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We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Book Review

This school-life book in the "Horrible Harry" series by Suzy Kline is published by Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group.

Horrible Harry Moves up to Third Grade is written for kids ages 6 to 8. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Everything seems different to Doug and Harry when they arrive at school on the first day of third grade. But before long, they locate Miss Mackle and their classmates (including Harry's rival, Sidney). As the kids tell about their summer activities, Doug says that his family visited a copper mine. He neglects to mention that he was too scared to go in. Miss Mackle decides the mine would be a great field trip destination, much to Doug's dismay. Harry and Sidney play tricks on each other from day one of third grade — but when Sidney disappears on the field trip, everyone worries. Even Harry is relieved when Sidney is found, and the two boys become friends.

Christian Beliefs

Miss Mackle prays when one of her students is missing. Doug prays that the class won't have to take a field trip to a copper mine because he's afraid of being underground.

Other Belief Systems


Authority Roles

Having moved to the next grade with her second-grade students, Miss Mackle seems genuinely pleased to be the children's third-grade teacher. She decorates the classroom creatively and takes the kids on a field trip. When a student wanders off, she expresses deep concern. When he turns up, she hugs him happily but warns him against leaving without permission again. The principal cheerfully helps Doug and Harry find their new classroom.





Discussion Topics

If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:

  • Sometimes starting a new grade can be tough.
  • What was the strangest or hardest thing about it?

  • What will be different from last year?

  • Doug was afraid to go into the mine, but once he faced his fear, he felt better.

  • Is there anything that makes you nervous or afraid?
  • How could you overcome your fear?

Additional Comments/Notes

Book reviews cover the content, themes and world-views of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

Episode Reviews

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