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Wild About Harry by Henry Grinberg

Funny, emotional, and full of heart; a hugely relatable must-read.

Grinberg’s captivating tale of growing up in Britain during WWII chronicles the struggles of an immigrant family navigating complex parent-child dynamics in war-torn London. It is 1938, in London. Harry Glass is an eight-year-old Jewish boy who’s full of life and unyielding to authority—much to the chagrin of his immigrant parents. As news from Europe reaches their ears and home, fear sets in. So, when France falls in 1940, Harry is sent to Wales to live with a farm family. Though shipyards near his new home are bombed and raids occur, nothing prepares Harry for the destruction he finds back home four days before London’s bombings begin. Grinberg’s work stands out for its ability to capture the thoughts and actions of his young protagonist with precision and force. Told in Harry’s first-person voice, the novel takes readers along to experience the world as perceived by Harry, filled with distress, joys, and a pervading sense of dread due to war. Harry’s frustration over wanting to be understood but never trusted by grown-ups, particularly his parents (though nothing stops young Harry from being his mischievous, inquisitive self), adds a layer of conflict to the affecting narrative. The finely crafted portrayal of characters goes beyond the young boy, providing an immersive experience for readers. Grinberg also brings to life London during WWII, the Welsh countryside, as well as farming life in Britain during the era. Though Harry often experiences heartache and despair, this is ultimately a comforting story of family, friendship, and growing up. A stunner.

Wild About Harry

Henry Grinberg

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Austin Macauley

Pub date August 18, 2023ISBN  978-1398492547

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