Henry Reed, Inc.  Keith Robertson

Viking Penguin, 1958; Awarded 1961.
Synopsis: Henry Reed, age 13, leaves Naples where his father is an American diplomat to spend the summer in tiny Grover's Corner, New Jersey, with his Uncle Al and Aunt Mabel. Henry keeps a journal of all his activities, from starting a business with the neighbor girl Midge and taking in a stray dog, to unintentionally creating mishaps that involve bulldozers, the fire department, and gawking crowds. Henry Reed, Inc., run by Henry and Midge, has many business and scientific successes. The business partners also find themselves knee-deep in adventures and interesting relationships with neighbors, townsfolk, and passersby. The people of Grover's Corner never know what will happen next, but if it is something amazing or traffic-halting, they can be sure that Henry Reed is behind it.

Themes: Entrepreneurship; Friendship; Research/Scientific Experiments; Conflict and Resolution
Author Information: Something About the Author Vol. 1,69,85; SATA Autobiography Series; Contemporary Authors Online

Discussion Questions:  Standard 3, Benchmark 3
1. Why does Henry decide to make his business a research firm? Does he stick to "pure and applied research" or does his business venture into other territories?
2. Henry seems unsure about Midge Glass throughout the story .At the end, Henry paints a new sign on his business -"Reed and Glass Enterprises" -and he says he is "sort of glad" to have both names up. How do you think Henry feels about Midge at this point? What do you think changed his mind about being equal partners with Midge?
3. Mr. Apple is often upset with Henry and Midge and their dog Agony. Do you think he has a right to be angry? How do Henry and Midge handle their conflicts with Mr. Apple?

 Activity Suggestions:
1. Make a list of at least 4 different business ventures of Henry Reed, Inc., and decide whether ~~~ they were successful or unsuccessful. In groups of 4-5, come up with an idea for a business, ~ including the name of your company, what items you would sell, and how you would market them to customers.  Standard 3, Benchmark 1
2. Keep a daily journal or diary like Henry Reed's. Write down what you did that day, what you observed others doing, and how you felt about the people around you or the events you attended.  Standard 2, Benchmark 2
3. Read Henry's newspaper ad describing Agony, the stray dog.  Rewrite the ad to make Agony sound like a great dog to own.  Write your own ad about a pet, deciding first whether you really want to sell the animal or keep it.  Standard 5, Benchmark 3