Lullabies for Little Criminals

Lullabies for Little Criminals is Heather O'Neill's debut novel.

Heather O'Neill

This dazzling debut novel by Heather O'Neill introduces readers to 13-year-old Baby, who teeters between childhood and adulthood as she tries to deal with an impossibly difficult situation. With her mother gone and her father paying more attention to his drug habit than to her, this beautiful young girl attracts the attention of a local pimp. As she is drawn deeper into his seedy world, Baby eventually comes to realize she must take her fate in her own hands. This is a gritty and riveting portrayal of life on the streets in Montreal, as seen through the eyes of an unforgettable protagonist.

Published in 2006, Lullabies for Little Criminals took the Hugh MacLennan Prize for fiction in 2007 and was also a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award. The book won Canada Reads 2007, when it was championed by John K. Samson.

From the book

Suddenly I realized that I wanted everything to be as it was when I was younger. When you're young enough, you don't know that you live in a cheap lousy apartment. A cracked chair is nothing other than a chair. A dandelion growing out of a crack in the sidewalk outside your front door is a garden. You could believe that a song your parent was singing in the evening was the most tragic opera in the world. It never occurs to you when you are very young to need something other than what your parents have to offer you.

From Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill ©2006. Published by HarperCollins.


The author of the Canada Reads 2007-winning <em>Lullabies for Little Criminals</em> discusses her tale of adolescent squalor. 16:39
The award-winning Canadian author reflects on the label of ‘white trash.’ 4:44

More about this book

Lullabies for Little Criminals comes out on top in Canada Reads 2007. 28:00
Soul singer Tanika Charles on Heather O'Neill's novel 1:45

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