The Strange Journal of the Boy Henry

Entry 1

I was woken, this morning, by a man’s voice.
“Time to get up, son,” is what I heard, over and over. So I opened my eyes and saw him. He was sitting on the bed, staring down at me.
“You sleep okay?” he asked.
And he smiled and placed a hand on my shoulder.
“My little prince,” he continued. “You sleep okay?”
I didn’t know how to answer him. Because I didn’t know this man. I’d never seen him before in my life.
He had black hair and a mustache and light blue eyes. His skin was very pale. Almost pinkish, like he’d just taken a bath. He had big hands and long arms.
“You sleep okay?” he asked me again.
“I think so,” I told him.
“Well, time to get up. You and your brother both.”
And he looked across the room, so I looked there too. I saw another bed with a boy about my age. He wore blue pajamas, and was laying on his stomach; but his eyes were on me. His head was shaved all around the bottom, leaving a brown clump on top. And I didn’t know him either.
“Where am I?” I asked the man.
“Home, of course,” the man said. “Where else?”
I didn’t have an answer for him. I wanted to panic. Am I crazy? Or was he? What if he was? I better just play along, I decided.
“Let me know if you start feeling faint or dizzy, Henry,” the man said.
Henry. I’m pretty sure that that’s my name.
“You’ve been ill,” he said. “Anyway, I’m making breakfast and you’re gonna like it.”
He rose, and I saw that he was tall. He sighed and smiled at the same time, then left the room.
The boy stared at me and I stared at him. It was weird. We just looked at each other for like a whole minute. Then he got up and walked out too.
I looked around at the room. The walls are a light blue, and there’s a map of the world, another of the universe, and a Periodic Table. There’s also a picture of a sword and a shield. A round window hangs above the boy’s bed. The glass is blurred, so you can’t really see anything outside. You can only tell that there’s sunlight. Aside from our two beds, there’re two desks.
I didn’t know this room.
I tried to remember what my room should be like. What my dad should look like. And my brother – the man had said the boy was my brother. When did I have a brother? I couldn’t remember. It was all blank.
I wanted to scream: where in the world am I??
I made a decision to not freak out. Really I just needed to think about this rationally. 
Entry 2

I didn’t want to go outside. At the same time I did. To find out what was happening to me. Was I in a dream? I quickly sat up and pinched myself hard. Then I shook my head like crazy. Deep down I knew this doesn’t get you out of a dream. But I had to do something.
And I was still here.
I lay back down. There had to be an explanation. The man did say I was sick. Some weird sickness had made me kinda go blank on some important things. But it would go away, I told myself. And my memory would return. I just had to wait.
My mouth tasted bitter. Like I’d not brushed for ever. I got up. My brain felt flooded suddenly, with pain, so I sat back down. I waited for it to go away. It only lessened after a few minutes, so I got up again.
My legs felt tingly and wobbly and strange, like I’d not used them in years. Slowly I walked to the door and held it for support. I wanted to go brush my teeth. I could see the germs in my mouth. Millions of them, multiplying by the second.
I peeked out. There was a long hallway that didn’t seem to have a light. The only light came from a corridor all the way down at the end. In the dimness I could make out many doors.
So I started slowly, leaning on the wall to steady myself. I tried the first door and it opened. I felt for the light, flicked it on and found a small room packed with old toys. I moved on. The next door opened to a room that had exercise equipment. The next room had boxes and food stuff stacked in shelves. I reached out and held a fourth door when another opened behind me.
The boy came out, and I saw that this was the bathroom. This time we didn’t do the staring. He kept his eyes low and just walked off.
When I looked in the bathroom mirror I saw myself. Sounds crazy but I thought I’d see someone else. But it was me for sure. Me, but bald. There’s just spiky brown fuzz like one tenth of an inch on my head. And that felt odd. I feel like my face comes with long curly brown hair that falls over my ears. But this me in the mirror had fuzz so short you could see my scalp, which was white like paper.
I didn’t know which of the three toothbrushes was mine. So I just put paste on my finger and rubbed hard at my teeth. Not taking a chance on the wrong brush.
I returned to this bedroom. The boy wasn’t here, for which I was glad. I closed the door, and opened the closet by my bed. Didn’t recognize any of the clothes in there. Could not remember ever wearing them.
I sat on the desk closest to my bed. I went through a dictionary; then looked through a cup that held pencils, an eraser and a ruler. These were used but I didn’t remember using them. Wouldn’t you remember your dictionary? Wouldn’t you know how your eraser’s getting worn? I’m the type that would remember. I think.
I got more panicked thinking this. Until I reminded myself I hadn’t even known the man and the boy. That’s a little bigger. I’m pretty sure.


  1. Charlaine Lippitt4:45 PM EDT

    I assume you’ve seen Memento. Not saying this is similar but the idea of clues the narrator gathers to solve the case certainly reminded me of that. Memento and Jason bourne. Congrats. This is not criticism cause you did a great job.

  2. Doreen Cooke4:51 PM EDT

    I loved this. I love thrilling mysteries so thanks. Didn’t like what happens to little girl was the one bad part. I cringed then truly cried for her.

  3. Charlaine,
    Thank you for your comment. I have seen Memento and loved it. Have not seen Bourne(believe it or not) although I did read the book. Liked some things in it. But I feel comfortable that Henry’s Journal takes a completely different take on the amnesia theme. Thank you once again.
    S Alini

  4. Doreen,
    Thanks for taking the time to comment. Yes, what happens with Collette is cringe-worthy. But that’s what I wanted – to generate a particular feeling toward the situation. So I’ll take it as a compliment that you were disturbed by it. Thanks for reading it.
    S. Alini

  5. Stewart Fisher3:51 AM EDT

    No offense but I wouldn’t recommend this book to my child. Tooharsh some this this stuff. But nice work and good luck.

  6. Stewart,
    Thanks for your comment. And thanks for reading the book. I do agree that some of the material is pretty harsh. But there’s very little violence in this book, particularly compared to The Hunger Games or similar books. I myself am a big believer in the harmful effects of violence in media, especially upon kids. So this is something I’m mindful of in all my storytelling.
    S Alini

  7. Shunzi Zhong5:45 PM EDT

    First of all, wow! Just posted an amazon review on this. Creeeeeepy! I feel I need to go take a shower – except I’m terrified of getting in there! This is the most well crafted young adult mystery I’ve ever read. From the beginning you keep the surprises coming. Just when I feel I’ve got the puzzle figured out you pull the rug out from under me. How long did this take to write? I’m an author myself and suspenseful stories are my area of interest(I hesitate to say expertise). How did you keep track of all the different parts of the puzzle? You can reply here if possible or email me at Thanks. nnn

  8. Anonymous9:29 PM EST

    Greetings, I just finished book 2. I had no idea what the book(s) were about but was pleasantly surprised. I bought the hunger games series then the gregor the overlander series and amazon from there said I would like your works. Amazon was spot on. Wonderful story-telling. I love all your characters except the dog-man. I was so engrossed in book one and then the dog-man... he pulled me right back into reality. But I got over it and read on because I just had to know was gonna happen next. I am dying to know what happens in book three. I could rant on about what I love but I'd probably create spoilers for those who haven't read it.
    Anyways, Great book. Just purchased Superburger. Can't wait to read more.


    1. Jennie,

      Thank you very much for the kind words. Glad you enjoyed the first two. Surprised you didn't like Robert Bontley - he's the source of most of the laughs. Glad you liked the others though. Still working on Book 3. I'm very slow.
      Interested to see what you make of Superburger. Thanks again!


    2. Anonymous9:46 PM EDT

      I really enjoyed superburger but oh my goodness so gross. All I could think of was how nasty that burger must have been.
      Loved the ending.

      I had my friend read The Henry Journals and she really like Robert and after some discussion he grew on me too. Still waiting for Book three :) or anything else new :)

      I am getting as many people as I can to read your books!! Big fan.


    3. Jennie,

      Thank you, thank you, thank you.
      It makes my day to hear that the books are being enjoyed. Yes, SurperBurger's ending is kind of gross. Glad to hear Robert Bontley grew on you. I'd hoped he'd make readers laugh.
      Working hard to create more books as soon as possible.


  9. Anonymous3:29 PM EDT

    I absolutely loved The Strange Journal of the Boy Henry books 1 and 2; they were was the best books I have ever read in my life and I'm not just saying it! When I first started reading it I was actaully scared, because it was so strange. Despite this I just couldn't wait to read again.
    This may sound crazy, but if Robert Bontley had sheep dog D.N.A put into him, doesn't that mean if he had human D.N.A put in him he would turn back into a human??? I know it is just a book, but that would be really cool!(I understand that it would be hard to get hold of his D.N.A.
    Sorry I just had to write that. Thank you so much for the great book!!!

    1. Sophie,
      Wow... you really brightened my day with this one. I am very, very happy to hear you enjoyed the books. When I wrote this, years ago, I did hope that readers would be thrilled and entertained. Still it is surprising and very pleasing to hear one say that she was. Thank you, Sophie. Will think of readers like you as I write the next installment.

    2. Anonymous1:45 PM EDT

      I can't help saying thank you for that reply. I am so glad to have brightened you day and I cannot wait for the next book :)

  10. Okay, so my daughter REALLY wants this book for her Kindle. However, she is seven years old. She reads on a high school level, but I am worried there might be some material in this book that is inappropriate for her. Please advise.

    1. Erin,
      I would say that The Strange Journal is probably too scary for a 7 year old. There is a little bit of violence and lots of weirdness that could be disturbing for her.
      Thanks for reaching out. And congrats on having a 7 year old who reads at an advanced level. That's usually the result of a parent's hard work.

  11. Thanks, San. She is an extraordinary kid! We will wait on this book, but she is a huge fan of Superburger and all of your other work. Thanks for taking the time to personally respond to me! Maybe I will read The Strange Journal myself for now :)


    1. Erin,

      Thank you for getting my books for your daughter. It makes me happy to see that they're being enjoyed. That's the reason I write kids books - to entertain them and keep them reading.


  12. rylee dawn1:44 AM EDT

    Hey idk if u ail read this or not but I have a really hard time finding good books that I actually like when I found this book I loved it sooo I was wondering when or if there is gonna be a third one please reply thanks :)

    1. Rylee,
      Thanks very much for your message. I'm very glad to know that you enjoyed the series thus far. Will work on getting the third one done as soon as possible.
      I can recommend other books for you. Have you read "Holes" by Louis Sachar? Or any of the Artemis Fowl books? How about "Aneas, Prince of Dragons", by James Collins? Those are all great.
      Thanks again for trying my books.

  13. rylee dawn5:32 PM EDT

    Thanks so much for the recommendations and replying I will check them out

  14. This is a really good book that i recommend for anyone looking for a good book about mystery and well... a boy who has no memory of almost anything he only remember a few things other than that nothing

    1. Shizandra,
      Thanks for the message. And I'm glad you enjoyed the book.