Pine Island Home

A middle-grade novel by Polly Horvath.

Polly Horvath

Fiona, Marlin, Natasha, and Charlie McCready are left on their own when their missionary parents are washed away in a tsunami. Fortunately, their great aunt Martha volunteers to have them live with her on her farm in British Columbia. But while they are traveling there, Martha dies unexpectedly, forcing Fiona, the eldest, to come up with a scheme to keep social services from separating the girls — a scheme that will only work if no one knows they are living on their own.

Fiona approaches their grouchy and indifferent neighbour Al and asks if he will pretend to be their live-in legal guardian should papers need to be signed or if anyone comes snooping around. He reluctantly agrees, under the condition that they bring him dinner every night.

As weeks pass, Fiona takes on more and more adult responsibilities, while each of the younger girls finds their own special role in their atypical family. But even if things seem to be falling into place, Fiona can't help but worry that it is only a matter of time before they are caught.

What she needs to do is find them a real guardian. (From Puffin Canada)

Pine Island Home is a finalist for the 2020 Governor General's Literary Prize for young people's literature — text.

Polly Horvath is a B.C.-based author of children's books who has won the Newbery Honor and a National Book Award.  She is the author of the acclaimed 2001 book Everything on a Waffle, the 2017 book The Night Garden and won the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award in 2013 for One Year in Coal Harbour.

Interviews with Polly Horvath

The award-winning children's author on her latest novel, set on a Vancouver Island farm with a magic garden that grants wishes.
Ken Setterington and Michele Landsberg talk to Shelagh Rogers about the kids books that have captured their attention.


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