One Year in Coal Harbor [NOOK Book]


Readers rejoice—Primrose Squarp is back! The wise and curious heroine of the Newbery Honor Book Everything on a Waffle is facing another adventure-filled year in Coal Harbor.

Even though her parents, once lost at sea, are home, there’s a whole slew of problems and mysteries to keep Primrose—and eager fans—busy. There’s Uncle Jack and Kate Bowzer, who may (or may not) be in love. There’s Ked, a foster child who becomes Primrose’s friend. And ...
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One Year in Coal Harbor

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Readers rejoice—Primrose Squarp is back! The wise and curious heroine of the Newbery Honor Book Everything on a Waffle is facing another adventure-filled year in Coal Harbor.

Even though her parents, once lost at sea, are home, there’s a whole slew of problems and mysteries to keep Primrose—and eager fans—busy. There’s Uncle Jack and Kate Bowzer, who may (or may not) be in love. There’s Ked, a foster child who becomes Primrose’s friend. And there’s the new development on the outskirts of town that threatens the Coal Harbor Primrose knows and treasures.

From National Book Award–winning author Polly Horvath comes a masterful sequel to a beloved novel, sure to please old fans and gain new ones.
A perfect charmer…. Hilarious and touching.” —The Boston Globe
“Nobody does middle grade like Horvath.” —The Horn Book Magazine

From the Hardcover edition.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—Primrose Squarp, heroine of Everything on a Waffle (Farrar, 2001), is back, perceptive and quirky as ever, as she narrates another year of events in Coal Harbor, British Columbia, picking up right where the last book left off. Her parents, charming Uncle Jack, and the rest of the cast provide ample fodder for Primrose's hilarious narrative asides, even given several serious plot elements. Protestors arrive in town in response to a planned clear-cut of a local mountain, Miss Bowzer and Uncle Jack have ongoing miscommunication that threatens the romantic future Primrose envisions for them, and Bert and Evie take in foster son Ked, who becomes the best friend Primrose has always wanted. Capitalism, the democratic process, and run-of-the-mill events become wickedly funny in Horvath's hands, with the resourceful characters emerging battered but victorious. A recipe at the end of each chapter again adds to the fun, with many reflecting Evie's obsession with mini-marshmallows. Dashes of serious reflection on fear, love, and the unfairness that life doles out are seamlessly interwoven and add depth to the narrative. The resolution of the various plot strands feels a bit choppy, requiring a few leaps of faith that most readers will gladly take. Excellent fun surrounds nuggets of wisdom, making for a great read or read-aloud to be enjoyed on multiple levels, an experience enhanced by having read Everything on a Waffle first.—Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library District, Elgin, IL
Publishers Weekly
Primrose Squab, the star of Horvath's Newbery Honor title Everything on a Waffle (2001), returns in this delightful sequel, chronicling the latest goings-on ?in her British Columbian fishing village. Now 12 and happily reunited with her parents, Primrose has set her sights on compiling a cookbook and helping Miss Bowzer at the Girl on the Red Swing restaurant ("She was teaching me how to cook and I was trying to move the romance along between her and my uncle Jack"). When Ked, a foster child, arrives in town, Primrose gains an accomplice in her culinary efforts and an ally in opposing a local logging operation. More importantly, she hopes she has found a true best friend. Like its predecessor, Horvath's tale features wonderfully deadpan chapter headings and recipes ("If your parents have been stranded on an island for a year, this is a very poignant dessert," writes Horvath of floating meringue islands). Though the quirky (and highly memorable) characters and remote setting provide ample opportunities for humor, Horvath skillfully balances the story's light and dark moments, leaving readers with an ending both satisfying and honest. Ages 9–12. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
A Boston Globe Best Children's Book of 2012

School Library Journal Best of Children's Books 2012

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, August 20, 2012:
“…Horvath skillfully balances the story’s light and dark moments, leaving readers with an ending both satisfying and honest.”

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2012:
“…the author delivers a gothic tragicomedy that is both a worthy sequel and as able as Primrose to stand on its own.”

Starred Review, School Library Jounral, August 1, 2012:
“Excellent fun surrounds nuggets of wisdom, making for a great read or read-aloud to be enjoyed on multiple levels”

Kirkus Reviews
One year after the events of Newbery Honor–winning Everything on a Waffle (2001), Primrose Squarp returns, no longer orphaned but just as determined to make everything turn out right. Her parents back from their yearlong loss at sea, Primrose has turned her attentions to her real-estate–developer uncle Jack and the possibly burgeoning romance between him and restaurateur Miss Bowzer. She's also concerned about her former foster parents' new foster child, Ked, who becomes her first real peer-group friend and whom she badly wants Evie and Bert to adopt for good, for all their sakes. Further unsettling her is the threatened logging of the old-growth forest just outside of town. When Primrose isn't plotting, she and Ked desultorily work on a cookbook (working title: Just Throw Some Melted Butter on It and Call It a Day), recipes for which end each chapter. While this title lacks the single-minded focus of Primrose's earlier (mis)adventure, it has heaping helpings of Horvathian wit (Primrose practices dilating her pupils; "It makes you look innocent and doe-eyed," she explains) and wisdom ("Maybe we live in a universe where all you have control over is your own kindness," suggests Uncle Jack). Ever respectful of the capacity of her audience to comprehend the big words and concepts she deals in, the author delivers a gothic tragicomedy that is both a worthy sequel and as able as Primrose to stand on its own. (Fiction. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375985362
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/11/2012
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 856,488
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 880L (what's this?)
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

POLLY HORVATH is one of the most highly acclaimed authors writing today. Her books include The Canning Season (National Book Award winner and a YA Canadian Book of the Year), Everything on a Waffle (Newbery Honor Book), The Trolls (National Book Award finalist), My One Hundred Adventures (a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, a Booklist Editors' Choice, and a Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of the Year), and Northward to the Moon (an Oprah's Book Club Kid's Reading List selection). Her most recent books are Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire! and Lord and Lady Bunny—Almost Royalty!

From the Hardcover edition.
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Read an Excerpt

What Happened to Quincehead

I was sitting with Bert and Evie. Evie had their cockapoo, Quincehead, on her lap and was staring into space. Bert was absently patting Quincehead on the head and rhythmically stroking his back while he told me what had happened.

“This morning when we woke up Quincehead’s stomach was huge. Bloated.”

“Too big,” said Evie.

“Not normal big,” said Bert.

“Because sometimes when they eat too much, it gets big,” said Evie.

“You can tell easier with little dogs like Quincehead.”

“It shows more.”

“The big dogs don’t show so much.”

“Not that we ever had a big dog.”

“ ’Cause we haven’t.”

“I prefer a dog that can sit in my lap.”

“We always get Evie lapdogs.”

“So,” they said together as if this were a logical pausing place in their narrative.

I waited patiently. They were looking out the window at the storm with unseeing eyes. The rain poured down and the wind howled. It was probably the last real winter blow.

The storm had started that morning. We had been able to hear the surf even in our classes at school, pounding the shore, flinging spray.

I had been sitting in class thinking that when the earth shakes like this, what you need is some solid ground beneath your feet, such as the bedrock of multiplication, where if you multiply correctly, you always get the same sum. But one look outside tells you how it is all just an invention in the end. What do we really know? Everything we know is just something someone made up. I like to cook, and you would think one of cooking’s reassuring aspects would be that if you make the same recipe the same way, it always comes out the same. This would be a nice antidote to random events if what you always wanted was a peach melba. But anyone who cooks a lot can tell you that it is hogwash. You can make the same recipe the same way a dozen times and each time it comes out differently. There are whole days when everything you cook comes out terribly and others when you can do no wrong. So many factors you will never be aware of are involved. Anyone who thinks they’ve got it all scoped out is in for a few surprises.

I’d nudged Eleanor, who sits next to me, and continued this thought out loud. “So if you’re going to make something up, you might as well make sure it is something good. Just like if you don’t know what is going to happen and have to assume, you might as well assume something good.”

She’d looked at me blankly. She hates it when I nudge and whisper during class, even though our teacher, Miss Connon, is extremely tolerant. Miss Connon doesn’t mind the odd communication while she’s talking, and she reads us essays by people like Walt Whitman and Mary Oliver because she credits us all with at least as much intelligence as we have. I could see Eleanor turning to look out the window and her brow furrowing again as she thought about what I’d said. I know mine is just one way of seeing things. That this was what I saw in the storm. I’d been hoping, as always, for a meeting of the minds but she just whispered, “Oh, great, indoor gym again.”

I’d turned back to watch the ocean. It looked like the sea was flinging bedsheets over a bed that refused to stay made. It could not make the sheets lie flat and neat and tidy. Waves bunched up and wrinkled and lifted high into the air to be flung across their sea beds once more. Order and disorder, order and disorder, I’d thought, staring out the window until Miss Connon called on me. That snapped me to, and looking down at my textbook to ­answer her question, I’d realized that the last time I had looked at my book we were still on math but it turned out they had moved on to Canadian history and the settling of the plains. Miss Connon turned tactfully to someone else while I switched books and caught up. We were now apparently talking about the Doukhobors, who walked naked across Saskatchewan. “We all live in uncertainty, and people will do amazing things in their need to get a grip, even, it would seem, naked protest parades,” said Miss Connon.

I’d drifted back to the window and wondered if my father, who is a fisherman, had docked his boat yet or had come in early before the storm started. I was a little concerned because the previous year he and my mother had been lost at sea during a bad winter storm. So I’d been relieved when after school I met up with my father, still dressed in his fishing gear and carrying a salmon home for us. I had waved, called out I was going to Bert and Evie’s and trotted on. I don’t tell him that I still worry every time his fishing boat goes out. I don’t want him to worry that I worry. After all, what can he do? This is how he makes a living.

Bert and Evie had been my foster parents for a short time when my parents were lost at sea. By the time my parents returned, Bert and Evie and I were like a small family unit, so it was very unsettling for them to find me leaving for another family, even if that family was my own. The previous night they had called to say I should drop by after school. They might have some good news. But now, here I was, and instead they told me about Quincehead.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    Even better than the first one

    I usually think that the second book is always worse than the first, but i was proved wrong when i read this. But if you want to read it dont forget to read the first one! I love this book and hope that everyone else will give it a try.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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