Who wouldn’t want to move to Shoreham? Quaint and quintessentially American, the fictional town is the location of dozens of exciting mysteries and home to The Happy Hollisters, along with memorable characters like their friends Indy Roades and Officer Cal Newberry, and, of course, local bully Joey Brill. Pete, Pam, Ricky, Holly, Sue, and their parents didn’t always live in Shoreham, and their move to a “spooky” new home in the first chapter of the first book kicks off an entire series of mysterious goings-on and adventures.

Moving to a new home or new town is something that many kids go through, and it can be a sad, scary, and stressful time for them. Luckily, the Hollisters have already been through it—and have plenty of helpful tips for getting through a big move.

Help Out in Small Ways

Between organizing items, packing up boxes, and loading the truck, moving can be a chaotic process. To avoid feeling lost or overwhelmed, kids can stay involved in their family’s move by helping out with small and safe tasks, like packing their own toys, carrying lightweight boxes, or doing cleaning chores around the house to ready it for the next owners.

In the first book of The Happy Hollisters series, Pete, Pam, Ricky, and Holly help out by carrying their own toys to the moving truck. Ricky learns a valuable lesson when he falls and nearly breaks Holly’s prized toy piano—and his own nose—showing that safety and care are of the utmost importance for young moving helpers!

Try Not To Stress Out Parents

Moving is hard on adults, too. Even parents can feel emotional or stressed about an upcoming move. While parents handle tasks like arranging movers and talking to realtors, kids can help by doing their best to stay out of trouble and avoid causing any extra problems for their families. Along with helping out with small tasks, this also means staying out of the way in potentially dangerous situations, like when someone is moving a very heavy piece of furniture down the stairs.

Little Sue Hollister causes a stressful commotion during her family’s move when she suddenly vanishes, along with Zip, the family dog. While she’s quickly located and was only having some fun hiding in the big moving van, she gives her siblings and parents a big scare. It’s important to make moving fun, but kids should stay safe and careful.

Keep in Touch

Leaving good friends behind is no fun, especially for kids moving to a completely new city or even a different state. Kids might be worried about losing touch with their old friends, or about feeling left out when their friends have new experiences without them.

Holly offers some great advice when she promises to write to her friends as soon as she arrives in Shoreham. Making an agreement to stay in touch can make saying goodbye to friends a bit easier, and unlike the Hollisters, today’s kids can use email or social media to say hello to their friends as often as they like. They can also invite their friends to come visit them in their new home, like Pete does when he encourages a friend to come fish with him at the lake behind the Hollisters’ new home.

Enjoy the Journey

On their way to Shoreham, the Hollisters make the most of their drive by playing fun car games and stopping by a lovely stream to have a picnic lunch. Having fun on the trip to a new home takes away some of the anxiety and uncertainty and helps kids kick off an exciting adventure before the first boxes are even unpacked.

In true Hollister fashion, Pete, Pam, Ricky, Holly, and Sue have a run-in with Joey Brill before they make it to Shoreham, when they encounter the troublemaking boy at a cottage where they stop for the night. While Joey causes mischief, he certainly ensures that there’s nothing boring or ordinary about their move.

For families getting ready to move to a new home, The Happy Hollisters by Jerry West provides a few fun moving tips and is a great reading escape for kids looking to find a few friendly faces in the chaos of a move.

by Libby Svenson Kennedy


Research notes, Andrew Svenson Archives of The Hollister Family Properties Trust