Four sisters search for true family in this story of resilience by a Newbery Honor author.
When the McCready sisters' parents are washed away in a tsunami, their Great Aunt Martha volunteers to have them live with her on her farm in British Columbia. But while they are traveling there, Martha dies unexpectedly, forcing Fiona, the eldest, to come up with a scheme to keep social services from separating the girls - a scheme that will only work if no one knows they are living on their own.
Fiona approaches their grouchy and indifferent neighbor Al and asks if he will pretend to be their live-in legal guardian should papers need to be signed or if anyone comes snooping around. He reluctantly agrees, under the condition that they bring him dinner every night.
As weeks pass, Fiona takes on more and more adult responsibilities, while each of the younger girls finds their own special role in their atypical family - But even if things seem to be falling into place, Fiona is sure it's only a matter of time before they are caught.
Written in Polly Horvath's inimitable style, gentle humor and tough obstacles are woven throughout this story about the bonds of sisterhood and what makes a family.
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
About the Author
Polly Horvath has written many books for children including Everything on a Waffle, a Newbery Honor Book; The Canning Season, a National Book Award winner; and The Trolls, a National Book Award finalist. She lives in British Columbia with her family. Visit her at www.PollyHorvath.com.
"[A] buoyant and tender story. . . . With orphan stories there is a rule, of course: By the end, children must have a real guardian. Who that will be is one of the mysteries—and ultimate satisfactions—of this funny and rewarding novel"—The Wall Street Journal
★ "Horvath, ever respectful of the inner lives of children, has a way of incorporating moments of sweet hilarity into an account that makes the girls’ situation seem plausible. She doesn’t stint on vocabulary or on sophisticated observations, yet her narrative arc is direct and extraordinarily satisfying, with its emphasis on competence and survival of the domestic, familial, and emotional sort."—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"Readers who have grown to love Newbery Honoree Horvath’s (Everything on a Waffle) slightly quirky characters and unique situations will not be disappointed by this suspenseful story . . . Horvath’s wide array of contrasting personalities adds humor and depth to the familiar premise of orphans forced to survive on their own."—Publishers Weekly
"a comforting coming-of-age tale . . . Horvath is a master at creating winning characters, and each sister emerges as a distinct individual." —Book Page
"For those who like to settle into a comfy spot and spend quality time with spunky heroines and quirky supporting characters, Horvath’s latest certainly fits the bill."—Booklist
"the story is warm, funny, and insightful. . . . Horvath hits the perfect notes of independence, adventure, and sentimentality, without being cloying."—School Library Journal
"[R]eaders will be treated to a story featuring suspense, believable characters, a fully realized setting, and nuggets of Horvath wisdom"—The Horn Book
"Horvath fans will recognize her recurring subject of kids outside of traditional adult care, and the book deftly balances a twenty-first century setting with a classic orphan-story feel. . . . Ultimately, it’s an appealing domestic survival story with a slice of reality, bound to appeal to youngsters who contemplate an adult-free life." —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books