Helen, alias "Joe," would rather be a boy and have all kinds of adventures like Lady Oscar, her favourite cartoon heroine. She daydreams about living in another time and achieving great things, but she must be content delivering newspapers and working at the bingo hall. After all, she is only eight years old, even though she claims to be ten.
When Roger, an old man who drinks like a fish, swears like a sailor, and dreams about dying, moves into the working-class neighbourhood where Helen lives with her family, the two make uneasy acquaintances. But, after a series of scary and disturbing events, an unlikely friendship develops — one that changes them both forever.
This stunning debut novel in the spirit of Miriam Toews' The Flying Troutmans and Stephen Kelman's Pigeon English won Quebec's Prix Archambault and won Radio-Canada's Battle of the Books (Canada Reads) competition in its original French. Mister Roger and Me perfectly captures the irony, innocence, heartbreak, and humour of childhood.
About the authors
MARIE-RENÉE LAVOIE was born in 1974 in Limoilou, near Quebec City. She is the author of four novels, including Mister Roger and Me, which won ICI Radio-Canada’s “Battle of the Books” — the Quebec equivalent of “Canada Reads” — and the Archambault Prize, and Autopsy of a Boring Wife, which was a finalist for the Forest of Reading Evergreen Award and longlisted for CBC Canada Reads. It was also a Hoopla Book Club selection and a CBC Best Book of the Year, and is currently being developed for television. She lives in Montreal, where she teaches literature at Maisonneuve College.
Wayne Grady is the general editor of this series of literary anthologies devoted to the world's natural wonders. One of Canada's foremost popular science writers and the winner of three Science in Society awards from the Canadian Science Writers' Association, he is the author of twelve nonfiction books on such diverse adventures as hunting dinosaurs in the Gobi Desert, investigating global warming at the North Pole, and discovering the wild in an urban metropolis. His books include the bestselling Tree: A Life Story, written with David Suzuki, and Bringing Back the Dodo. His most recent book is the award-winning The Great Lakes: The Natural History of a Changing Region. He lives near Kingston, Ontario.
... [an] infinitely likeable novel ... Lavoie shares a sensibility with Miriam Toews, where flitty, whimsical kites of characters are tethered to earth with threads of melancholy and darkness.
Funny and touching, Mister Roger and Me will remind readers of a time not so long ago when they were far more trusting of their neighbours.
Montreal Review of Books