A teenage boy awakes from a deep sleep to find himself at Penn Station in New York City, with no memory of who he is, or where he came from. His only possession is a book at his side: Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. He decides to take the name Henry David, shortened to “Hank” by Jack, a street kid who befriends him. Shortly after they meet, Jack and Hank are involved in a crime with a kid-exploiting criminal called Magpie. Afraid to approach the authorities for help, Hank flees to Concord, Massachusetts, hoping that Walden–both the book and the location–will offer clues to his identity. That first night, Hank sleeps outdoors at the site of Thoreau’s cabin, then seeks shelter in the local high school and the public library. A tattooed, motorcycle-riding librarian/Thoreau historian named Thomas takes Hank under his wing, and guides him on the painful path to discovering his true identity. When Hank can run no further from the truth, will he confront the tragedy of his life or seek the ultimate escape?
Buy it at your local independent bookstore, or on Amazon now! Being Henry David
– Ezvid Wiki (December, 2018) – 10 Novels About Teens Away from Home
– BuzzFeed (Jun. 24, 2014) – 15 YA Books That You Haven’t Read (ButTotally Should)
A large number of junior high and high schools across the country have added Being Henry David to their curriculums, as all-school, all-grade, all-class reads, and to supplement units on Thoreau, Walden and the transcendentalists.Teachers have also identified BHD as being a good choice for reluctant readers and male readers.