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.
Marie-Renée Lavoie's debut novel, La petite et le vieux, won Quebec's Archambault Prize and Radio-Canada's "Battle of the Books." She currently teaches literature at Maisonneuve College in Montreal.
WAYNE GRADY is an award-winning author, translator, and editor. He has won the John Glassco Translation Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award two additional times. His debut novel, Emancipation Day, won the Amazon.ca First Novel Award. He lives near Kingston, Ontario, with his wife, novelist Merilyn Simonds.
... [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.