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Henry Huggins Books In Order

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Publication Order of Henry Huggins Books

Henry Huggins (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon
Henry and Beezus (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
Henry and Ribsy (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
Henry and the Paper Route (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
Henry and the Clubhouse (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ribsy (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon

The name Henry Huggins refers to a character appearing in series of novels by Beverly Clearly. The first book, featuring the character Henry Huggins illustrated by Louis Darling, was Cleary’s first written book in 1950 which won her fame as a children’s author and was among her greatest early works as an accomplished author.

Initially, Beverly Cleary worked at a children’s bookstore and it was her love for reading that drove her to become a full-time librarian. While working at the local school library, her interaction with children gave her an insight as to what every kid thinks and the factors that drive them to be creative. She then decided to write about those insights in order to everyone understand what problems children have to face every day.

The Henry Huggins series fall neatly into the children’s category with the main character being an 11-year-old average boy who has the tendency to get himself into interesting situations.

He always tries to grasp everyone’s attention but fails as everything he does goes in vain until one day, when he stumbles upon a lost puppy. That incident clearly changes his life as he not adopts the dog but makes him his best friend too. This indicates the kind-hearted nature of the main character and how children associate pets as best friends.

Furthermore, Henry Huggins is the best description of an 11-year-old boy whose entire world turns upside down by the arrival of a new friend.

Henry’s adoption of the lost puppy becomes his key to fame as other boys start to include him and his new dog during playtime. His adventures with his new pet are rather limited because he often gets into trouble because of clumsiness.

During playtime, he accidentally loses another kid’s football and has to pay the price for it. This part of the book is the most interesting one as Henry has to earn the money all by himself. He then comes up with various ideas which show how incredibly genius the character is as he first tries to sell the lemonade using various tricks. When everything fails, he looks to making a mark with his dog at the local dog show where he wins the prize money by going to extreme lengths.

Each chapter of the book comprises of a self-contained story with a lesson at the end instead of the cliff-hanging chapters. This style not only indulges the reader but also provokes the imagination of children who are often restless and have an acute attention span. The second book in the series is called “Henry and Beezus” takes a look at another side of Henry in which he indulges in earning money for purchasing the bike of his dreams. The main character thus makes the both ends meet in order to raise money to get the dream bike but every time he collects a sum, something goes wrong and the fund keeps falling flat.
Henry then carefully studies how the ways in which he could earn money without failure.

First, he tries to sell the gum in his school playground which eventually results in detention for Henry. Then he tries other tactics which fail because of Ribsy, another character in the book, who’s nose for mischief get Henry into trouble. Henry is rather shy when it comes to playing with girls and the idea of playing with Ribsy is rather alien to him since he considers her annoying. The book further illustrates all the problems which 4th graders have to face and how real these problems are to Henry.

Henry further struggles to get the bike of his dreams but his nemesis, Scooter gets in his way. Henry is portrayed as a very tolerant character for an 11-year-old as he rather focuses on the big picture than on the minute fights. This indicates that Beverly Cleary provides lessons for children along with adventure and fun in her books.
Henry thus keeps his mundane life interesting by making a huge deal out of minute situations and by exaggerating the little notes that come to his mind. Everything is a constant battle for Henry, just the way it is for an average 4th grader and the way he manages to get the best out of every situation is miraculous. Henry’s ordinary life became adventurous by the introduction of his pet dog, Ribsy, in the first part of the series but as the story goes on, Ribsy’s mischievous behavior becomes an everyday ordeal. Henry’s parents, however, become intolerant of Ribsy and ask Henry to keep him out of trouble if he ever wants to go out fishing with his father.

Henry struggles to train his dog in the third part of the series by making him work towards the treats. Thus, he becomes incorporated with handling the responsibilities of his dog and by teaching him how to behave. He tries to thus keep Ribsy from chasing the neighborhood cat, from terrorizing the garbage man and from all sorts of mischievous behavior. Henry with his creative ideas as to how to train the dog becomes an exclusively interesting character for the reader as the story progresses. Henry further takes on adventures which had drama and thrill without any real danger. Moreover, Henry becomes troubled by the neighbors as they complain about his activities of rushing through the crowd.

The main character of the series thus provides an exciting experience to the reader by making the reader laugh at the sophisticated 50s jokes. Moreover, the conversations between the characters range from laugh out loud humorous to merely lightweight. The Henry Huggins book series consist of the daily rhythm of every kid’s life and have all the substantial incidents which an average 11 year old might face in a day. There are total six books of the Henry Huggins series which depict the complete imagination of Henry Huggins and beautifully capture every essence of childhood. Moreover, the fantastic story line drives the imagination of the readers to the reality around and recreates the 1950s environment.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Henry Huggins

One Response to “Henry Huggins”

  1. Maxine: 2 years ago

    This was the first chapter book I ever read. It was around 1953 and I, too, was a Portland kid. It was a wonderful time and place to be a kid. I knew the location of every single place mentioned in the book, including the ones that were described, but not named. I came to this page to discover the name of the bully whose football Henry lost, and I found the name–Scooter. But I also caught an error. In the paragraph that begins with Henry selling gum, you mention a female character named Ribsy. Ribsy was the dog!! I don’t remember this specific part of the story, but I’m guessing the female was either his neighbor Beezus (Beatrice) Quimby (whom I remember very well) or Ellen Tebbbits. I don’t recall much about Ellen except that I think there was a later book about her.


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