Bix from Honeoye Falls, NY
I have fond memories of reading the Happy Hollisters when I was a young kid. I had three older sisters (we were one year apart from each other) and many a night we would sit in someone's bedroom and each read a different Happy Hollister book. The room would be silent until someone read a funny or perhaps ridiculous passage out loud, such as "Ricky took a swing at Nero" or "the man covered his eyes as if to blot out the sight of the young detectives". We all grew quite knowledgeable about all the places the Hollisters visited, from Pell Street in China Town, to Chichen Itza Plaza on the Yucatan Penninsula, to Naples, Italy or Cape Canaveral, Florida (known as Cape Kennedy during the Hollister era) although we never admitted to teachers or classmates that our source of information when volunteering in class was the Happy Hollisters books.
As my sisters were older, the dust jackets were almost always destroyed by the time I got around to reading the new books and sometimes the books were even ripped in half (a simple solution to two people wanting to read the same book at the same time). I spent years with portions of books in my mind wondering how they turned out, a situation that resolved itself when as a high-schooler I purchased a number of the books at a used book store and presented them to my youngest sister who was herself in her prime Happy Hollister reading years. Of course I had to read the missing pieces myself!
I was also a Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew junky in grammar school but I have the most vivid memories of the Hollister Books. I think I could always tell the difference between ghost writers and the real thing (for the same reason I can still recite whole passages of the "Little House Books" as well).
My favorite book by far was the last in the series ( I was convinced each successive book was an improvement, another subtle difference from the ghost written series) the Happy Hollisters and the Mystery of the Midnight Trolls. So intrigued with Iceland as a ten-year old kid I made a pledge to myself that I would go and visit Thingvellir, Iceland (where the Hollisters tricked and captured a thief) as soon as I could afford to. It took thirteen years, but soon after college and landing my first real job I made the journey to Thingvellir and found it pretty much exactly as I had imagined it.
More recently, my wife surprised me with a near complete set of books in excellent condition (most even had the dust jackets intact). She picked up the entire collection at a garage sale for five dollars. I now read them to my five year-old daughter (she reads the captions under the pictures) and find that they are exactly as I remember them except - to my horror - I have to keep changing them to make them politically correct (some of the references to women and native Americans though probably considered harmless at the time seem totally inappropriate now). So far my daughter has requested we read The Happy Hollisters, The Mystery of the Midnight Trolls, The Sea Turtle Mystery, The Secret Fort, and most recently, The Scarecrow Mystery.
Joyce from Virginia
The HH books have always been a part of our family, since I cherished them so much as I child that I've saved them and gotten others wherever I've found them. My kids are now grown and I'm working with some LD kids, wishing the same quality of books were available to them.
Lourdes from Miami, Florida
I never thought I would ever be able to complete my
Happy Hollister collection. My Mother bought me half the
series back in the 60's, but discontinued it because of lack
of money. Now 30 years later, my son is enjoying my books.
Merri from Georgia
Glad to know that there are still folks who grew up reading about Pete, Pam, Ricky, Holly and Sue. Three out of my five have loved reading about them, and my other two have yet to experience the fun!
Michael from Seneca, Kansas
I belonged to the Happy Hollisters Book Club when I was in grade school. I couldn't wait each month to get my next two books, and was crushed when it came to an end (though those rats never sent me "The Mystery at Missle Town"). I continued to read them throughout junior high and high school. In college a friend wanted to borrow some (most!) of them--bad mistake! She never returned them. I am now in the process of rebuying them.
You mentioned how educational they are. They were, first of all, instrumental in my decision to become a grade school teacher (probably because I never grew up). I am consantly surprised how much I learned from those books. In fact, when my brother joined the army and started talking about the International Alphabet, I bowled him over when I already [k]new from "The Swiss Echo Mystery."
Keep up the good work (The Happy Hollisters" were the first thing I looked up as soon as I got on the Net!)
Debbie from Louisiana
In my 42 years of existence, I've met only one other person who has heard of the Hollister clan. I'm so glad to learn that we are not alone! Thinking we had outgrown the series, my mom distributed our collection between several school libraries, the public library, and the bookmobile in our area. I have spent the past 20-plus years trying to re-collect the series. I thought I had achieved my dream several years ago when I found the Whistle Pig Mystery. I always thought that was the last book in the series. Imagine my surprise when I found out two weeks ago, via ebay, that there are five more books in the series. Yes! Five more reasons to keep on living!!!! My books aren't in great shape and most do not have dust jackets, but I do have some duplicates for those interested in just plain reading. Meanwhile, I'll keep trying to complete my set. ... Hollisters rule!!!!!
Kathleen from Sacramento, California
I enjoyed The Happy Hollister Mysteries as a little girl and have been look[ing] to obtain copies of the books for several years.
Ana from Spain
Hi! I just want to say that The Hollisters were very famous in Spain when I was a child. I have the whole collection and I'm glad to know that there are a lot of people that like them too.
Martha from Jonesboro, Arkansas
... I have 15 of the books that I received as a child. I would like to complete the set for my son.
Sam from Montevallo, Alabama
My second grade teacher in Pine Bluff, AR read one of the Happy Hollister books to our class. I liked the story and signed up for the subscription. I even got a small book rack for signing up. I continued to receive books after my family moved to Florida. At some point the books began to repeat and I canceled the subscription. This would have been 1962-1963. It's great to find interest in this and other series literature from my childhood.
Jen (no location listed)
Wow! The Happy Holisters, these were the books that got me reading after 2nd grade. The Bobbsey Twins. Boxcar children, Nancy Drew...they all won me over to the joy of books and to be a life long mystery junkie.It is great to know that there are so many others who also have such affection for those wonderful stories.
Mon from San Francisco, California
I couldn't believe a HH page actually existed....my sister forwarded the site info to me..I'd been hounding her to send
the set of HH books another sister had gotten as a youngster....we all enjoyed them then and I knew my 8 year
old daughter would love them as much as we did.....we have our almost complete set ...
Sue from Pennsylvania
I read the Hollister books as a kid and started several years ago looking for a complete set to share with my children. I was lucky and found a complete set with dustcovers. I have extras of some of the titles. I was surprised to find other people are actually interested in these books also. How wonderful!
Milagros from Georgia
This was wonderful. I read many of the books when I was little and have wanted to find more information about them over the years.
Sabina from Newport News, Virginia
I use the Happy Hollister series for homeschooling. It is far superior to the mind-numbing basal readers available today. My 6 year-old identifies with mischevious 7 year-old Ricky Hollister. Like Ricky, he can't wait to get right into the action of a new adventure.
Tylene (no location listed)
I LOVED these books as a kid and now my children do too.
Sandy from Colorado
Have enjoyed the Happy Hollisters for many years. Thanks for all the info on "Jerry West".
Marisa from New Brunswick, New Jersey
It seems like most of your visitors remember these books
from the first time around -- I was first introduced to the
Happy Hollisters from my dad when I was 5 or 6 - only about
15 years ago. He had a heating oil company and when he went
to people's basements to refill their tanks, he would find
old treasures that they would sometimes let them have. I got
many wonderful old books that way, HH and Honey Bunch and
Bobbsey Twins were my favorite. Nowadays, as starting my
own family is imminent, I am hoping to find many of these
old books for my own children to enjoy.
Tom from Tuscon, AZ
I loved reading the Happy Hollister books as a child. I would get them from the school library in elementary school and a few in junior high. I now also own about 22 of the books and enjoy re-reading them as an adult.
Phil from Boston, Massachusetts
My sisters and I grew up on the HH. Iused to sit at my mailbox in the mid 6os waiting for the months shipment of two books. I still have them all and read them to my sons. They are all very white bread I know, but so what we could do with some more "unreasonable" happiness. My grandfather grew up on the original Tom Swift and handed them down to us.
Steve from Greensburg, Pennsylvania
I have just recovered (from my parents' attic) the 25 or so volumes of The Happy Hollisters that my grandfather began to send me in 1963, and have begun reading them to my 7-year-old daughter. Naturally, she is hooked. (:-)}
When I decided to poke around on the net, I was disappointed (but not terribly surprised) to find that the Happy Hollisters are out of print. They're not terribly Politically Correct, and no doubt would require some updating for today's family (e.g. when they move in the first book, little Sue rides on Mrs. Hollister's lap! THAT took some explaining to my child-restraint-aware daughter) but I love them anyway and so, I am sure, will my daughter.
Rochelle (Shelli) from Onalaska,Washington
I am 37 and was lucky my Mom got as many as she could for me. It has been a few years since I read one, But I have read them since I was over 35. I went everywhere they went(from my chair) and my husband almost gets tired of me saying "the Happy Hollisters went there."or " the Happy Hollisters did that." I was suprised to know there were so many titles I missed! Now I know where to get statred looking for them. I also have always wondered about the author as the only Jerry West I had ever heard of was a pro basketball player. Now I know. One of my other favorites was the Bobbsey Twins. No wonder.
Tom from Washington D.C.
I really enjoyed the Happy Hollisters when I was a kid, even though I only read three of them. The first volume, where their toys were stolen, was by far my favorite.
Rocky from Pinehurst, North Carolina
I am 51 years old and grew up in New Jersey. My mother bought me the entire Happy Hollister series over the years of my childhood and I have long been saddened because they disappeared without a trace. I've often thought fondly of them and only recently decided to search the web. ... I will soon attempt to purchase my first volume as I think it would be a wonderful read for my grandson
Steve from Cincinnati, Ohio
I haven't seen anything about these books in years! I just
now read the list of titles; it's been too long, they don't
ring a bell. But I know I read at least a couple of dozen
of them when I was nine years old. Stuck in bed one summer,
while a broken leg healed in a cast, a friend brought a stack
over every few days. I can still quite clearly remember
reading 3 in one day! Of course, now I'm usually late for
work, reading the paper at breakfast, or late leaving work,
reading a magazine, or something on the 'Net, or... hey,
how do you suppose this all got started? Hmm....
Thanks for the memories...
Val from Nebraska
I can't believe there is a Happy Hollister site!!! I loved to read those books. My Mom has quite a few of them left and we were at a rummage sale about five years ago and someone had about 10 or 15 of them and I told my Mom, If you don't buy them, I will. She bought them and now my niece has been reading them and hopefully my children will read them when they're old enough too.
Andy from East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
THESE WERE THE ONLY BOOKS THAT I WOULD READ AS A CHILD. WHEN THEY CAME IN THE MAIL, I SAT FOR HOURS AND READ EACH ONE TO COMPLETION. UNFORTUNATELY MY MOM HAD GIVEN THEM AWAY. NOW I AM TRYING TO GET THEM ALL FOR MY NEICES AND NEPHEWS.
Josh from Israel
I have read the Happy Hollister Series as a child. Now,
as a parent, my daughter is enjoying my collection.
Calvin from North Carolina
Thank you for your hard work at putting together a most entertaining site. It brought back many memories...and said a whole lot about how much my Mom and Dad emphasized reading to me and my brothers with this series of books by "Jerry West".
Cheryl from New Jersey
I've started my Happy Hollister collection, after I completed Trixie Belden, and I can see it will be more difficult to get the entire collection, especially in dust jackets. I have 16 titles so far, and frequent www.ebay.com to pick up titles I don't have, as long as it is reasonably priced.
Elizabeth from Georgia
i love this. i started collecting when i was young. my grandmother started them for myself and some cousins. she could only do about 6 or 7 months , then they became to expensive for her. later i got the titles of the ones my cousins had that i did not. looking everywhere i thought might find them , i finally acquired 33 different titles and , since i wanted a set for both of my children , 2 books of each. i never knew how many titles i was looking for. i argued with a book dealer at an antique show - he said 29 , i already had 33. it is wonderful to know i have all the titles. now i just need to finish getting all the books. it's nice to knoe i'm not the only one who collects them.
Gail from St. Louis
I loved the Happy Hollisters. I remember wishing someone would write more of them when I first quit receiving them in the book club.
Carrie near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
This web site sure in KEEN! Crickets! I didn't think anyone else had ever heard of the HH. I got them in the mail as a child and have loved them ever since. Now our daughters are enjoying them. Your site is so full of information. Yikes!
Kate from Missouri
I collect series books because that was the age I became an insatiable reader and they bring back such fond memories. Of course, collecting easily gets out of hand..mine has..but they bring much joy. I have all the HH with dj except CuckooClock..I've been satisfied with average condition...most were purchased while antiquing for about $3 each.
Rhonda from Iowa
Happy Hollisters were also some of the first books that I really fell in love with as a child. I couldn't wait until I got the next ones!
Tupelo from San Diego, California
I'm very excited to find other HH fans! I am missing some of the books, but have duplicates of others.
Mark (no location listed)
I had one of those monthly subscriptions back in the '60s and was heartbroken when it ran out and they sent some double-book version of the Jungle Book and Wizard of Oz or some such. The Hollisters are among my happiest memories of childhood, and I still can't stop reading!
Brenda from College Station, Texas
I love my Hollister Books. I read them to my own children...that is, what few my parents didn't unknowingly lend to others. I have been collecting them for my son (age 21) as he plans on reading him to his kiddos! Those were the days! God Bless Jerry West/Andrew!!
Jane from Claremont, California
I have all my HHs from childhood, but have never met another person who read them. How many of us are there? [note - my answer to how many of us there are is "LOTS", somebody really should take notice of this fact!]
John (no location listed)
I am 35, and when I was about 6 or 7 my parents ordered the set
through Doubleday. I remember we would receive one every few months or
so. I also remember that when we first ordered them we received a
bookshelf with them, and there was also some kind of picture of the
HH's that you viewed with the 3D glasses that they sent.
I have read all of the books at least 10 times. We used to go on car
trips alot and I would always take to or 3 along to read. A few years
back, to my wife's puzzlement, I read them all again.
Lil from Mount Prospect, Illinois
So nice to see all the other people who feel the way I do about these great books. I am 38 and still reread my books all the time. Too bad they are still not on the shelves for today's kids. I inherited a battered bunch of the Hollister books from our neighbors. As an adult I realized I did not have the entire series and searched until I got them all in dustjackets.
Suzanne from Fullerton, California
Mom read Happy Hollisters to us every night for a year when I was just learning to read myself. She had a full set - no dust jackets - that eventually got sold in a garage sale when I was in my early teens. Last summer my fiance, Bruce, and I were shopping in an antique store and I found one of these red books from my past. Of course, I bought it and proceded to tell Bruce all about the joys of those special bedtimes with Mom. ... P.S. I wish you could have seen my Mom's smile when I told her I was collecting the books and shared with her the joys I had as a child listening to her read to me.
Kristin from Hutchinson, MN
I'm just ten years old and I love the HH books! I borrowed the books from my Grandma and Grandpa's house.My uncle ,dad, and aunt read them when they were a kid and I would like to get more somehow!
April from San Diego, California
What a great site! I really enjoyed reading more about one of my favorite children's mystery series. I have almost all of the books in the series now
Bryan from Orlando, Florida
I was delighted to find this page very quickly when I set off on my netsearch. I have been a big fan of the Hollisters ever since 4th grade, when our teacher used to read a chapter to us each day after lunch break. (Those of us who were avid readers vied for our chance to read aloud before the class, so the Hollisters actually became a landmark in my primary education.) I started to buy them over the counter at a downtown bookstore in Olympia, Washington, and they even had a special shelf for them next to the cash register. Time went by, and my meager collection began to collect dust as I went on to high school and the military, and after leaving the military and returning to civilian life I found the ones I had left (only 4!) in the attic. I sat down and read them through in an afternoon, and the fire was rekindled!
L. from North Carolina
There really is a web sight for everything! I loved the Happy Hollisters as a child and now am reading the set to my six year old. He enjoys them so much. I just hope others understand if he starts saying "Yikes" and "Swell"!
Kate (no location listed)
I loved these books so much growing up, and am thrilled to see info available on the web.
Steve in Greensburg, Pennsylvania
I have just recovered (from my parents' attic) the 25 or so volumes of The Happy Hollisters that my grandfather began
to send me in 1963, and have begun reading them to my 7-year-old daughter. Naturally, she is hooked. (:-)}
When I decided to poke around on the net, I was disappointed (but not terribly surprised) to find
that the Happy Hollisters are out of print. They're not terribly Politically Correct, and no doubt
would require some updating for today's family (e.g. when they move in the first book, little Sue
rides on Mrs. Hollister's lap! THAT took some explaining to my child-restraint-aware daughter)
but I love them anyway and so, I am sure, will my daughter.
John from New York
I grew up with the Hollisters and had a light but happy coorespondence with Harriet Adams while I was in High School.
Mark from Seattle Washington
I received 32 Happy Hollister books as a child and am now enjoying them with my daughter who is 5. I lost all of my dust jackets except for the Indian Mystery book.
Lynn from Beaverton, Oregon
... The Happy Hollister books hold deep wonderful memories when my grandmother would give them as gifts to my sister and me when we were children. Imagine our surprise and joy when we learned, many years later, that the author was married to a distant cousin, who we found thru genealogy research. I spoke to Marion Swenson last September, on her birthday no less, but did not have time to set up a meeting, something I intend to remedy next year. Consequently, my renewed interest in the Happy Hollister books. I have 21 of them now but only 1 or 2 that I remember reading as a child. I would love to find the earlier books. Happy reading everyone!
Kelly from North Carolina
I grew up reading the Happy Hollisters books. I only lack two books to complete my collection so I can read them again in order.
John from El Paso, Texas
My youngest grandson (9 years old) has taken an interest in his father's set of HH books. His father (my 38 yr old son)
is very excited that at least one of his children finds the Happy Hollisters just as exciting as he did!
Melinda from MA
I love the Hollisters! I have a complete set that I saved from my childhood bookclub. My kids love them too.
H.R. from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
How exciting to find other Hollister fans! As the youngest of seven, I assumed that I would keep the books for my children. I added missing books to our collection when I found them at garage sales. I was greatly dissapointed when I found that one of my sisters took the books from my parents house. Rather than start a family fued, I took on the challange of obtaining the entire cillection. I have have found 23 within a 1 year period. I also have several doubles. Whenever I see one, I buy it.
Paul from Eureka, California
I have enjoyed Happy Hollisters as a child and have continued to collect titles as i come across them
Jenny from Indiana
In my younger days, I enjoyed reading the Happy Hollisters. Quite unexpectedly I began collecting the
series and now have all the books but the last one....Mystery of the Midnight Trolls.
Ed from Las Vegas, Nevada
I used to read them to my children. Now I'm putting together sets they can read to their children.
One Happy Yard-Sale Junkie (no name or location)
I think it is great that there is a Happy Hollisters website. I was into these books majorly when I was younger and never could find but like 4 of them (I was the only one my age who liked all these old books) (I also love the Bobbsey Twins!) I happened to go to an auction this morning and was looking through a box of books, and what would you know, there were 14 Happy Hollisters books in there, in near perfect condition with dust jackets (only 2 of the jackets were torn at all, and that was just slightly)) I got the whole box, which had a lot of other books in it as well, for only $10. Then I found your site, and realized what a great deal I got. This story is to tell everyone out there that you really ought to check out yard sales and auctions, cause who knows the kinds of deals you can find. (I am a yard sale junkie, thats how we found my original ones, though we knew about them cause my mom read them when she was little, I think, I know she read the Bobbsey Twins)