Mick Harte Was Here

by Barbara Park

Hardcover, 1995


Check shelf

Call number

J Pa


Knopf Books for Young Readers (1995), 89 pages


Thirteen-year-old Phoebe recalls her younger brother Mick and his death in a bicycle accident.

Local notes


User reviews

LibraryThing member bibliophile26
I can hardly believe this is the same woman who writes the silly Junie B. Jones series. It is written from the perspective of Phoebe who loses her brother Mick in a bicycle accident. It is very moving and I think the family's grief is portrayed realistically. Another book I had to read for Battle
Show More
of the Books.
Show Less
LibraryThing member meyben
Good book for those who are dealing with death.
LibraryThing member lpecil
This is a tear-jerker that makes you laugh until you cry again, even for my (male) college roommates.
LibraryThing member CTieyah
The story is about how this girl and her family deal with her brother’s death. Phoebe (the girl) is the narrator. Mick was in a bike accident and was killed from a major head injury. Phoebe tells about every tough moment and all the emotions she endures. Toward the end, she has the strength
Show More
inside to be a speaker for the bike safety assembly at her school, using her brother’s accident and unwillingness to wear a helmet as the meat of her speech.

This story seemed very depressing to me. Of course it is about a brother dying, but I guess I expected it to end sadly rather than start out that way and continue through most of the book. However, toward the end I started seeing the whole picture. First of all, it ended on a better note than how the rest of the book felt. When I realized the moral (always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle), I understand why it had to be sad the whole time; to make children really learn and feel the importance of the moral. Obviously the more traditional ways of providing morals (the happily ever after ways) are not working well, so showing the more honest, real, and unfortunately sad side of things might actually catch their attention and make a difference.

Students could discuss how bike safety was presented AFTER someone was killed and hopefully realize on their own that learning from mistakes is not always the best or most pleasant way to learn. Then they could discuss issues in their community that need to be addressed before bigger problems occur or before someone gets hurt. They could make plans and set up a presentation to share (either to the class as groups, or to the school as a class). Another similar extension would be for each student to make a poster that addresses an important issue or moral they feel will help others if attention is brought to it. The posters would be posted up in the halls of the school.
Show Less
LibraryThing member volleyball14
Mick Harte was a boy that was killed in a bike accident little sister is the one that told the story . she had told her brother mick to
LibraryThing member madhamster
Told by Mick's sister, Phoebe, this is the story of Mick and his bicycle accident which resulted in his death through a head injury. The story of their relationship is told in flashbacks interspersed with current events. Phoebe's mother withdraws into herself, leaving the running of the household
Show More
to Nana from Florida. Phoebe feels guilty because she hadn't taken Mick's bike home as he had wanted her to. Phoebe's father lists the number of If Onlys that could have saved Mick's life. Phoebe leaves a lasting memory of Mick by inscribing Mick Harte Was Here in fresh concrete at school, a legacy of an activity when they were young.
Show Less
LibraryThing member MerryMary
"Just let me say right off the bat, it was a bike accident." With these words, Phoebe begins the story of her little brother's death, and the aftermath. She finds that everyone carries the burden of grief and guilt in a different; way, and she finds her own way to peace and memory.
LibraryThing member dmcdnut
Excellent and well told story of a sister who lost her brother. Very well written and has a definite lesson for the middle schoolers to learn, however, it's told in a way that will interest them and tug at their heartstrings.
LibraryThing member gotfletch
This is an excellent book to share with your students dealing with emotions, family and losing a loved one.
LibraryThing member debnance
Even though this was a very painful bookto read (the main character's brother dies in a bicycling accident),I found it to be a true book and a book that would help children whohave had a sister or parent or friend die.I have a hard time reading all these depressing books written for aYA audience.
Show More
Aren't there any cheerful or uplifting YA books?!
Show Less
LibraryThing member BNededog
Mick Harte Was Here starts off with Mick already dead. His sister Phoebe tells the story of the day he dies and how they got into an argument about a prize inside of the cereal box. However, Mick could not stay mad at her for long and was over it by lunch. He asked Phoebe and Zoe both if they could
Show More
take his bike home from school that day because he had to go to his friends house to practice. Neither of the girls were able to do this for him though. She remembers being at soccer practice and hearing the sirens blaring in the air. The ambulance was heading straight for their school. All of the sudden her soccer coach ran over to her and said it’s Mick and with a single breath she said I know. She headed into the building and everything was a blur to her as she sat in the office still not believing anything had happened. She didn’t take it all in until Zoe’s dad had come to get them and take her to their house. When her dad finally came to get her all he could say was he’s gone with tears running down his face. When they got home her mom was already asleep due to the sleeping pills that the doctor prescribed her. After the accident her family just lounges around the house depressed, not able to eat much. After the interment of Mick’s ashes Phoebe couldn’t go to sleep so she called Zoe and she rushed right over to comfort her. They stayed up and talked about where Mick was now and they finally came to the conclusion that he is not gone, but everywhere in spirit. Mrs. Berryhill calls Phoebe to her office because a PTA member wants to meet with her to explain to her about the assembly for bicycle safety that they were going to hold. She asked if Phoebe would speak at the assembly, but she quickly said no. Later on she changed her mind and decided to speak at the assembly. When she left the assembly that day she hoped that she had made an impact on those kids and made them want to wear their helmets. A month after the accident she didn’t feel like doing much at soccer practice, but her soccer coach didn’t bother her much. After soccer practice was over she just sat on the sideline till everyone had left, even the construction workers that were putting in new bleachers by the field. She walked over to the cement where the bleachers had been put in and wrote these simple words into the cement “Mick Harte was here.”

I really enjoyed this book and believe that younger kids will also. It is a great book to read and help promote bicycle safety. Also, if a kid is dealing with a death in the family I believe that this might be a good book for them also so that they know that they are not the only ones going through this crisis.

One activity would be for the students to write a short paragraph on why it is so important to wear a helmet whenever you ride your bike. Another activity would be for students to bring in one of their items that they believe is a treasure to them and then stand in front of the class and tell them why it is a treasure to them.
Show Less
LibraryThing member SaphireStar98
Just let me tell you right off the bat, it was a bike accident. With these few words Pheobe describes the story of her little brother's death because of a bike accident. Its really a sad story i mean tears rolled out of my eyes when i read it because its just heartbreaking to lose a brother. I mean
Show More
the whole time that i was reading the book i was thinking about my brother. This book has a big lesson about how important it is to wear a helmet. If only Mick wore a helmet on that day he would still be alive. I recommend this book to all the kids who think bike helmets aren't important.
Show Less
LibraryThing member jakdomin
I remember reading this when I was a kid myself and loving it. When I reread it those feelings came back. It is a little shocking for young students to think about death and I think this book is a great medium for those who have and haven't experienced the death of a loved young one.
LibraryThing member elmartin
From the very beginning, we know that Phoebe's older brother, Mick, died in a bike accident. Throughout the story, we learn about the accident, Phoebe's struggles, and the family's devastation. Phoebe's close friend is there to console her as she goes through the array of emotions that come with
Show More
losing a loved one. And, somehow, Barbara Park allows much needed humor to emerge all through the story. In the end, Phoebe begins to deal with her guilt and emtions as well as speak to her peers about bicycle safety. This is a truly moving story.
Show Less
LibraryThing member KayleighAdamsRossi
This book is written from the point of view of Phoebe Harte, a young girl whose brother has died as the result of a bicycle accident. When the story begins you already know he is dead, so there are no surprises. It then goes from the day off the accident forward documenting all of the feelings she
Show More
and the rest of the family go through in the months after Mick's death. I love the message of this book. Not only does it send a very important message on bicycle safety, but it also is about dealing with the death of a loved one. This book can lead to some very good conversations in class. Such as conversations about the importance of wearing your bicycle helmet, no matter how stupid you think it looks. Also it could lead to discussions about death or the loss of loved ones and ways to deal with grief. This would also be a good book for parents to read to their children to express the importance of bicycle safety
Show Less
LibraryThing member haymaai
At the recommendation of one of my 3rd grade students, I read Mick Harte Was Here, a juvenile book about a young boy, Mick Harte, who is killed in a tragic bike accident when he skids into a passing truck. The story is told from the point of view of his sister, Phoebe, who portrays Mick as being
Show More
his very own person. He was the kind of kid that freaked his mom out by putting a ceramic eye in a defrosted chicken, and he was always involved in some kind of antic.
This is such a heart-rendering story that I read on a particular weekend when I was especially missing our beloved dog, Buddie, who had passed away earlier this year. As the family mourned the death of Mick, Phoebe takes the reader through the upheaval of their lives and the subsequent events, such as the memorial service and how routines suddenly become nonexistent or insignificant. Not having to use the appropriate silverware, or having grilled cheese sandwiches and mashed potatoes for dinner became completely fine after Mick’s passing.
I loved the way that Phoebe’s best friend, Zoe, spouts some magical words that are uplifting to Zoe. She says, “Put him everywhere, why don’t you?....Because like if God is everywhere the way they say he is, and Mick is with God, then Mick could be everywhere, too.” I think that she is right, and that by faith we can believe, that our loved ones who have passed, are really everywhere and at our side, too.
Show Less
LibraryThing member theWallflower
Phoebe’s brother has just died. And this book is about how she deals with it, from the morning of the accident to the months and months later. It’s not tragic like Bridge to Terabithia–death and dealing with trauma is the theme of the book and it starts from the beginning. So there’s no
Show More
real heartbreak, except for watching the deceased’s younger sister deal with the aftermath.

I like this because it’s a good portrayal of dealing with grief as a young adult. Good for anyone going through the same thing–a death in the family–and is too young to truly process it. And it cuts through all the sugarcoating too. Death ain’t fun and it ain’t pretty. Or how people keep turning death into a chance to talk about themselves, how the grief never really goes away, the empty feeling of something missing. There’s always something missing. How trying to remember the good times doesn’t really help, that you just need time. And as we go on Phoebe’s journey, we gain the tools to handle that same situation ourselves.

My one qualm about the book is that you don’t really know how he died until the ending, when the build-up loses some of the impact. That’s where it gets a little preachy, even though I’m sure it’s not intended. Otherwise, this is a good book for kids and adults, like My Brother Sam Is Dead. It has a sense of humor despite the subject matter. And it teaches us all that, whether you want it to or not, life goes on.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Robinsonstef
Mick Harte Was Here by Barbara Park is a book that will grab your heart right from the start! At less than one hundred pages, it is a quick read, which is good because it will probably make you cry, but you will laugh too. Phoebe is such a down to earth character whose sadness, anger, and confusion
Show More
really come through to the reader. She is honest right from the start and lets the reader know her brother is dead. Her memories about Mick will have you laughing out loud, and you will wish you had had the chance to meet him. As Phoebe searches for answers to what happens now, she is also filled with regret. She feels like she could have stopped the accident, and then no one would have to go through the pain of losing Mick. Reading her conversation about the “what ifs” that she has with her dad really opened my eyes about why we need to let things go because there is always something to regret if we let ourselves go down that path. I think this book would be helpful for anyone that has experienced a major loss because they would be able to relate to Phoebe and might learn from her about healing. It is also an excellent book for people to read who have friends that have gone through something big and they want to show they care but don't know the right words to say. I would recommend this book to anyone in fourth grade and up who is ready for an emotional story with characters that will really make them think. I know third graders who have read it, but I should also mention that Phoebe does swear a little bit in the book, which seemed natural because of the circumstances. This is a book that you shouldn’t miss because it will open your eyes and will make you think about safety and letting go of things you can’t change.
Show Less


Texas Bluebonnet Award (Nominee — 1997)
Young Hoosier Book Award (Nominee — Intermediate — 1998)
Sequoyah Book Award (Nominee — Children's — 1998)
Kentucky Bluegrass Award (Nominee — 1997)
Sasquatch Book Award (Nominee — 1998)
Buckeye Children's & Teen Book Award (Nominee — Grades 3-5 — 1997)
Nutmeg Book Award (Nominee — Intermediate — 1999)
Nēnē Award (Nominee — 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002)
Grand Canyon Reader Award (Nominee — Intermediate — 1997)
Iowa Children's Choice Award (Nominee — 1998)
Charlotte Award (Winner — 1998)
Flicker Tale Award (Nominee — 1997)
Maud Hart Lovelace Award (Winner — 1998)
South Carolina Book Awards (Winner — 1998)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

8.4 inches


0679877355 / 9780679877356


Page: 1.3581 seconds