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Children's Fiction Homelessness & Poverty

Bright Shining Moment

by (author) Deb Loughead

Second Story Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2018
Homelessness & Poverty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Post-Confederation (1867-)
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2018
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2018
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 13
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 9 to 12


Aline hides under the hay when her father takes her to school in their horse-drawn sled. She’s embarrassed that her mother raises chickens in their yard, and doesn’t want her school friends to find out that their family has taken in boarders for the extra money.

When she learns that her sworn enemy, Jeanine, can buy chewing gum, Aline is furious at the unfairness. She knows that Jeanine’s family is even poorer than her own. When Aline’s mother can’t spare any money for a charity drive at school, Aline decides to steal a coin from her purse. She quickly feels terrible. But how can she confess?

Aline comes to realize that life is more complicated than she thought. A ten-cent coin can cost you more in unhappiness than you ever imagined, a sworn enemy can become a friend, and the hard times make the bright and shining moments glow even brighter.

About the author

Deb Loughead is the author of more than twenty-five books for children and young adults. She completed an English degree at the University of Toronto before working as a copy editor. She turned to creative writing after deciding to stay home to raise her three sons. Deb's books have been translated into seven languages, and her award-winning poetry and adult fiction have appeared in a variety of Canadian publications. In addition to having extensive experience with educational writing, Deb has conducted workshops and held readings at schools, festivals and conferences across the country. She has written and directed children’s plays and taught creative writing classes for adults in Toronto. Deb likes to spend her non-writing time reading, knitting or hanging around horses as a therapeutic riding volunteer. Deb lives with her family in Toronto, Ontario. For more information, visit

Deb Loughead's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Deb Loughead, author of over forty children's and young adults' books, is an expert at showing rather than telling. Aline's first-person, present-tense account makes the reader feel like her friend sharing her concerns. Bright Shining Moment is both a character-driven novel and a glimpse into some social history."

CM Magazine; Highly Recommended

...Bright Shining Moment is subtle, never moralizing, always recognizing that people's stories are far greater than outward appearances may suggest. There is an appreciation for those who struggle and understanding for those who put on façades while still recognizing that there are those who are more fortunate and still charitable.

CanLit for LittleCanadians

User Reviews

Tender tale of tough times

I love this book! It has a Brian Doyle-meets-Laura Ingalls feel to it. Deb Loughead, an accomplished writer of many internationally published novels, through the eyes of 12 year-old Ailine Sauriol gives us a beautiful retro-feel photograph of family life in the Ottawa Valley during the post depression, early WWII era. Times may seem simpler, more innocent, but poverty and lack of social welfare can turn illness into anguish. Small genuine details of how people stretched pennies and survived will prove fascinating to readers but ultimately it is the character of Ailine that will enchant. Family, whether it includes 13 children or only one, can soften the blow of outrageous fortune as long as we truly love.

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