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Orca Soundings through December 2020: Contemporary, compelling stories for teens

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By (author): Sara Cassidy
9781459805903 Paperback, Trade English Young Adult : Age (years) from 12, Grade (CAN) from 8 - 12, Grade (US) from 8 - 12, Reading age from 12 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Homelessness & Poverty North America Mar 15, 2014
$9.95 CAD
Active 4.25 x 7 x 0.31 in | 120 gr 136 pages FSC certified – mixed sources C016245 Orca Book Publishers
CCBC Best Books 2014, Commended Bolen Books Children's Book Prize nominee 2014, Short-listed
We were neither lazy nor criminal, only unlucky.

Angie lives in an old car with her brother and mother. Homeless after their father left to find work, the family struggles to stay together and live as normally as possible. It is difficult though. Between avoiding the police and finding new places to park each night, it is a constant struggle. When Angie discovers slam poetry, she finds a new way to express herself and find meaning and comfort in a confusing world.

Sara Cassidy has worked as a youth-hostel manager, a newspaper reporter and a tree planter. Her poetry, fiction and articles have been widely published, and she has won a Gold National Magazine Award. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia, with her three children. Skylark is her first title in the Orca Soundings series. For more information, visit

"The plot is believable and has quick pacing, making it a pleasure to read...The book fulfills expectations for a high-low reader and would make a great addition to any middle school library. Recommended." - CM Magazine

"The plot is always moving forward to keep the reader engaged and interested. This perfectly mirrors the very heavy-handed subject matter, by presenting it in an easy to access way...A very rewarding read and one in which at-risk students will find hope." - Resource Links

"Any teen who has felt like an outsider will identify with Angie’s attraction to the coffee-shop scene and be inspired by her family’s determination to support one another. The short chapters, simple language, and matter-of-fact narration make this Orca Soundings entry of appeal to reluctant readers." - Booklist

"Contains a lot of power in a small package; the prose is straightforward yet lyrical, without a wasted word. The result is an ultimately uplifting treatment of a difficult subject that is both accessible and artful...Angie’s poetic sensibilities give her the through-line she needs to cope with being homeless and enable the book to deliver its message without being messagey; readers needn’t be strongly committed to poetry to appreciate this, but those that are won’t be disappointed." - The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"Beautifully written...[Cassidy] demonstrates how much can be said, shown and suggested in compact fashion in this novel which is full bodied in its every aspect...In succinct, reverberating episodic chapters that merge past with present, Angie relates how her family came to be living in a car, what it is like for them to live there and her hope for a home. Angie’s narration reads like confessional/prose poem monologue...[The characters are] drawn by Cassidy with deeply affecting sensitivity." - The Vancouver Sun

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