Help me remember the name of a children's / young adult book (series?)
January 26, 2014 1:07 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a book or series about a boy who is an inventor (or something similar). I'm pretty sure I know what series it's not but I may be mixing things together.

My two elementary school age children have become even more voracious with their reading lately. Although I think the Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants and Percy Jackson books are great, I've been trying to find and share some books and series that I remember liking at that age. We're getting into the Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary books. I'm getting the Mad Scientists Club series and the Great Brain series too.

However, there's is one book or maybe series that has been lurking in my memory and refuses to give up enough detail (like character names or anything useful) for me to remember it. I vaguely remember a book about a boy who was an inventor (or something similar) and worked out of his family's barn. I'm not sure but I think he might have come to live with an aunt and uncle. He makes friends with a girl close to his age. I think there may also be a dog involved.

I'm sorry that there isn't more detail. It is entirely possible that I am conflating some parts of some of the other series that I mentioned above.

Any help?
posted by Gronk to Writing & Language (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Andrew Henry's Meadow by Doris Burn is one possibility.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:09 PM on January 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Henry Reed?
posted by corey flood at 1:11 PM on January 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Alvin Fernald? My personal favorite as a kid.
posted by kindall at 1:11 PM on January 26, 2014

Probably not (lacks the barn, I think, and the aunt and uncle, but has the female friend), but just in case: Danny Dunn?
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 1:25 PM on January 26, 2014

Seconding Henry Reed, but you might also be mixing in elements of Homer Price?
posted by mmmbacon at 1:29 PM on January 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Furious Flycycle? Melvin Spitznagle, the son of an ice-cream manufacturer, invents a flying bicycle and various other things in his family's barn; first of a series, though I only ever read this one. Don't remember a friend or a dog, though.

This is the cover it had when I read it, just in case that rings any bells.
posted by severalbees at 1:40 PM on January 26, 2014

I third Henry Reed. He described himself as a consultant, I think. All elements (Barn, Uncle, Aunt, Dog, Girl with whom he befriended are included.

I also thought of Danny Dunn as I read the title.
posted by jazh at 1:46 PM on January 26, 2014

Danny Dunn is what came to mind immediately... They might like Encyclopedia Brown too.
posted by nkknkk at 1:54 PM on January 26, 2014

Henry Reed, inc.
posted by synecdoche at 2:06 PM on January 26, 2014

Henry Reed it is! Thanks from my addled brain and young readers!

Encyclopedia Brown is on the list as well. I had not encountered Alvin Fernald before I stated searching for Henry Reed but I'm glad I found it. I also remember Danny Dunn now that it's been mentioned (it was the Homework Machine that I dimly recall).

Thanks for making my first AskMeFi such a rousing success!
posted by Gronk at 3:45 PM on January 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm so glad you asked, because I've been meaning for a while to ask about a book I loved as a kid -- and the answer is Andrew Henry! Hurray for Gronk and lobstermitten!
posted by wintersweet at 6:05 PM on January 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yup, Henry Reed. A little dated, but my kids still like them.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:02 AM on January 27, 2014

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