“Ma’am, you sound like a very reasonable person. Can I advise you to just move?”
Carissa Halton and her young family move into a neighbourhood with a tough reputation. As they make their home in one of the oldest parts of the city, she reflects on the revitalization that is slowly changing the view from her little yellow house. While others worry about the area’s bad reputation, she heads out to meet her neighbours, and through them discovers the innate beauty of her community. Halton introduces us to a cast of diverse characters in her Alberta Avenue neighbourhood—including cat rescuers, tragic teens, art evangelists, and crime fighters—and invites us to consider the social and economic forces that shape and reshape our cities.
"Great cities and neighbourhoods are containers for stories, just like this book is, and every one of these is delightfully readable and well-written right down to the sentence level. And Halton is not afraid of tension, of ambiguity and uncertainty, something living in the city teaches you, and so each of these stories is suspended in a careful place, not neatly packaged or simply concluded. Which gives their culmination the effect of a walk through a city street, of glimpses, moments, and changing scenes—a most satisfying and delightful excursion."
"It's an illuminating and hopeful book that asks readers to think again about what makes places liveable, and also provides a wonderful glimpse of Jane Jacobs' proverbial sidewalk ballet."
"This book is an excellent resource for communities wanting to create change. It can also be a starting point for discussion with students ... to focus on identifying Who are the vulnerable? Who gets to decide that they’re vulnerable? and What community-based solutions honour lifestyle choices? Little Yellow House shows readers there are ways of working and living together that really do respect diversity. I loved this book."
"It’s books like this that remind us all… that community is more than about special events that happen once a year. It’s about connecting to people often and throughout the year. Doing so can and does result in some wonderful experiences." [Full article at https://www.stalbertgazette.com/article/community-in-a-little-yellow-book-20181010]
# 1 on Edmonton Non-Fiction Bestsellers list, October 19, 2018
"In these stark and endearing personal essays, the author celebrates her life and lives fearlessly and fully with three children and a husband, despite a dystopian backdrop. Halton writes with humour, empathy, and spiritual maturity, and she doesn't judge the inner city world outside her yellow house."
"Halton clearly delights in interacting with people from all walks of life; her interest and empathy sparkle throughout. Her tone is factual, nonjudgmental, and often wryly funny. Little Yellow House is a balanced presentation of a diverse community in transition, complete with faults and growing pains."
# 2 on Calgary Herald's Non-Fiction Bestsellers list.