Books·Canadian

Harvey Holds His Own

A book by Colleen Nelson, illustrated by Tara Henderson.

Colleen Nelson, illustrated by Tara Henderson

Harvey the West Highland Terrier, hero of Harvey Comes Home, is back with his beloved Maggie. He is also back at Brayside retirement home, where he and Maggie now volunteer along with their friend Austin. There Maggie is drawn to a new resident, Mrs. Fradette, who tells stories of learning to fix cars as a twelve-year-old during the flood of 1950. Mrs. Fradette, with her bold fashion and love of poker, doesn't fit in among the beige-cardigan- wearing, bridge-playing ladies of Brayside, but she doesn't seem to care. Maybe that's why Maggie likes her so much. Since seventh grade began, Maggie hasn't been fitting in well with her friends, either.

Always alert for anything new — and with a nose that never misses a new scent — Harvey follows his instincts on a walk with Austin and discovers an abandoned newborn puppy in a pile of trash. Austin's heart almost breaks over the little puppy's plight, so he takes her to safety. Maggie and the Brayside residents and staff praise Harvey's heroic efforts, wishing that Austin could have his own dog. But the little puppy will need time to recover from her trauma before she can be adopted, and then there's another, even bigger obstacle: Austin's mom, who says no to pets.

As fall edges toward winter, Harvey picks up an unfriendly scent in his backyard, and he will stop at nothing to keep Maggie and the others safe. But sometimes the little Westie is just too brave for his own good. (From Pajama Press)

Harvey Holds His Own is for ages 9-12.

Harvey Holds His Own is a finalist for the 2020 Governor General's Literary Prize for young people's literature — text.

Colleen Nelson is a YA author from Winnipeg. Her other books include Pulse PointBlood Brothers, Spin and Finding Hope.

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