Harry Versus the First 100 Days of School

by Emily Jenkins (Author) Pete Oswald (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
In just 100 days, Harry will learn how to overcome first-day jitters, what a family circle is, why guinea pigs aren't scary after all, what a silent e is about, how to count to 100 in tons of different ways, and much more. He'll make great friends, celebrate lots of holidays, and learn how to use his words. In other words, he will become an expert first grader. Made up of 100 short chapters and accompanied by tons of energetic illustrations from the bestselling illustrator of The Good Egg and The Bad Seed, this is a chapter book all first graders will relate to--one that captures all the joys and sorrows of the first hundred days of school. 

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Endearing from the get-go, this warm, funny early chapter book introduces Brooklynite Harry Bergen-Murphy on the eve of school's opening day, as he laments the "too-short haircut" that will make him "the eariest kid in first grade, probably." Also on his list of worries are strict teachers, rules, learning to read, mean kids, "scary classroom guinea pigs"--and making friends. His gently firm teacher helps the intermittently impulsive boy over some of these hurdles, building his confidence, squelching his penchant for whispering during class, and supporting his mission to discover what he can become an "expert" at. Harry's intuitive mother coaches him about using his words to counter disappointment and anger, and his caring sister comforts him when he feels let down by friends--and slyly cures his fear of guinea pigs. In brief clips of Harry's first 100 days, Jenkins (Toys Meet Snow) spotlights Harry's adjustment to school, insightfully and entertainingly revealing his burgeoning self-reliance, tightening grasp on the meaning of friendship and family, and appreciation of the value of empathy and acceptance. Expressive color cartoons art by Oswald (The Bad Seed) amplify Harry's earnestness and likability. Ages 5-8. Author's agent: Elizabeth Kaplan, Elizabeth Kaplan Agency. Illustrator's agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Agency. (June)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

K-Gr 3Six-year-old Harry Bergen-Murphy is endearing, earnest, and anxious. He lives in Brooklyn with his single mother and attends the public school just a few blocks away with his older sister, Charlotte. Harry is about to start first grade and he's worried about mean kids, teachers who yell, and scary guinea pigs. Short chapters perfectly portray the first 100 days of his first grade year with all its glorious ups and downs, from where to sit at lunch to tackling the tricky silent "e" to what 100 items he will share on the hundredth day of school. Jenkins depicts first grade dialogue and dynamics with honesty and affection. The full-color, cartoonish art depicts a variety of classroom and neighborhood scenes that reflect the diversity of the characters. VERDICT This appealing chapter book is a terrific addition to any 100-day narrative collection. It is perfectly tailored for a read-aloud and is bound to be a favorite.—Brenda Kahn, Tenakill M.S., Closter, NJ

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Praise for the Harry Versus the First 100 Days of School

[A] realistic, comical, heartwarming journey. —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Infused with the author's characteristic, multileveled tongue-in-cheek humor and even some satiric tweaks." —Booklist, starred review

"Endearing from the get-go." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"This appealing chapter book is a terrific addition to any 100-day narrative collection. It is perfectly tailored for a read-aloud and is bound to be a favorite." —School Library Journal

Emily Jenkins
EMILY JENKINS has written many acclaimed books for children, including three chapter books about the toys: Toys Go Out, Toy Dance Party, and Toys Come Home. Her picture books include the Sydney Taylor Award-winning All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah, which received four starred reviews; A Greyhound, a Groundhog, which received five starred reviews; Toys Meet Snow, recipient of four starred reviews; Water in the Park, a Booklist Editors' Choice and a Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book; and two Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Books. Visit her at emilyjenkins.com or follow her on Twitter at @elockhart.

PETE OSWALD is the #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator of The Good Egg, as well as The Bad Seed, which was an Amazon Best Children's Book of the Year and an indie favorite. He has worked as a character designer, a concept artist, and an art director on many popular films, including Madagascar 2, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and Angry Birds. This is his first chapter book.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
June 20, 2021

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