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Young Adult Fiction Friendship

Skinnybones and the Wrinkle Queen

by (author) Glen Huser

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Jul 2006
Friendship, Girls & Women, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2006
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2006
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jul 2006
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 12 to 15
  • Grade: 7 to 10
  • Reading age: 12 to 15


At fifteen, Tamara has survived the foster-care system through brains, will and attitude. Now there's high school to get through, along with her teacher's latest community project -- volunteering at the local seniors' home. Tamara doubts she can endure either the residents or the smells.

Then she's assigned to Jean Barclay, a cranky, wealthy and frail former schoolteacher. As the two size one another up, they realize each is the key to achieving their own very different goals. Miss Barclay wants to attend an opera in Seattle -- a trip doctors insist she's too weak to undertake. Tamara wants to enroll in modeling school in Vancouver -- an expense she can't begin to afford. They plan the road trip of a lifetime -- but can these two bossy, manipulative women keep from throttling each other before their goals are realized?

About the author

From his earliest years, Glen Huser has loved to write and read and draw and paint. That’s when he wasn’t losing himself in the dark cocoon of a movie theatre or picking out old-time radio standards and Broadway musical hits on the piano. As a teacher and school librarian for a lengthy career in Edmonton, he worked his passions for art and literature into school projects such as Magpie, an in-house quarterly featuring writing and art from students. In his off hours, he wrote movie reviews for a local weekly, children’s book reviews for The Edmonton Journal, and got his small ink landscapes into galleries. As he worked on a degree in Education and then a Masters in English at the U of A, he had the good fortune to work under the tutelage of Rudy Wiebe, Margaret Atwood and W. O. Mitchell. For several years he was a sessional lecturer in children’s literature, information studies and creative writing at the U of A in Edmonton and UBC in Vancouver. His first novel Grace Lake was shortlisted for the 1992 W.H. Smith-Books in Canada First Novel Award. He has written several books for young adult readers including the Governor General’s Award-winner Stitches and the GG finalist Skinnybones and the Wrinkle Queen. Short stories have appeared in a number of literary magazines, most recently Plenitude and Waterloo University’s The New Quarterly. Glen’s current home is Vancouver where he continues to write as well as pursue interests in art and film studies.

Glen Huser's profile page


  • Long-listed, Chocolate Lily Award
  • Short-listed, Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award
  • Long-listed, OLA Red Maple Award
  • Short-listed, Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize
  • Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award
  • Commended, CCBC Our Choice (Starred Selection)
  • Commended, SSLI Honor Book
  • Commended, Maine State Library Cream of the Crop List
  • Commended, OLA Best Bets - Top 10 Fiction for Young Adults
  • Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Awards: Text

Editorial Reviews

Both characters emerge as strongly sympathetic rebels; readers will applaud their outlaw partnership and be glad that Tamara, at least, receives forgiveness and a fresh start.

Library Media Connection

...[Huser]'s portrait of two outsiders is an affecting and involving one...The road trip is entertaining, and revelatory, and Huser realistically gives his heroines only some of what they wish for.

Horn Book

Both characters emerge as strongly sympathetic rebels; readers will applaud their outlaw partnership and be glad that Tamara, at least, receives forgiveness and a fresh start.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Librarian Reviews

H Skinnybones and the Wrinkle Queen

Two unlikely candidates – a foster child and a cranky old schoolteacher – strike a deal and embark on the road trip of a lifetime, in a plan that involves danger, lies and lots of luck.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2007.

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