Book Review: Harvey Comes Home by Colleen Nelson

While at the OLA Super Conference at the beginning of this year, I could not resist a signed copy of Colleen Nelson’s middle grade novel Harvey Comes Home. I also could not resist photographing it in front of the tulips I pass by on my morning walk.

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Middle Grade, Animals


A dog’s world is a world of scents, of adventure. When a runaway West Highland Terrier named Harvey wanders out of his old life guided only by his nose and his heart, lives begin to converge.

Austin, a young volunteer at Brayside retirement home, quickly finds that the audacious Harvey inspires Mr. Pickering, a bitter resident coping with memory loss, to tell stories of his childhood. Moved by the elderly man’s Dust Bowl recollections of grinding poverty and the perseverance of his friends and family, Austin begins to trade his preconceived notions for empathy. But is it enough to give him the resolve to track down Harvey’s original owner?

Supported by striking illustrations from acclaimed artist Tara Anderson, Colleen Nelson immerses readers in a rich and unflinchingly human tale of struggle and hope—all inspired by one curious dog.

My thoughts:

The story of Harvey, the dog, is told alongside that of Mr. Pickering, a senior at the Brayside retirement home, and a young boy named Austin. Through these stories, readers will not only experience adventure but they will also learn what it looks like to be empathetic (as well as learn a little history). Austen is a young boy who slowly learns the importance of listening to others and of being empathetic to both Mr. Pickering and Maggie, Harvey’s unknown owner.

Young readers will love this story of a dog who goes on an adventure. They will connect, as well, with both Maggie and Austen especially if they own a dog or would like to own one. Harvey Comes Home is a story that will touch the hearts of young readers and encourage them to follow Harvey in more of his adventures.

I give this novel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 stars

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This novel was the 43nd novel in my book pledge for 2020)

8 thoughts on “Book Review: Harvey Comes Home by Colleen Nelson

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