often rather exotic, and I enjoyed both the mysteries and the chance to learn more about other cultures. And it helped that the girls often got to be actively involved.
I have most of a set of my own and I pick up others as I find them at garage sales and used book stores.
Now I’m just astonished that my four year old grandson is totally smitten with these books and will often ask his parents to read 50-80 pages in one day. Today my daughter called to tell me that when he got out his legos to play, he was playing ‘The Happy Hollisters’!
I’m glad to see these books are back in print for people who don’t still have their own copies, and I look forward to reading the last few in the series as those are the only ones I don’t have.
Found your website today and just had to tell you thank you! When I was a kid in the 60’s, the Happy Hollisters were my second family. My parents divorced when I was a kid and we had no tv so reading became my escape. My mother subscribed to the book of the month so I had lots to read but I can’t remember any of those books, just The Happy Hollisters. The stories were great, in all the books I read there was adventure and travel and love. I only got to read I think 6 books and my favorites were The Mystery of the Totem Poles and The Mystery Of The Cukoo Clock. Since I have found the site I will be ordering for my 8 year old grandson and get him started on a great series. God bless you.
I LOVED these books as kids! I grew up in the ’70s and early ’80s, and I could not get enough of the Happy Hollisters. As I read it, I felt that this was how kids’ lives really were (meaning adventure 24/7). Each day, I tried going out to find adventure like they did.
I’m pretty old now and just recently became a father…but I never forgot my childhood, which was shaped by the adventures that I lived vicariously through the five Hollister kids.
Thank you for this site.
My mother, born in 1950, had the whole collection, and passed them to me when I was born in the 80’s. I loved them as much as she did, reading and re-reading them until they were falling apart. Now 30, I am starting to collect them for my young son, who can’t read yet, but loves the stories. This is such a good collection of books that made 3 generations happy and can be something we all share together.
It is such a thrill to see the Hollister series surviving so well. Over the years I was able to collect mostly complete sets for both of my children. It is now generation three who is reading the series and enamored by them. My third grade grand daughter took her series to share with her classmates. The books were a hit with the teacher and the children. Despite the lack of Newberry or Caldecott Medals, the series is alive and well and the newest generation doesn’t see the books as dated…true classics!
I was a 50’s baby and as soon as I was old enough to read The Happy Hollister books became a second family to me. When I had my own children, they became family to them as well. There were a few I didn’t own, but have had some luck on ebay and amazon to secure some of those. Those books started me on a love affair with mysteries that has continued my whole life.Might I add, as I add to my collection, of course I have to read the books. Takes me back to such a happy childhood place. Long live the Happy Hollisters!
My 9 brothers and sisters and I had this set growing up. We put on plays like we were the Hollister kids for our parents and aunts and uncles. We fought over the books, but my little sister ended up with them! How I wish I could find an original set again. They took me on so many adventures and truly helped give me my love of reading!
“The Happy Hollisters” books were my favorite books growing up. I come from a family of 6 kids, and we all read them many times. They never grew old. I cannot count the hours of pleasure we got from these wonderful books and the characters who were so richly developed that we felt as though we knew them personally. There are lots of good writers, but there are few who make a lifelong impression. Jerry West (Andrew Svenson) definitely fits the bill! I still have the collection of books and at 55 years old STILL love reading them!
It’s great to hear the books are being re-released. I was a huge reader when I was a kid.. my dad started getting me these books when I was in 2nd grade. I used to read them almost non-stop until I was done with each book. I almost started a fire one night when I draped a pair of underwear over the top of my lampshade so I could keep reading late… happily it was my older sisters underwear. I’m now 53 years old and still recommend them to the children I know. Thanks for the wonderful stories.
The Happy Hollisters are the reason I read so much today…I am weeping a bit of joy as I look at the websight and am realizing this. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Mr. Svenson! You did a very great thing and molded many great lives!!!
I was introduced to the Happy Hollisters when I was a kid in the 70’s. My mom had read these books as a child and passed them on to me. I can’t think of a more important series of books to me when I was young. I now have two five year olds now and I have read the first three books in the series to them, and they love them! The Hollisters are a timeless gem!
By the way, why did you just release #21 in the series? Are you not going to do 6-20? Crickets, I think it would be swell if you re-released every book!
Thanks for bringing back the memories!
Hello, My name is Nathan and I am in first grade. My teacher reads me Happy Hollisters everyday and I love it a lot because it is so awesome. I like it when mysteries come up. I like Pete and Ricky because they get all the spooky mysteries in the haunted house book. I also like Zip because he can protect his family.
When I was 10 years old, I would sit and read the 3 Happy Holisters books we had in one day. I did this several times, until my mother would send me outside to play. Usually I would be up in a tree reading at that point.
These books formed my ideas for how people should be civil to each other, and to this day, I would rather watch old TV shows rather than the newer, much harsher shows of today.
I have been looking for the originals to collect, (once I found out there were more than 3), and have found 18 at various antique shops. I still love to read them so I can go back to a simpler time. And, I admit, even though I have been married for nearly 28 years to a wonderful version of Elaine Hollister, I still have a crush on Pam!
I loved your books! I read the whole series when I as a young boy. I remember reading under the covers with a flashlight! Brings back many wonderful memories.
Too bad youngsters today would rather play video games than read such fantastic adventures.
Thank you, Jerry West.
Jeepers Pete! There is a website about the books I grew up with. When I was just a lad I had rhuematic fever and mom picked up a complete set of the HH books and we read them together over a couple of summers it seemed. I read them with and to my children. I was visiting my daughter last week and she was reading one of the books to her youngest. You made a lot of young people dream and brought them into the world of reading, thank you so much.
The very basis for my on-going love of reading. As a young child my parents made the sacrifice of the signing me up for a book club where I received a copy of the books as they were published. They tell me I would disappear into my room when the new book arrived and didn’t come out until I had finished it. I still have 25 of the original books (without the covers though). I used them to start my son on his enjoyment of reading. The best present my parents ever gave me!
I’ve been reading the reprint to my kids, as I came across an excerpt used in a writing program. My son was thrilled with the excerpt and wanted to know what happened next so I did some looking and he got the book for Christmas. As a parent, it’s so much fun seeing my kids get excited about learning, and reading. Every night we’ve been reading the book and when I get to the end of the chapter, they are always begging for just a little bit more. I can’t wait until the rest of the books are reprinted. I’d buy them all right now! I hope the rest of the books will be reprinted!
Loved reading the Happy Hollister books when I was younger, and just bought a second-hand copy of “The Whistle-Pig Mystery” for my sister (who also loved them) for a Christmas present. I don’t mind admitting that we are both in our 20’s, and I am looking forward to reading the book when she is finished with it! So neat to find a website dedicated to the books, and it would be awesome to see them reprinted for future generations to read and enjoy as much as I have! Yikes!! 🙂
Cheers, and great work with the website.
—New Zealand fan
I have always loved these books. I would even go as far as to say these books shaped my life. They were the first books I read. I mean, really read. I hated to read, until i found my very first Happy Hollisters book. I can now say I have read all 33 books in the series, and have the complete collection in my library. (17 of them are first editions) I could never have earned my doctorate or become a college professor if this series had not changed my mind about reading.
How awesome to find this web site! So many of us grew up on the Happy Hollister Mysteries! I am proud to say that my family owns the complete set of original books. Some were harder to find than others (we didn’t have the complete set as kids! ) Its amazing to think of the impact “Jerry West” had on so many children’s reading habits! My all time favorite was the Halloween Mystery of the Golden Witch. As a Librarian, I feel these books are classics, and the entire set needs to be republished!
I can still “see” the cardboard box that would hold 2 Happy Hollister books, and I would be so eager to rip it open, then hide in my room with my nose in the books till I read them. I would sit on the floor with my back against the door so my little brothers would not bug me. Reading this series was one of my childhood happy memories.
I’m building a set for my granddaughter who is a reader too. I know she will love them.
I stumbled upon this site when looking for Hollisters, the teen clothing store that both my daughters, now 15 and 17, love. I was amazed to find that others experienced the joy of the Happy Hollisters book! Both my daughters read my copy from my childhood and did book reports on it when they were in elementary schools. They asked me often if there were any more books by this author, but I must admit that I never researched to find out. I am definitely going to tell them about this site. Now that this book is part of their nostalgia, I am sure that they will look it up!
The Happy Hollisters seem to have made an impact in so many of our lives. For years, I was the only one I knew who read them. While not as well known as some other series of the period, the Hollisters really seem to have a loyal, lifelong following. It would be great to meet others who share a love and bond with these books from our childhood. How about a Happy Hollister convention?
I loved the Happy Hollisters as a kid and read as many of the books as I could get my hands on. I finally was able to complete my set this past year with a copy of Midnight Trolls. I was thrilled to find this site and others that loved the Hollisters as much as I did. My friends around here had never heard of The Happy Hollisters. What a sad childhood not to have had that experience!
I discovered the Happy Hollisters when I was about 8 years old in our school library. That was close to 30 years ago and I had not thought of those books until recently when I decided to look for the books for my children. Great memories and the beginning of a love of reading.
I was a voracious reader as a child, and when I discovered the Happy Hollisters series at the library, I was hooked! I loved mysteries, and also read Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and the Bobbsey Twins, but the Hollisters were my favorite. I can remember many a rainy day during summer vacation (in the early 1970s) when there was nothing else to do, so I'd curl up with a Hollister mystery or two. The dark skies and thunder outside only added to the eeriness of the mystery I was reading!
These books were my favourite books growing up. I can remember waiting quite impatiently for the mailman to bring me the next edition. My daughter has now discovered these books and is now hooked on them as well.
My third grade teacher, Mrs. Perrault read the Happy Hollisters series to us and we loved it so much. Something reminded me of it in recent years, maybe my love of Mysteries. I thought I'd take a chance and Google The Happy Hollisters and lo and behold, there are other people out there who think back on them with warm memories. I'm not crazy after all. I hope to find some copies of the Happy Hollisters and read them to my daughter some day. Thinking of them reminds me of a kind gentler time and I think we all could use a little of that. Thank you for carrying on the memories.
I love the Happy Hollisters. They are life as it should be. In order to get my daughter more interested in reading my Dad (who lives in Maine) and I have been searching for HH books. I have been reading them to my 9 year old and she has been reading them herself. She is starting to see "mysteries" everywhere now. I remember going to this little one room library as a child, where there was very rarely anyone but mom and my sisters and I and reading them. Forget the Hardy Boys, no Nancy Drew... never big on the Bobbsey twins... but I read every single HH book at least once. Now I am re-discovering them as my daughter and I read them together on the couch at night. . . the HH not only provided a good story, but a great sense of values as well...ever notice how nice Pam and Pete are to each other?
I wish I could find my former school librarian in Dorval, Quebec, Canada (early 1970's) and let her know the tremendous impact her dedication to her job had on my life. I was in 3rd grade, it was during library period, and I was wandering around looking for a book to check out. She, sensing my interest in books, directed me to a shelf containing the library's collection of Happy Hollisters. I wasn't too interested at first, but with her encouragement I agreed to try one. Many years later, at 42 years of age, not only do I still enjoy reading them, but I have read them to both my girls (12 & 17), and I have been fortunate enough to collect 2 complete series over the years. When my daughters leave home, they will both have a set to read to their children.
I also discovered, when dating my wife, that she too had read and enjoyed the series. We were both amazed that there was somebody else out there who had heard of and loved the HH.
If you've read the books, you don't need me to tell you how wonderful they are. If you haven't read them yet, the comments on this page will let you know why you should. I can only agree and endorse what has been said here.
I have read many books in my life, and my reading level is much more sophisticated today. But every now and then, I grab a Happy Hollisters book from the shelf, and I'm a little kid once more in the sanctuary of the school library, returning to a simpler day, when there was still much magic and wonder to be found in the world.
I think my librarian would be pleased.
Hi, I AM ONLY 12!!! I first picked up a Happy Hollister book at my grandmas house and I loved them ever since! I asked my g-ma if I could borrow them, and I read them all. I check them out at the local library!
I have read the reviews of this book, and just wanted to add mine to your list. The one thing that all of these reviews have in common is that they are all positive...a fitting tribute to these books.
My fourth grade teacher (Miss Roediger) read these books to us...one of my classmates was a subscriber to the series, and would bring them to class. To Beatrice and Miss Roediger, thank you!
At my insistence, my parents bought me these books in the early-to-mid 60's...a tough time in my life due to my father's absence (courtesy of Uncle Sam and Vietnam). We lived in Glasgow Air Force Base, Montana, and later in Gainesville, Texas.
Each time a book would arrive, I would tear the box open and have the book read within a few hours. We moved around a lot back then...but the constants in my life were my family and my extended family...Pete, Pam, Ricky, Holly, Sue, Zip, White Nose, Dave Mead, Ann Hunter, and even Joey Brill and Will Wilson. Shoreham was a great place to escape to, and I did...many times. The times were simpler, and the reading more enjoyable.
I am nearly 44 now. I have been a police officer for 21 years, and I teach at a local community college...and yet I continue to read and re-read, re-living my childhood...long gone, but never forgotten! I can recall each mystery and the outcome.
There are still books around....I have the entire series...check used book stores and garage sales...and pass this rich heritage on to your children. This series is, without a doubt, unparalleled in children's reading.
When I was 7, I got something in the mail to join a Happy Hollister book club where I would get a new book (I think) every other month for $2.00. I joined without my mom and dad knowing. It was my job to get the mail and so when I would get a book, I would hide it in the bushes beside the porch and later retrieve it. I had a collection of 10 books before they knew it. I wasn't paying for them but they kept sending them. Eventually, my mom found the books. She and my dad then realized why they were getting a billing statement from a book publisher. This is when they realized that I liked to read and they bought me my own set of World Book encyclopedia. Only today do I realize the investment that they made in me. The Happy Hollister books helped stir my creative mind and the locations and scenes that I created for each chapter have always been idyllic places to live. As I travel today, in some of the back roads and small towns I expect to see Pete, Pam, Ricky, Holly, or Sue.
I grew up reading The Happy Hollisters along with my brother and sisters . . . I teach third grade and read at least two Happy Hollister books to my students per year. The books are just full of fun and adventure as well as teaching values such as kindness, honesty, and family togetherness . . .
God bless Jerry West/Andrew Svenson! The Happy Hollisters were an important part of my childhood and did much to cultivate a lifelong love of books and reading for me. My parents had enrolled me in a subscription plan for the books, and I would read them eagerly and kept up with them as they would arrive. I felt as if I knew the Hollisters, that they were friends of mine, and that affection has lasted to this day (I’m now 55). I’m fortunate to still own the original hardcover books from those days, though, unfortunately, without the colorful book jackets. It’s wonderful to see the paperback reprints retaining the original jacket and interior artwork.
Thank you, Svenson Family, for bringing back The Happy Hollisters!
I was never fortunate enough to actually meet Andrew Svenson in real life. As a child, I viewed him as "the best writer in the world", because he was one of the first authors that actually made books come alive for me. Whenever I read one of the Happy Hollisters books, I felt as if I had entered into the world of the Hollisters. I felt like I knew their friends, shared their lives and felt like I had been to all of the places they travelled. It was the first time that any book/s had made me feel that way, and it opened up an entire world to me. I owe an awful lot to Mr. Svenson, for he is the person who gave me a love of reading, showed me what family could mean and also, the person that made me stick with my writing despite the obstacles I often faced to establish myself as a writer. Until I was much older, I did not know that Jerry West was actually Andrew Svenson, but the feelings remain the same. He is still my favorite author, and to this day...every time I read one of his books, they come alive for me.