Horvath, Polly


Horvath, Polly. Pine Island Home. Toronto: Puffin Canada, 2020.
Feeling fatigued by the constraints imposed by this pandemic? Feeling irritable about life in general? Read a novel by Polly Horvath. She has an extraordinary ability to use life’s craziness to make us laugh. This latest novel is no exception. Four sisters are orphaned in Borneo when their missionary parents are washed away by a tsunami. Unfortunately, their great-aunt – who had volunteered to take them in – dies before they arrive. Now what will they do? Where will they go? The four girls decide to settle into their aunt’s rural home on an island off the coast of British Columbia and pretend that a grumpy neighbour is their legal guardian. Will their scheme work? Well, all ends happily but not before all sorts of crazy complications surprise everyone. This highly recommended novel will be enjoyed by readers 10 to 13 years old. 

Horvath, PollyVery RichNew York: Puffin, 2018.

Ten-year-old Rupert is hungry and neglected. Neither of his parents care for him. But one Christmas he’s invited into the wealthy home of an eccentric family. Suddenly, his life is completely changed. If you’ve read other stories by Polly Horvath, you know that at least a little wackiness is ahead. Be ready for the unexpected! 

Everything on a Waffle

Everything On a Waffle

“Eleven-year-old Primrose living in a small fishing village in British Columbia recounts her experiences and all that she learns about human nature and the unpredictability of life in the months after her parents are lost at sea.” CIP Recommended for readers in grades 4 to 8. [British Columbia; Eccentrics and eccentricities; Foster children; Family life; Orphans; Sea stories; Self-reliance; Survival; Uncles]

Newbery Honor Book
Boston Globe- Horn Book Award Honor Book
ALA Notable Book
Child Magazine Best Book Award
Parents’ Choice 2001 Fiction Gold Award
Parent’s Guide to Children’s Media Award
International White Ravens 2002
Mr. Christie Book Award
Sheila Egoff Award
New York Times Bestseller
Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller

One Year in Coal Harbor

“In a small fishing village in British Columbia, twelve-year-old Primrose tries to be a matchmaker for her Uncle Jack, befriends Ked, a new foster child, tries to decide if she is willing to go to jail for her convictions, and together with Ked, publishes a cook book to raise money for the Fisherman’s Aid. Includes recipes.” CIP Highly recommended for readers in grades 5-8. [British Columbia; Cooking; Eccentrics and eccentricities; Family life; Family problems; Foster children; Friendship; Love; Self-reliance; Uncles]

The Toronto-Dominion Children’s Literature Award for 2013
The Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize for 2013
A School Library Journal Best Children’s Book of the Year (2012)
A Boston Globe Best Children’s Book of 2012
A Bankstreet College of Education Best Children’s Book of the Year

The Vacation

“When his parents go to Africa to work as missionaries, twelve-year-old Henry’s eccentric aunts, Pigg and Mag, take him on a cross-country car trip, allowing him to gain insight into his family and himself.” CIP Recommended for readers in grades 5 to 8. [Aunts; Automobile travel; Eccentrics and eccentricities; Family problems; Vacations]

The Canning Season

“While Ratchet Clark’s life has never been precisely normal, her mother’s decision to send her to visit two ancient great aunts in Maine for the summer is weird even by her family’s standards. As the summer unfolds, her aunts fill Ratchet in on all the details of their memorable lives, including servants eaten by bears, a groom dumped at the altar, and their mother’s gruesomely ingenious suicide.” CIP. While the story wanders around a lot, it is nevertheless highly recommended for readers who enjoy Horvath’s style of writing. [Aunts; Eccentrics and eccentricities; Foster children; Maine; Mothers and daughters; Self-acceptance; Summer]

The National Book Award for Young People’s Literature
2004 Young Adult Canadian Book of the Year
The Horn Book’s Honor List
Kirkus Editor’s Choice
An American Library Association’s Best Book for Young Adults Fanfare
NYC Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year
School Library Journal Best Books of the Year
Chicago Tribune Best Books of 2003
Washington Post Best Books of 2003

My One Hundred Adventures

“Twelve-year-old Jane, who lives at the beach in a run-down old house with her mother, two brothers, and sister, has an eventful summer accompanying her pastor on bible deliveries, meeting former boyfriends of her mother’s, and being coerced into babysitting for a family of ill-mannered children.” CIP. Highly recommended for readers in grades 5 – 9. [Babysitters; Beaches; Brothers and sisters; Eccentrics and eccentricities; Faith; Family life; Humorous stories; Massachusetts; Poets; Sea stories; Self-reliance; Single-parent families; Summer]

A 2008 Booklist Editors’ Choice
A Best Book of 2008 (Kirkus Reviews)
A Best Book of 2008 (School Library Journal)
A Best Book of 2008 (Amazon)
2008 New York Public Library List of 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
NAPPA Gold Award Winner
Parent’s Choice Gold Award
A Junior Library Guild Selection
The Sheila Egoff Prize for Children’s Literature
A 2009 Capitol Choice Noteworthy Book for Children and Teens
An IRA-CBC Children’s Choice

Northward to the Moon

In this sequel to My One Hundred Adventures, Jane and her family leaves Saskatchewan where her step-father has been fired from his job as a French teacher because he doesn’t know French. But their return to their beachside home in Massachusetts turns into a wandering road trip when they decide to return a suitcase full of cash to its rightful owner. Recommended for readers in grades 5 – 9. [Automobile travel; Brothers and sisters; Eccentrics and eccentricities; Family life; Grandmothers; Humorous stories; Love; Nevada; Ranch life; Saskatchewan; Self-reliance; Step-fathers; Summer; ]

The Corps of the Bare-Boned Plane

“When their parents are killed in a train accident, cousins Meline and Jocelyn, who have little in common, are sent to live with their wealthy, eccentric, and isolated Uncle Marten on his island off the coast of British Columbia, where they are soon joined by other oddly disconnected and troubled people”. NVPL. Recommended for reflective readers in grades 6 to 9. [British Columbia; Cousins; Eccentrics and eccentricities; Grief; Islands; Orphans; Uncles]

When the Circus Came to Town

Life is quiet for Ivy in her small Midwest town until a new family moves in next door.  The fun begins despite the disapproval of most neighbours. A great read-aloud for upper elementary grades. Recommended for readers in grades 4 to 8. [Circus; Family life; Friendship; Eccentrics and eccentricities; Humorous stories; Prejudice]

The Pepins and their Problems

“The reader is invited to help solve the Pepin family’s unusual problems, which include having a cow who creates lemonade rather than milk and having to cope with a competitive neighbor.” CIP [Eccentrics and eccentricities; Family life; Humorous stories; Neighbors; Problem-solving]

The Trolls

“Eccentric Aunt Sally comes from Canada to babysit the Anderson children while their parents are on a trip to Paris and every night the bedtime story adds another piece to a very suspect family history.” CIP. [Aunts; Brothers and sisters; Eccentrics and eccentricities; Family life; Trolls]

The Happy Yellow Car

“During the Depression, Gunther Grunt buys a new car with the money his wife has been saving to send their bright twelve-year-old daughter to college, beginning a chain of events that teaches the Grunts the value of their family.” CIP  Recommended for readers in grades 4 to 7. [Depressions – 1929; Eccentrics and eccentricities; Family life; Historical fiction; Humorous stories; Missouri]

Click HERE to learn more about Polly Horvath.

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