Lullabies for Little Criminals
- The great Canadian reading list: 150 books to read for Canada 150
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.
- Heather O'Neill on cat dialogue, laundry room phobias, and other people's brains
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.
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.