Henry Reed’s Baby-Sitting Service. Keith Robertson

Viking Press, 1966; Awarded 1969.

Synopsis: When Henry Reed returns to Grover's Comer to spend the summer, he decides against resurrecting the business he ran the year before with his friend Midge Glass. Instead, after questioning the residents of Grover's Comer, he decides to start a baby-sitting service. The summer is then full of screaming peacocks, disappearing children and trailers, and close calls with a certain red MG.

Themes: Friendship; Initiative; Responsibility

Biographical Information: Something About the Author, Volume 85

Discussion Questions: Standard 3, Benchmark 3
1. In the second chapter, Henry devises a questionnaire for the residents of Grover's Corner, New Jersey in order to determine what jobs they need done. Do you think any of the jobs listed on that survey would have been easier than baby-sitting, the one Henry chose? Which one and why?
2. How did Henry and Midge stop Belinda Osborn from hiding while they were baby-sitting her and then, pretending that she never hid?
3. What did Henry and Midge do to Johnny Sebastian after they discovered he was responsible for wiring the barn to appear haunted?

Activities:
1. Write a one to two page essay describing a business that you might start next summer. Standard 3, Benchmark 2
2. Mr. Sylvester, the editor of the Princeton Bugle, has given Henry a 3" by 5" space in the next edition to advertise Henry Reed's Baby-Sitting Service. Draw an advertisement including the most important information about Henry and Midge's business including the name, the hours, the cost of their services, etc. Standard 5, Benchmark 3
3. Research a job that you might like to have as an adult. Find out how much education is needed for that job. What kinds of tasks you would be performing in it, how much you would earn, etc. Standard 2, Benchmark 1