Mick Harte Was Here

Mick Harte Was Here

by Barbara Park

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How could someone like Mick die? He was the kid who freaked out his mom by putting a ceramic eye in a defrosted chicken, the kid who did a wild dance in front of the whole school--and the kid who, if only he had worn his bicycle helmet, would still be alive today. But now Phoebe Harte's twelve-year-old brother is gone, and Phoebe's world has turned upside down. With her trademark candor and compassion, beloved middle-grade writer Barbara Park tells how Phoebe copes with her painful loss in this story filled with sadness, humor--and hope. Chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of their Best Books of 1996. "A full-fledged and fully convincing drama" (Publishers Weekly).  

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307786821
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 01/26/2011
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 112
Sales rank: 496,579
File size: 4 MB
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

BARBARA PARK is best known as the author of the wildly popular New York Times bestselling Junie B. Jones series, which has kept kids (and their grown-ups) laughing—and reading—for over two decades. Beloved by millions, the Junie B. Jones books have been translated into multiple languages and are a time-honored staple in elementary school classrooms around the world. Every bit as funny as her best-known character, Barbara once said, “There are those who believe that the value of a children’s book can be measured only in terms of the moral lessons it tries to impose or the perfect role models it offers. Personally, I happen to think that a book is of extraordinary value if it gives the reader nothing more than a smile or two. In fact, I happen to think that’s huge.”

Barbara Park is also the author of award-winning middle grade novels and bestselling picture books, including Skinnybones, Mick Harte Was Here, and The Kid in the Red Jacket.

Barbara Park was born in New Jersey in 1947 and spent most of her adult life in Arizona, where she and her husband, Richard, raised two sons. Barbara died in 2013, but her legacy lives on in the laughter her books give to readers all over the world.


Scottsdale, Arizona

Date of Birth:

April 21, 1947

Place of Birth:

Mt. Holly, New Jersey


B.S., University of Alabama, 1969

Read an Excerpt

Just Let Me Say right off the bat, it was a bike accident.
It was about as "accidental" as you can get, too.
Like Mick wasn't riding crazy. Or dodging in and out of traffic. And both of his hands were on the handlebars and all like that.
His tire just hit a rock. And he skidded into the back of a passing truck. And that was that. There wasn't a scratch on him. It was a head injury. Period.
So this isn't the kind of book where you meet the main character and you get to like him real well and then he dies at the end. I hate those kind of books. And besides, I can't think of anything worse than using my brother's accident as the tear-jerking climax to some tragic story.
I don't want to make you cry.
I just want to tell you about Mick.
But I thought you should know right up front that he's not here anymore.
I just thought that would be fair.
I’m only ten months older than he was.
I was "planned."
Mick was a surprise.
He loved it, too. Being a surprise, I mean. He was always teasing my parents about it. Telling them that even before he existed, he could outsmart two chemistry majors with birth control pills.
"Just imagine the amazing stunts I'll pull when I'm a sneaky, rebellious teenager," he'd say. Then he'd rub his hands together and throw his head way back and do that kind of creepy laugh that mad scientists do in the movies. You know, like "Muuwhaaaahahahahaha ..." and he'd hunch over and limp out of the room like Igor or somebody.
Mick was excellent at imitating voices, by the way. We have a tape of him yelling "I'm melting! I'm melting!" that sounds just like the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz. Exactly, I mean.
But even without playing the tape, I can still remember how he sounded. I've heard that sometimes when people you love die, you forget their voices. But I haven't forgotten Mick's. Not yet, anyway.
I have a weird kind of memory, I think. Like I've never once been able to remember my parents' anniversary in time to buy them a card. But I can still remember the exact conversation I had with Santa Claus when I was in kindergarten.
He said, "Ho ho ho."
I said, "Your breath smells."
And he said, "Get down."
It wasn't much of a chat, but the point is, it happened eight years ago and I still remember it like it was yesterday. That's why it doesn't surprise me that I can remember everything about the fight Mick and I had four weeks ago. On the morning of the accident.
It started out like most any other school day at our house. My father was running around wearing his usual morning outfit-a shirt and tie, boxer shorts, and black socks. It's pretty humiliating being related to a man in a get-up like that. But Pop never puts on his pants till right before he leaves for the office. He doesn't like to "ruin the crease" before he has to, he says. I'm serious.
My mother had already left for work, wearing her usual pair of jeans. But don't think the jeans mean she's more laid back than Pop. All they mean is that she works at a research lab doing experiments with viruses, and she doesn't like to spill germs on her good clothes.
Both of my parents are totally different from Mick and me. They're real methodical and organized, and everything they do is always technically planned out. Like my mom never makes hamburgers for dinner without weighing out precise quarter-pound servings on her kitchen scale. And Pop's idea of a daring adventure is to wash his socks without pinning them to their mates.
Also, I've got name tags sewn into my underwear and I've never been to camp-which is downright disturbing, when you think about it.
On top of all that, my parents hate family conflict worse than any parents I've ever seen. Like my brother and I could hardly even raise our voices at each other before we'd be hustled off to our rooms to think about how we could "resolve our differences in a more civilized and resourceful manner."

Customer Reviews

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Mick Harte Was Here 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 113 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My daughter who is 10 and I both received alot of blessings from this book...We both enjoyed it through our laughter and tears...Anyone who has ever lost someone they love can relate to the many unanswered questions we all have...It helped us get through some of our own pain...A true blessing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg i cried! I cried so hard! It was beautiful and amazing. I ended up getting this book as an assaignment and then read it 32 times again. Hah great read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book i've read 2 times i just love it i'd highly recommend it.I found it a lesson even if somthing goes wrong in your life you should keep on moving and don't egnor it but don't beat your self up for it either.This book is told by a young girl that her brother died in a bycyicle accedent and how her Aunt i beleive, came and set everything straight i guess even though i'm 11 i'm gonna try to buy it and keep it forever so if you haven't read the book you should!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was a wonderful book and also a book that people could learn a lesson from, especially children. This is a very heart-warming story, i read this book in school with my class, and i have a lot to say about it, but there are way to many wonderful things that i could share, some of them are, it teachs children a very good lesson, it deffinetly taught me to ware a helment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever! MUST READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book in the whole world i balled and balled!!!! I read this at school not on the nook but it is really good it is so worth the money!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book ,so far but i,m not finised yet.This book so fsr is paked with drama,humor,and i say FIVE STARS ,so far!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The most thrilling book of the year
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really love this book! I read it with my friends and it was so good. I recomend this book and you have to buy it!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sad but awesome
Joseph Petruzzo More than 1 year ago
this book made me cry every page! it was a touching story about a girl whos brother would still be alive if he had only worn his bike helmet. this made me want to wear my helmet even if i am an expert rider. this book is amazing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A touching story with an important message. Mick Hart's tragic death becomes even more poignant when the reader begins to understand how avoidable it was. Motorcyclist in many states are required to wear helmets by law while allowing our children to ride bicycles with no protection. Mick Hart drives home a pointed message that is too often ignored by children and adults.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am 10 and I found this book hard to but down. When I retuned it to the libray I had to get it again. It is a great book by a great arthor. I had to read it over and over.
jakdomin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I remember reading this when I was a kid myself and loving it. When I reread it those feelings came back. It is a little shocking for young students to think about death and I think this book is a great medium for those who have and haven't experienced the death of a loved young one.
dmcdnut on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent and well told story of a sister who lost her brother. Very well written and has a definite lesson for the middle schoolers to learn, however, it's told in a way that will interest them and tug at their heartstrings.
meyben on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good book for those who are dealing with death.
MerryMary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Just let me say right off the bat, it was a bike accident." With these words, Phoebe begins the story of her little brother's death, and the aftermath. She finds that everyone carries the burden of grief and guilt in a different; way, and she finds her own way to peace and memory.
volleyball14 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mick Harte was a boy that was killed in a bike accident little sister is the one that told the story . she had told her brother mick to
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Even though this was a very painful bookto read (the main character's brother dies in a bicycling accident),I found it to be a true book and a book that would help children whohave had a sister or parent or friend die.I have a hard time reading all these depressing books written for aYA audience. Aren't there any cheerful or uplifting YA books?!
CTieyah on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story is about how this girl and her family deal with her brother¿s death. Phoebe (the girl) is the narrator. Mick was in a bike accident and was killed from a major head injury. Phoebe tells about every tough moment and all the emotions she endures. Toward the end, she has the strength inside to be a speaker for the bike safety assembly at her school, using her brother¿s accident and unwillingness to wear a helmet as the meat of her speech.This story seemed very depressing to me. Of course it is about a brother dying, but I guess I expected it to end sadly rather than start out that way and continue through most of the book. However, toward the end I started seeing the whole picture. First of all, it ended on a better note than how the rest of the book felt. When I realized the moral (always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle), I understand why it had to be sad the whole time; to make children really learn and feel the importance of the moral. Obviously the more traditional ways of providing morals (the happily ever after ways) are not working well, so showing the more honest, real, and unfortunately sad side of things might actually catch their attention and make a difference.Students could discuss how bike safety was presented AFTER someone was killed and hopefully realize on their own that learning from mistakes is not always the best or most pleasant way to learn. Then they could discuss issues in their community that need to be addressed before bigger problems occur or before someone gets hurt. They could make plans and set up a presentation to share (either to the class as groups, or to the school as a class). Another similar extension would be for each student to make a poster that addresses an important issue or moral they feel will help others if attention is brought to it. The posters would be posted up in the halls of the school.
lpecil on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a tear-jerker that makes you laugh until you cry again, even for my (male) college roommates.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read it twice an still not bored! Lov eit u should totally read,if ur 11 like me you will llllllllllooooooooovvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeee It:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why would ypu make a book like this i love this book but why like you should give more details thats my opioion and also i think this book was great and i always wanted to meet the aurthor