Thursday, September 24, 2009
Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath
I am a lucky little YA hankerer-afterer. My honours thesis was supervised by one of the foremost voices in Canadian YA reviewing and judging and writing, etc., etc.,
Said Foremost Voice hired me as her house-sitter one summer and for six blissful weeks I a.) picked up review copies from porch b.) brought review copies inside c.) recycled the cardboard in a big blue box on the porch d.) read lots of books ( including ARCs of Twilight and New Moon before I recognized Stephenie Meyers as the Spawn of the Devil). I also read a lot of books she already had in her MASSIVE YA and KIDS LIBRARY OF AWESOME....
....including Polly Horvath. I had to "write up" EOAW for my Kids/YA job and the revisit inspired me to share it with all of you.
Everything on a Waffle winner of the 2009 Jolted Award for silly names; hard-to-explain-giddy-plot and weird recipes (even though it wasn't published in 2009; it was a 2002 Newbery Honour Book)
Primrose Squarp is sure her parents are not dead. She is contradicting the evidence that they both perished at sea when her stalwart mother fled to save her stalwart father when he failed to return home from a fishing trip.
But, to the onlooker, they seem pretty dead so Primrose is an orphan *sigh*. No one in Coal Harbour BC wants to take her on as a responsibility: not even moth-ball smelling Miss Perfidy who gets paid to babysit Primrose by the hour.
Finally, they unearth the closest relative, Uncle Jack, who looks like a big lumberjack ( in my mind) and comes bearing plans to develop Coal Harbour into a major tourist attraction. He takes Primrose in and they have some larks.
Primrose also has larks at the Girl on the Red Swing diner where eccentricly sage Miss Bowzer serves everything ( including lasagna) on a waffle to give that there some CLASS.
Primrose narrates her story liquidly with short interrupted parenthesis boasting (recipe to follow).
Tons of imagery, exceptional proverbs, and zany, creative sentence structure make this a delight of Canadian lit ( even though Horvath is an adopted Canadian).
I really liked this book and recommend it to those who are seeking out Newbery books of yore.
Horvath has a decidedly different voice and it was a breath of fresh air after Nameless Urban Fantasy with Brooding Boy and Super Powered Girl with Alto Voice, Listless Eyes, and Non-Chalant fashion sense.
two Rachel Thumbs Up.
Also, Polly H. wins tons of awards so you should read her other stuff too!