Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Daily Booktalk: #tbt: Mick Harte was Here by Barbara Park

Mick Harte was Here by Barbara Park. 128 p. Random House, January, 1995. 9780679882039.

It's #tbt Summer Readers! The penultimate Thursday of summer vacay! I'm vacationing this week on LBI and that means lots of books, biking and yoga. I happened to be walking one of my dogs as I cast my thoughts about trying to come up with a suitable #tbt title. My house is on a long stretch of road that is not as busy as Long Beach Blvd and has a shoulder that lends itself to safe walking/ running/ biking. So there's lots of traffic that includes waves of bikers, from serious bikers all suited up with official biking shorts and riding complicated contraptions to helmeted families biking dutifully in a single file. Then there are the teenagers, most of whom ride without a helmet. And, bingo! I had my #tbt title.

Mick Harte was Here by Barbara Park was published by Random House in 1995. Mick's older sister, Phoebe narrates the story. She tells the reader right off the bat that her brother is dead and that she and her family are doing their best to cope with that grief. She loved her lively, prankster brother and reminisces about how much fun he was. But she's also a bit angry because her brother chose to ride his bike without a helmet and now he's dead. The story is short, subtle and a quietly powerful reminder to put a helmet on when riding (and skiing and skateboarding).

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