Things from Thing Stores

Eclectic accumulation via thrift store shopping

Crickets! It’s “The Happy Hollisters” !

When I was a little girl, my sister Lori and I were given a subscription to The Happy Hollisters series about a family where the children solved mysteries. Every three weeks or so, two books would arrive in the mail. Lori would take one and I would take the other. Lori was two years older, and she read much faster than I did, so I would be only halfway through my book when she finished hers – yikes! So she would cajole me into giving up mine for a while so she could burn through it. (Now “Lori Louise,” she still reads like this, by the way!)

If I was too engaged in the story, or felt stubborn, we would start reading my volume “together.” This meant holding the inner pages of the book straight up, as I continued reading, my head tilted to the right, and Lori read starting at the front, her head tilted to the left. Then when she caught up with me, we would switch places. (The book that she had finished first was mine to read at sweet leisure later.) Our home was full of books, and my three sisters and I were always happy to share them with each other.

There were 33 Happy Hollisters books written between 1953 and 1969 by “Jerry West,” a pseudonym for Andrew E. Svenson, who also wrote other children’s books for the Stratemeyer Syndicate, including Tom Swift and Hardy Boys adventures.

Happy Hollisters H-1

The books can be found at used bookstores and thrift stores, often in original dust jackets, or with the cover illustration printed directly onto the front board. The final two volumes, both published in 1969, are the scarcest and thus the most valuable. The Happy Hollisters and the Monster Mystery (#32), sells for $32 and up, while The Happy Hollisters and the Midnight Trolls (#33), partly set in Iceland and with a page in Braille, sells for $50 and up.

Later I avidly read all of the Trixie Belden series, as well as many of  my stepmom’s old Cherry Ames nursing series books. On his Booksleuth page about the Happy Hollisters, Timothy O’Herin includes a touching tribute to his mother.

If you read “series books” as a child, please tell us which ones, and what influence they had on you.

Purchased at the 40/8 Veterans Flea Market, 50¢


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7 thoughts on “Crickets! It’s “The Happy Hollisters” !

  1. Garcia707 on said:

    I actually remember reading some old children’s book when I was younger; they were called Frog and Toad. I even remember watching a movie about them. It’s hard to believe that I can still remember something from so long ago. cs5711.


  2. It is always wonderful to find something nostalgic from your childhood. I remember reading the little golden children’s book when I was a child, and I remember being very fond of them.


    • David, that reminds me of working in the bookstore one afternoon when a dad and his son around age 7 came in. They passed the spinner rack of Little Golden Books, and the kid said, “Oh, look, Dad! I really liked these books when I was little!”
      Cracked me up!


  3. Andrea Davis on said:

    Read all the Nancy Drew and I’m still a big fan of detective novels! And my daughter has followed in my footsteps—we have all 64 books in the series! No matter what you read it adds to your knowledge and understanding of the world, even if it is Nancy Drew.


    • My stepmom wouldn’t part with her 1960’s illustrated Trixie Belden books, so I went out and bought them one at a time at used bookstores. In fact, I’m actually rereading this copy of The Happy Hollisters #1, and it’s holding up a lot better than I would have expected.


  4. Thank you for the nice comment, Bonnie. I enjoy writing the blog too and do plan to continue. (And now, when people see me in the thrift stores, I say innocently that I have to thrift, you know, for my blog.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I look forward to reading your posts every week. Hope you might consider keeping this up after class ends.


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