Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
From Newbery Honor-- and National Book Award--winning author Polly Horvath comes a story of four sisters searching for home.
Fiona, Marlin, Natasha, and Charlie McCready are left on their own when their missionary parents are washed away in a tsunami. Fortunately, 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 can't help but worry that it is only a matter of time before they are caught. What she needs to do is find them a real guardian.
About the author
Polly Horvath is one of the most highly acclaimed authors writing today. Her books include The Canning Season (winner of the National Book Award and the CLA Young Adult Book Award), Everything on a Waffle (a Newbery Honor Book, an ALA Notable Book and winner of the Mr. Christie's Book Award and the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize), The Trolls (a National Book Award finalist), My One Hundred Adventures (a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, a Booklist Editors' Choice, a Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of the Year and winner of a NAPPA Gold Award and the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize), and Northward to the Moon (an Oprah's Book Club Kids' Reading List selection and winner of a Parents' Choice Gold Award). Her most recent book is Mr. and Mrs. Bunny — Detectives Extraordinaire!
- Nominated, Chocolate Lily Award
- Nominated, Governor General’s Literary Award - Young People’s Literature - Text
- Short-listed, National Chapter IODE Violet Downey Award
A 2021 Governor General’s Literary Award for Young People's Literature Nominee
An honorable mention on Quill & Quire's Books of the Year list
A 2021 Bank Street Book of the Year
“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.” —Wall Street Journal
“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
“This deserves a place in most libraries — Horvath hits the perfect notes of independence, adventure, and sentimentality, without being cloying.” —School Library Journal