The Happy Hollisters are wholesome books, with an accent on humor and good, clean fun. Integrity always pays off and right wins over wrong. Parents, grandparents, and teachers love these books for their healthy celebration of life in simpler times. Kids are thrilled with the fast-paced action and will not want to put them down. The action-packed illustrations make the story – and the Hollister family – so vivid that the reader has a feeling of really sharing in on the adventures of this lovable and interesting family.

COLLECTOR'S 1959 vintage true first edition children's hardcover book with original dustjacket - The Happy Hollisters and the Mystery in Skyscraper City by Jerry West. Illustrated by Helen S. Hamilton. On dust jacket flap is the $1.50 price. Written for boys and girls between the ages of six and twelve.

This is book 17 in the Happy Hollisters mystery series. Wonderful full page blue illustrations and black and blue illustrated endpapers. Publisher: Doubleday & Company. Copyright: 1959. Not ex-library. No ISBN. Not book club. Not later printing.

PLOT: At a school-benefit sale, Pete Hollister buys an old book about early New York tunnels. Tucked in the pages is a message written in Chinese. The only English word in it is “Help!” The Hollisters take the mysterious note to a Chinese friend for translation and learn that the letter was written many years earlier in China by a Yuen Foo to his son in New York, but was never mailed. Pete, who has been trying out a new detective kit, tests the letter for possible invisible ink, and is rewarded when concealed Chinese writing shows up. It says Yuen Foo was being threatened because of the “treasure.”

Mr. Hollister has been invited to New York as consultant to a toy manufacturer who is trying to perfect a toy called the “Soaring Satellite.” Mr. Hollister decides to take the family with him for a vacation. The children are pleased not only because of the things to see in New York, but because the clues point to New York’s Chinatown as the location of and answer to the mystery surrounding the letter. This book is a tour of one of the most famous cities in the world as well as an introduction to a little piece of China and the Chinese way of life at the tip of Manhattan.

Author: The Happy Hollisters by Jerry West was actually written by Andrew E. Svenson, a prolific yet somewhat anonymous, writer of books for children. Jerry West was the pen name assigned to Svenson when he started writing The Happy Hollisters for the Stratemeyer Syndicate, a book packager well-known for its development of children’s book series including Tom Swift, The Bobbsey Twins, The Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew. Many of these series were intended to have long publishing lives, and were written by multiple authors using the same pseudonym.

The Happy Hollisters, however, were all written by Andrew Svenson, whose identity as Jerry West was kept secret until several years after his death in 1975. Andrew Svenson was born in Belleville, NJ, in 1910. He contributed to established series as Franklin W. Dixon (The Hardy Boys) and as Laura Lee Hope (The Bobbsey Twins). The first volume in his own original series, The Happy Hollisters, was published in 1953 by Doubleday & Company, and he was made a partner in the Stratemeyer Syndicate in 1961.

The Hollister family was modeled on his own family and he often used Svenson family events and travels as the foundation for The Happy Hollisters books. He also kept copious newspaper clippings for story ideas, and interviewed hundreds of school children and teachers for additional suggestions. These ideas were then worked into his storylines, adding an educational element that was appreciated by parents and educators alike. The children loved the stories for their elements of danger and excitement geared to their comprehension level.

Hardcover, djacket, $1.50 on flap, red cloth boards with black illustration, 188pages, 8.3" x 5.5". Binding tight. Fine vintage condition. Cover fine/bright/clean/minimal shelfwear. Pages fine/bright/clean/no writing or tears/minimal shelfwear if any. DJ excellent/bright/mostly clean/shelfwear includes light edgewear-spine end chipping-corner bumping/back-light discoloration-spotting.

Do not pass up this collector's gem; will make a FABULOUS gift for yourself or someone special in your life!!


Tapestry Collectibles, Books & Jewelry

1959 'The Happy Hollisters and the Mystery in Skyscraper City’, SCARCE First Edition, Original Dustjacket $1.50 Flap, Volume 17


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