ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing

The Happy Hollisters: Memorable Vintage Series Books

Updated on July 27, 2013

The Happy Hollisters-- Mysteries, Memories, and More with this Great Vintage Series for Children

I discovered the Happy Hollisters in my church library when I was ten years old and I was hooked. I wanted to be one of the Happy Hollisters. Their lives were full of adventure and excitement. Every book focused on a mystery to be solved whether right there in their hometown of Shoreham or on one of their frequent family trips.

As an adult, I was thrilled to find several copies at an estate sale. When my oldest son was five, one of these, "The Happy Hollisters and the Mystery at Missile Town," became our first true "chapter book" to read aloud at bedtime. It was followed by many others and he too became a fan of the Happy Hollisters. Over the years I have collected several other books in the series. Imagine how happy it made me when my now grown up son asked me to borrow "The Mystery at Missile Town". He wanted to share it as a read-aloud with his daughter who had just turned five. In no time they had finished that one and have gone on to borrow and read several more. What a sweet connection for all of us. Sharing the books we love is a great way to build bonds with those we love.

This lens is a tribute to a geat series. Hopefully it will have some information that will bring back good memories to those who remember the series or introduce others to a great vintage series for children.


Who Are the Happy Hollisters?

The Happy Hollisters is a series of children's books about a mystery solving family and their far-ranging adventures. The series, written under the pseudonym Jerry West, was created by the Stratemeyer Syndicate and almost entirely written by Andrew E. Svenson. Helen S. Hamilton illustrated the books. Svenson's series focuses on the adventures of a young family solving mysteries from their home on Pine Lake in Shoreham or on travels around the United States (the family takes lots of vacations). The Hollister family includes five children, their parents, a family of cats, a dog, and a donkey. Pete is the oldest of the Hollister children and is 12 years old. Next in line is Pam, an adventurous ten year old who loves sports and animals. Ricky, the 7 year old, is red-headed, rambunctious and slightly trouble-prone. Younger sister Holly is a 6-year-old tomboy. The youngest, Sue is the pet of the whole family.

Their father, Mr. Hollister, owns a general store named the Trading Post, where he sells hardware, sporting goods, and toys. Mrs. Hollister tries to help her children solve mysteries and is supportive of their efforts.

Joey Brill and Will Wilson appear as rivals of the Hollister family in most books and often try to create troubles for the Hollister children. While not actually villains, they often provide a source of conflict in the stories. Compared with characters from more modern series, Joey and Will are pretty mild bullies, but children reading the series will enjoy seeing them get their well-deserved "come-uppance."

Find the Happy Hollisters

The Happy Hollisters
The Happy Hollisters

This is the first in the series. I like to start with the first so you get to know the characters.


Find Happy Hollisters Books

Sometimes you can find a treasure you've been looking for just by searching a little. (Maybe I learned that from reading the Happy Hollisters as a child).

I welcome any comments. ( I'd love to hear from someone else who remembers these great books).

Any Comments?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      KyraB 5 years ago

      My mom found four or five of these books at a yard sale a few ago and I read and enjoyed them all. They are such fun and interesting stories! Thanks for sharing.

    • SmBizGuru LM profile image

      SmBizGuru LM 5 years ago

      I had never heard of Happy Hollisters until I married my husband. He read them as a kid. Together we read them to our children as a bedtime story. It was a warm and loving family time. Good memories.

    • profile image

      kelli320 6 years ago

      I was introduced to the Happy Hollisters by my favorite teacher in third grade. She would read to us for about 15 minutes after recess every day, and in Ohio during the long winters when it was too cold to go outside, she would read the entire recess period. I remember we'd beg her to continue reading past the appointed time because we loved them so much. She read many times until her voice became hoarse. I asked her if I could take one book home with me if I promised to return it on Monday and would go home and read the entire book over the weekend. It really was the beginning of me becoming an avid reader and lover of books. This is a great lens- good memories.

    • CarolynPile profile image

      CarolynPile 6 years ago

      I LOVED these books! I got one in the mail every month. They got me started as an avid reader. One thing I thought was odd. Each book told the story of a summer vacation's adventure. But the kids were always the same ages. It was like Groundhog's Day.

    • RuthieDenise profile image

      RuthieDenise 6 years ago

      It is so good to hear that parents read to their children. I did with mine and they loved it. It was adventure time and bonding time all in one.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I noticed your entry about The Happy Hollisters, and wanted to introduce myself. It was my grandfather, Andrew Svenson, who wrote the Happy Hollisters under the pseudonym Jerry West. The Hollister children were patterned on his own children: my father, aunts, and uncles.

      I thought you might be interested in some exciting news! Over the years we've heard from many fans like you, who have fond memories of the wholesome Hollister family and their exciting adventures. Many fans want to share the stories with their children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, but don't want to give up their collectors' editions. We have just released a new paperback edition of the first book in the series, The Happy Hollisters. The story is identical to the original, with its family-friendly dialogue and charming illustrations.

      If you'd like to learn more about this new edition, and see pictures of the "real" Hollister family, please visit our website: or join our Facebook group

      Thank you for remembering and supporting The Happy Hollisters!


      Andrew E. Svenson III


    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      You are off to a nice start, MamaRuth. Love the Happy Hollisters!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 7 years ago from Canada

      Welcome to Squidoo. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year. If you need help figuring things out here just pop by the Squid forums - there is a link at the bottom of the page :)