Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Nonfiction Homelessness & Poverty


Homelessness in Our Community

by (author) Lois Peterson

illustrated by Taryn Gee

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Oct 2021
Homelessness & Poverty, Drugs, Alcohol, Substance Abuse, Depression & Mental Illness, Social Activism & Volunteering
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2021
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2021
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

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


“An outstanding, sophisticated introduction to a complex topic, this book encourages readers to prioritize kindness towards and dignity for people experiencing homelessness. ­Recommended as a first purchase.”—School Library Journal, starred review

There are 150 million people experiencing homelessness worldwide, and that number is increasing every year.

Homelessness is not a choice, yet it exists in almost every community. But why are people homeless? Who are they? What can you do? In Shelter: Homelessness in Our Community, readers will get answers to these complex questions. They’ll learn about the root causes of homelessness and its effects, and what people and organizations around the world are doing to address the problem. It shares the personal stories of people who live on the street and the adults and kids who work with them. As a former homeless-shelter worker, author Lois Peterson encourages young people to approach the issue with knowledge and compassion. She dispels some of the myths about homelessness and makes the case for why everyone deserves a safe, permanent place to call home.

About the authors

Lois Peterson wrote short stories and articles for adults for twenty years before turning to writing for kids. She was bornin England and has lived in Iraq, France and the United States. Recently retired from her job as a librarian, she now lives in Surrey, British Columbia, where she writes, reads and teaches creative writing to adults, teens and children. Lois is the author of several books for children and youth, including Beyond Repair in the Orca Currents series.

Lois Peterson's profile page

Taryn Gee is an artist who specializes in lifestyle illustration and possesses an affinity for both figurative and narrative art. She has been illustrating since 2011 after earning her bachelor of applied arts at Sheridan College. Her work has garnered numerous awards, appearing across various local and international publications. Some of Taryn’s clients include The National Post, The Globe and Mail, IBM, RBC, LA Galaxy and the social networking service Ravelry. Taryn is passionate about the process and exploratory nature of traditional sketching and often finds herself filling many pages of her various sketchbooks. She lives in Stoney Creek, Ontario.


Taryn Gee's profile page


  • Short-listed, Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable Information Book Award
  • Short-listed, Red Cedar Book Award
  • Commended, Children’s Book Council & National Council for Social Studies Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
  • Commended, NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books List
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection
  • Nominated, Young Readers' Choice Book Awards of British Columbia (YRCABC) Red Cedar Book Awards
  • Short-listed, Information Book Award
  • Commended, A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
  • Commended, Junior Library Guild (JLG) Gold Standards Selection
  • Commended, Junior Library Guild (JLG) Gold Standard Selection

Editorial Reviews

“An insightful deep dive into a huge issue that is presented in a sympathetic and accessible way. Overall, the content makes for a well-written, thoughtful primer that would prove useful for children and adults alike.”

Quill & Quire

★ “An outstanding, sophisticated introduction to a complex topic, this book encourages readers to prioritize kindness towards and dignity for people experiencing homelessness. ­Recommended as a first purchase.”

School Library Journal, starred review

“Balanced, up-to-date coverage...Students, teachers, and parents will appreciate these detailed and engaging offerings.”


“A very accessible and compact overview on the causes of homelessness in society and various ways to help those in need.”

School Library Connection

“A thought-provoking book that is suited to the target audience. Recommended.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

Other titles by