Henry and the Clubhouse, Beverly Cleary, Dell/Yearling, 1962, 192 pp
THE SUNDAY FAMILY READ
As part of My Big Fat Reading Project, I am reading my way through Beverly Cleary's books. The Henry series are for young readers aged 8-12.
Good old Henry, the youngest paper boy in town, decides to build a clubhouse in his backyard, along with his friends Robert and Murph. But Murph doesn't like girls so he insists it be a "Boys Only" clubhouse.
Henry as usual is juggling multiple problems: One of his good friends is Beezus, who is a girl. He has to keep his paper route going while also working on building the clubhouse. The paper route includes collecting from customers and he is trying to get up the guts to sign up new customers.
Then there is Ramona, the troublesome younger sister of Beezus. She begins following Henry around on his route. Then one day she locks him in the clubhouse and won't let him out until her tells her the secret password. He has to get out so he can do his route that day.
Henry's number one worry is that he wants his father to be proud of him. He bungles his way through and comes out a winner all around.
What I liked best about this one is the way it shows how much kids worry. Harry Potter is a top worrier in children's fiction but here Henry takes second place as the world's most worried boy.
(Henry and the Clubhouse is on the shelves in paperback at Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)