Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Year in Coal Harbor by Polly Horvath

Cover image for One year in Coal Harbor
This is the second adventure of Primrose, a young teen who lives in a remote Canadian fishing town.  In her first adventure Everything on a Waffle Primrose waits faithfully for her parents to return from a shipwreck at sea.  In this book, her parents are back, but it is not the end of Primrose's worries. She worries about her uncle and his relationship to Kate, the owner of the local diner.  She worries about the plans to clear cut the forest on the mountain above her town, and she worries about her new friend, Ked, who has come as a foster child to live with her beloved Bert and Evie.  With the love and support of her friends and family, she navigates all her worries and comes through the year, a little older and a little wiser.  Like the first book, the message of this story is that, in some way or another, everything will work out alright.  It may not be as you hope, but it will be OK.  It is such a refreshing message, and one that is increasingly hard to find in children's literature.  Horvath is the master of making quirky and endearing characters. Kate with her french cooking, the uncle with his wild financial schemes, and Evie with her mini marshmallows adds a lot of humor to a sometimes rather serious story. I especially enjoyed the depiction of the town meeting where the entire host of peculiar citizens come together in all their hilarious glory. If you liked the first book, this one will not disappoint. (216 p)

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