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Children's Nonfiction House & Home

Take Shelter

At Home Around the World

by (author) Nikki Tate & Dani Tate-Stratton

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Apr 2021
House & Home, Architecture, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2014
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2015
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

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


A roof, a door, some windows, a floor.

All houses have them, but not all houses are alike. Some have wings (airplane homes), some have wheels (Romany vardoes), some float; some are made of straw, some of snow and ice. Some are enormous, some are tiny; some are permanent and some are temporary. But all are home. Take Shelter explores the ways people live all over the world and beyond—from the Arctic to the Antarctic, from an underground house in Las Vegas to the International Space Station. Everywhere people live, they adapt to their surroundings and create unique environments, using innovative techniques to provide that most basic of needs: shelter.

About the authors

Nikki Tate was born in Birmingham, England, but spent her childhood roaming the globe. She is the author of nearly 20 books for young readers, many of which are about horses. Nikki has always enjoyed both writing and telling stories, as well as camping, kayaking and horseback riding. She currently hosts a book club called "Teens, Titles and Tate" on CBC Radio's All Points West. Nikki lives with her family (and her collection of goats, ponies, dogs, cats and assorted feathered friends) on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Visit Nikki's website for more information.

Nikki Tate's profile page

Dani Tate-Stratton was born on Salt Spring Island and set off on her first journey when she was just a toddler. After living in Florida, Toronto, Tokyo and Vancouver, she is back in Victoria, British Columbia, where she now works as a graphic designer, writer and editor and also keeps pretty busy with SKOG, a company she and her husband started that makes cool things out of wood. She owns an old Greyhound bus that's slowly becoming a home, and while she waits for the house on wheels to be ready, she travels as much as possible. For more information, visit

Dani Tate-Stratton's profile page


  • Commended, BC Books for BC Schools
  • Commended, Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year
  • Short-listed, Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada's Information Book Award nominee
  • Short-listed, Red Cedar Book Award nominee

Editorial Reviews

"A great book to enhance the social studies and geography curriculum for the junior and intermediate divisions...Offers a panoramic view of global living conditions while also showing the economic diversity of people as they strive to provide one of life's most basic needs."

Canadian Teacher Magazine

"What makes a house a home? Using accessible text and inviting photography, mother-daughter team Tate and Tate-Sutton take readers on a tour of homes, celebrating the diversity of structures that different groups of people, in the past and the present, have constructed around the world (and in outer space: the International Space Station is also mentioned)...An appealing and accessible addition to a global studies curriculum."

School Library Journal

"Once you start thinking of your home as a sanctuary, then your ingenuity can run pretty wild, as seen in this global tour of dwellings...Destitution is not the Tates' point. It is to show how people have used the materials at their disposal to fashion creative and wildly diverse dwellings...The photographs are key: They convey a sense of place, evoking places where readers could imagine unfurling their bedrolls...The supplementary text provides setting and logistical peculiarities, but more than that, it provides anecdotes about the homes...'Sanctuary' springs from the Latin sanctus, or holy—and the Tates have kept that well in mind."

Kirkus Reviews

"A perfect resource for any student learning about homes around the world. The text is both interesting and well-researched. The writing style is straightforward and filled with appealing tidbits. All the photos include descriptive captions. Similar to the other books in the “Orca Footprints” collection, this book is formatted with an index, contents and a resource section that includes several websites for further research. Every school library will want this informative book. Highly Recommended."

CM Magazine

"Full-color photographs celebrate the world’s most unusual and amazing dwellings. A home is much more than a composition of building materials, and this book is an appealing introduction to a case study in cultural anthropology."


"This book has universal appeal and is of interest to all ages because everyone rich and poor needs a place to 'hang their hat.' This book is highly recommended for both school and public libraries. It is an excellent resource for learning units about community, architecture, sustainability and social issues."

Resource Links

"More than 40 million people live in underground houses in China’s neighbouring Northern provinces of Shaanxi and Shanxi...This is one of many fascinating facts mother and daughter authors Nikki Tate and Dani Tate-Stratton weave into their book on dwellings. Using an easy, conversational tone, they explore the various structures used as housing around the globe...Photographs, supplemental sidebars, and a list of online resources round out this eye-opening, thought-provoking work."

Quill & Quire

“A pictorial guide to global housing, the book appeals to low-end and at-risk readers with views on varied lifestyles and residences...The authors introduce concepts of thrift and sustainable energy alongside varied styles of beauty and identity.”


"If you want to talk with your children and students about the many ways that people of the world find shelter, and do it in an informed and appealing way, you would do well to share this book with them. Then, let them take it and find their favorite parts to read on their own. They will find it endlessly interesting, and full of surprises. Many of us don't take the time to think seriously about the way that people beyond our narrow perspective make a home. This well-researched and clearly written book may just change that! It is quite amazing to see the creative and original ways that people find to make a 'home', no matter the circumstance or the setting."

Sal's Fiction Addiction blog

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