HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Henry Reed’s Think Tank
Author: Keith Robertson
Illustrator: Robert McCloskey
Publisher: Yearling, republished1988
ISBN-13: 978-0670809684 Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0670809683 Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-0440401049 Paperback
ISBN-10: 0440401046 Paperback
Language level: 2
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 9 and up
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Robertson, Keith. Henry Reed’s Think Tank (Published in 1986 by Viking Penguin Inc., 40 W. 23rd St., New York City, NY 10010). Henry Reed’s father is in the diplomatic service. Since he and his wife live most of their time abroad, Henry spends the summers with his uncle and aunt, Al and Mable Harris, at Grover’s Corners, NJ, near Princeton. Henry and his neighbor-friend Margaret (Midge) Glass often find themselves in hilarious situations. This summer, while looking for a project that requires no investment, Henry takes a suggestion from his Uncle Al and, with Midge, forms a neighborhood consultation committee, otherwise known as a think tank, to handle a host of mind-boggling problems.
One of their clients is an overweight neighbor looking for a way to gain the approval of his athletic dad. Another is a girl who complains that her allowance is much too small when her father could easily afford more. Twins seek relief from the health food regime that their mother has enthusiastically imposed. A lady wants to get rid of the annoying geese without shooting or killing them. And a busy grandmother asks them to entertain her 16-year-old pseudo-sophisticate granddaughter for three days.
How do Henry and Midge solve these situations? Are there some that they can’t handle? And will they get into any trouble from their efforts? I have previously read and reviewed Keith Robertson’s Henry Reed Inc. and Henry Reed’s Baby-Sitting Service. Henry Reed’s Think Tank, fifth in the Henry Reed series, is filled with Robertson’s usual humor and solutions to the problems that are realistic and clever. There are a few common euphemisms (e.g., “gee”), but readers will enjoy seeing Henry’s example of initiative and good old fashioned morality.