Review: Harvey Holds His Own (Harvey Comes Home #2)

Title: Harvey Holds His Own (Harvey Comes Home #2)
Author: Colleen Nelson, Tara Anderson (illustrations)
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary
Publisher: Pajama Press
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: August 11, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

The West Highland Terrier that brought Harvey Comes Home to life returns with his tail wagging and his nose sharp, ready for a new adventure

Harvey the West Highland Terrier, hero of Harvey Comes Home, is back with his beloved Maggie. He is also back at Brayside retirement home, where he and Maggie now volunteer along with their friend Austin. There Maggie is drawn to a new resident, Mrs. Fradette, who tells stories of learning to fix cars as a twelve-year-old during the flood of 1950. Mrs. Fradette, with her bold fashion and love of poker, doesn’t fit in among the beige-cardigan-wearing, bridge-playing ladies of Brayside, but she doesn’t seem to care. Maybe that’s why Maggie likes her so much. Since seventh grade began, Maggie hasn’t been fitting in well with her friends, either.

Harvey has a problem of his own. He can smell an intruder in his yard, and he needs to find it. He is so intent on the nighttime fiend that he almost doesn’t notice how worried Austin is about his grandfather, who has been Brayside’s custodian for longer than Harvey has been alive. It seems like the retirement home is planning to give the job to a younger man, an injustice that Austin can’t let pass unchallenged.

In intertwining perspectives, Colleen Nelson tells four stories of individuals standing firm for what they know is right: Josephine Fradette, insisting on her right to become a mechanic; Maggie, certain that her friends’ expectations shouldn’t define who she becomes; Austin, indignantly campaigning against ageism; and Harvey, who has found his home at last and is determined to protect it.


Maggie still holds a grudge against Austin, who found her dog Harvey and kept him for a while when Harvey got lost before searching for his owner. When Maggie’s class is given a volunteer assignment, Maggie decides to volunteer at Brayside retirement home, where Austin helps his grandfather, who is the caretaker there. Harvey is allowed to go visit the retirement home too because the residents love him. Austin takes Harvey for a walk one day where they discover a newborn puppy who had been abandoned. This time Austin brings the puppy right to the animal shelter to get help. Then, Austin finds a job posting for the caretaker position that his grandfather has. He’s worried that his grandfather is going to be fired, so Austin has to try to find a way to save his grandfather’s job. Meanwhile, Maggie enjoys spending time with the residents and learning their history, while avoiding the drama with her friends at school.

This story was so cute. I enjoyed it much more than the first one. Harvey Comes Home was sad, since Harvey was missing from his owners and there was a death at the end of that story. This one was more uplifting and cheery, which I liked much more.

There are three alternating perspectives in this story. I love that parts that are from Harvey’s perspective. He spends a lot of time sniffing things and cataloguing them for later. It’s great to see this dog perspective. The two other perspectives are from Maggie’s and Austin’s points of view. Austin’s is in first person, since he was a main character in the first book and this one. Maggie didn’t have a big role in the first book, so her chapters are written from the third person point of view. It made a distinction between hers and Austin’s chapters, even though they were both main characters. However, it worked since it is a continuation of the first book.

This is a great story! It could be read as a stand-alone or as a sequel to Harvey Comes Home.

Thank you Pajama Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Harvey Comes Home by Colleen Nelson, Tara Anderson (illustrations)

Music for Tigers by Michelle Kadarusman

Other books in the series:

Have you read Harvey Holds His Own? What did you think of it?


Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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