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Children's Fiction Multigenerational

Touch of the Clown

by (author) Glen Huser

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Apr 1999
Multigenerational, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Humorous Stories
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 1999
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 1999
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 0
  • Grade: p to 12
  • Reading age: 0


Cosmo the clown is the first bit of light to come into Barbara's life in a long time. At home, she takes care of her abusive father, her grandmother, and Livvy, her sick sister. Cosmo encourages Barbara to join a teen clown workshop he is leading, and there she finds true friends for the first time.

But she is soon in desperate need of his gentle guidance, when her family situation implodes, and her own resilience and resourcefulness are put to their greatest test.

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, Golden Eagle Award
  • Long-listed, OLA Red Maple Award
  • Long-listed, R. Ross Annett Award for Children's Literature

Editorial Reviews

A winner...the story and characters are very carefully developed...the reader truly feels Barbara's pain, awkwardness, and joy...This is a beautifully written story with a heartwarming conclusion...those who take it home will be glad they did.

VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

The resiliency of the human spirit is exemplified in Barbara's strong character. The story mixes a strong plot and likable characters in such a way as to appeal to adolescent readers.

School Library Journal

This is a very well-written first novel with a strong social conscience and a delightful sense of humour from a writer who respects his readers.


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