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Henry Reed Chapter Books

Do your children enjoy books about enterprising young boys who try hard to do big things, but don’t always succeed? If so, you won’t want to miss the absolutely delightful Henry Reed series by Keith Robertson. (And if you loved Henry Huggins, you’ll love this Henry, too!)

Who Is Henry Reed?

Book cover of Henry Reed's Baby-Sitting Service

As the son of a diplomat, Henry Reed has traveled all over the world, but now he’s spending the summers in New Jersey and he’s determined to make the most of his months in America. He wastes no time in adopting a dog (a beagle named Agony), making a friend (a girl named Midge), and starting a business (a research firm). Along the way, Henry finds time to pursue his interest in becoming a naturalist, makes a few unexpected discoveries, and inadvertently antagonizes his neighbors over and over again.

Henry Reed has ambition and vision, and whether he’s truffle hunting in the woods or launching a hydrogen-filled balloon with two furry stowaways, you always know that Henry’s adventures will be memorable. And this makes them especially fun for read-aloud time!

Take our free Henry Reed Checklist to your local library!

About the Author and Series

Keith Robertson (1914–1991) was born in Iowa and attended the United States Naval Academy. Before he embarked on a four-decade career as an author of children’s books, Robertson pursued a very different line of work. As the captain of a naval destroyer during World War II, Robertson managed to earn five battle stars!

As a writer, Robertson produced 15 children’s books and authored half a dozen adult mysteries under a pseudonym. His five-volume Henry Reed series, published between 1958 and 1986, has achieved the most acclaim, winning awards such as the William Allen White Children’s Book Award and the Pacific Northwest Library Association Young Reader’s Choice Award. Henry Reed, Inc. was also an ALA Notable Book.

The first four Henry Reed books feature the charming artwork of Caldecott Medal–winning illustrator Robert McCloskey.

About the Books

book cover of Henry Reed, Inc.

In Henry Reed, Inc., we meet thirteen-year-old Henry Reed, who has come to spend the summer with his aunt and uncle in the small town of Grover’s Corner, New Jersey. To record his summer adventures, Henry begins a journal—not a diary. As Henry explains,

…diaries are kept by girls and tell all about their dates and what they think of their different boy friends … When I read about pirates and explorers and sea captains, they always keep journals, so this is going to be a journal.

Henry immediately decides to go into the research business and finds an enthusiastic business partner in twelve-year-old Midge Glass, who contributes a pair of rabbits and a lot of common sense to the endeavor. Over the course of the summer, Henry and Midge concoct a variety of research projects that seem sensible at first but actually bring nothing but mayhem to Grover’s Corner.

Henry sets out on a memorable cross-country adventure in Henry Reed’s Journey. In his classic style, Henry records the events in his journal as he travels from California to New Jersey with Midge and her family. Along the way, they visit Disneyland, gaze at the Grand Canyon, and attempt to pan for gold—all while stumbling into the variety of unpredictable adventures that readers come to expect from Reed & Glass, Inc.!

Back in Grover’s Corner for another summer, Henry hatches a new idea: to earn money by offering a babysitting service to neighborhood families. Henry Reed’s Babysitting Service chronicles the hijinks—both hysterical and horrifying—that occur while Henry and Midge tackle a strenuous summer of babysitting.

The Henry Reed Series at a Glance

Book cover of Henry Reed's Journey

Author: Keith Robertson
Genre: children’s fiction, humor
Interests: friendship, entrepreneurism, childhood mischief, growing up
Suggested age range: 8 to 12
Gender preference: boys and girls
In the series: 5 books, 208 to 240 pages

Other Books in the Series

Henry Reed’s Big Show (Book #4)
Henry Reed’s Think Tank (Book #5)

(Books 4 and 5 are currently out of print; check your local library.)

Henry Reed’s Series Checklist

thumbnail of Henry Reed Library List

Do your kids need extra encouragement to read?

Take our Henry Reed Series checklist to your local library and have your child check off the books as he reads them.

Looking for more great chapter books? We’ve got you covered!

FREE Chapter Book Library Lists

All About Learning Press, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. All proceeds from our partnership with Amazon.com will be donated to local libraries.

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Amanda Martin

says:

Excellent series! My kids 9, 7, 3 have loved them as nighttime read-alouds. Henry Reed’s Trip was perfect when we went to the Grand Canyon. Even my husband laughs, which is often hard to accomplish. Huge thanks for the “oldies”. Keep ’em coming!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Amanda! My family has enjoyed Henry Reed, but we haven’t read Henry Reed’s Trip. I’m thinking we’ll have to get it on audiobook for our next Grand Canyon trip!

Renae Burks

says:

I was not aware of this chapter book series. Thank you. The wholesomeness and setting will be a good fit for our family. My son is devouring chapter books at much faster rate than I anticipated in 3rd grade so we are needing more great options.

Peggy

says:

That looks like a great series! Would it be suitable for a 5-year-old? :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Peggy,
Some 5-year-olds would enjoy Henry Reed as a good book to listen read aloud, but many would find it a bit much. The chapters may be long and wordy for ones this young. However, you can try it and see.

However, we have lots of chapter book reviews that would be excellent read alouds for 5-year-olds. A few to particularly look at are Mercy Watson, Gooney Bird Green, Tumtum and Nutmeg, and The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place.

Renae Burks

says:

I appreciate knowing that when I search on this blog that the recommended/reviewed chapter series are solid reads and have characters of good morals. It is a nice go to as my son will be merging into chapter books next year. Thank you

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Renae. And how exciting that your son is soon to be ready for the wonderful world of chapter books!

Chi Anne McGrew

says:

My grandmother had these books for my mom and I read them when I was younger. I’ve since scoured the internet to find and read them with my kiddos. Truly a great, funny series!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Chi Anne,
The Henry Reed series has definitely stood the test of time. How exciting that you can share with your children these stories that both you and your mother enjoyed!

Jeannine Reichenbach

says:

Looks like a nice series to read.

Narae

says:

Thank you for sharing! Too many boy books are about disgusting, defiant, deviants… I’m glad there are alternative choices.

Abby

says:

Looks good!

Becky Vissing

says:

Very excited to learn about these for my boys! Always looking for good books that my boys will enjoy!

Navine

says:

Thanks so much for recommending these books! My daughter loves them because she is a budding entrepreneur like Henry. Can’t wait to try the other books you recommend.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Navine,
Thank you for letting us know your daughter is loving these books. They do tend to be great for children that have entrepreneurial tendencies, and for kids that haven’t tried their hands at entrepreneurialism, it can motivate them to give it a shot!

Cyndi

says:

I am looking forward to checking out this series.

Kristin

says:

Love reading with my son, 9 years old. Looking forward to when he can enjoy reading himself!

Valerie

says:

I love hearing about great reads for kids that focus on hard work, grit, and good old fashioned fun! Thanks for the suggestion.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Valerie,
Yes! And Henry Reed definitely has all of these.

Brenda

says:

I happy to have found out about this series before my son is too old to enjoy it.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Brenda,
You are never too old to enjoy great literature! I read Charlotte’s Web in high school because I had never gotten around to reading it before. I still loved it!

Hannah Eroh

says:

I’ve never heard of this series but I’m sure my 7 and 5 year olds would love it!

B

says:

My two older daughters enjoyed our reading Henry Huggins so I bet my youngest will like this series. We are currently enjoying Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books.

Melissa

says:

Looks like a great series to check out!

Sharon Hostetler

says:

Thanks for the list. Always looking for good books to interest my grandsons.

Precious

says:

The adventures caught in the Henry book series will surely entice my boys. Thank you for recommending. (Actually it is enticing me, their mom, as well.)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome. Just hope your boys aren’t enticed enough to fill a tub with earthworms! :D

Betsy

says:

Thank you for the recommendation. I’m always looking for good books for my son.

Cathy

says:

Thanks for the great booklist!

Dawn

says:

I love getting chapter book ideas! We’ve loved all the Ramona books and how those led to Henry Huggins books. Can’t wait to meet Henry Reed!
Thank you! I’ve been using AAR and AAS with all three of my children and LOVE the program!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Dawn,
Since you have loved Romona and Henry Huggins, I’m pretty sure that you will love Henry Reed as well. Thank you for letting us know that All About Reading and All About Spelling is working so well for all three of your children.

Kari

says:

These Henry Reed books sound like a perfect fit for our 2 boys (ages 10 & 12). Thanks for sharing!

Melissa

says:

Thanks for posting about this series!

Amanda Yeary

says:

We have the full set of Ramona books that we are beginning to read to my four-year-old son during read-aloud time. This series sounds like a good one to keep in mind once we get through with Ramona. Thanks for your post. I did not know anything about the Henry Reed books, and I think my son will really enjoy them in a year or so!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Amanda,
If you son is enjoying Ramona so much, you might consider reading about a different Henry next, Henry Huggins. Henry Huggins lives in the same neighborhood as Ramona and is even friends with Beezus!

Henry Reed is also very enjoyable, but Henry Huggins isn’t to be missed for a fan of Ramona!

Alena

says:

I love your reading suggestions. Thank you!

Brandi

says:

Can’t wait to read these always looking for a new read

Donald

says:

Thank you for these suggestions…I’ll probably bankrupt myself getting hold of these books!

Megan

says:

Thank you for this! I am always looking for appropriate books to read to my boys and I love having a review.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Megan, and hope your boys enjoy these.

Sandra

says:

Thank you for the review, always glad to have more books for my kids! We’ll print off the list for the next time we hit the library!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sandra,
In case you were wanting more reviews, here is a link to our Chapter Book Review archive.

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