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Orca SEL (Social-Emotional Learning) RESPECT through July 2023

Homelessness in Our Community
By (author): Lois Peterson Illustrated by: Taryn Gee
Lois Peterson ,

Illustrated by :

Taryn Gee


Orca Book Publishers - Victoria



Product Form:


Form detail:

Sewn, Laminated cover
Hardcover , Sewn, Laminated cover


Juvenile: Age (years) 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) 4 - 7, Grade (US) 4 - 7, Reading age 9 - 12
Oct 12, 2021
Print Run: 6000
$24.95 CAD


9in x 7 x 0.63 in | 520 gr

Page Count:

120 pages


30 Colour illustrations , 100 Halftones, color
Orca Book Publishers
JUVENILE NONFICTION / Social Topics / Homelessness & Poverty
Children’s / Teenage: Social topics: Poverty / precarity|Housing and homelessness|Children’s / Teenage general interest: Politics and government|Children’s / Teenage personal and social topics: Mental health|Interest age: from c 9 years
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection 2021, Commended NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books List 2022, Commended Red Cedar Book Award 2022, Short-listed CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection 2022, Commended
  • Short Description
Part of the nonfiction Orca Think series for middle-grade readers, this illustrated book answers the questions young people have about homelessness and its causes, effects and possible solutions, and what we can all do to help.
Everyone needs a home.

“An outstanding, sophisticated introduction to a complex topic, this book encourages readers to prioritize kindness towards and dignity for people experiencing homelessness. ­Recommended as a first purchase.”—School Library Journal, starred review

There are 150 million people experiencing homelessness worldwide, and that number is increasing every year.

Homelessness is not a choice, yet it exists in almost every community. But why are people homeless? Who are they? What can you do? In Shelter: Homelessness in Our Community, readers will get answers to these complex questions. They’ll learn about the root causes of homelessness and its effects, and what people and organizations around the world are doing to address the problem. It shares the personal stories of people who live on the street and the adults and kids who work with them. As a former homeless-shelter worker, author Lois Peterson encourages young people to approach the issue with knowledge and compassion. She dispels some of the myths about homelessness and makes the case for why everyone deserves a safe, permanent place to call home.

Key Selling Points

  • Shelter answers the often difficult questions young people have about homelessness in a straightforward, compassionate and age-appropriate way.
  • There are approximately 750,000 people experiencing homelessness in the United States and 350,000 in Canada.
  • Homelessness is regularly in the news cycle as communities discuss and debate how to address the problem. All levels of government are spending millions of dollars addressing the issue.
  • The author brings personal stories from her experience working at a homeless shelter and introduces us to some of the people who live on the street.
  • The book challenges young readers to think about homelessness from a different perspective and gives them examples and practical ways they can take action and help in their own communities.
  • Features full-color illustrations and photos.

Lois Peterson is the award-winning author of eight books of fiction for children, and numerous short stories, essays and articles for adults. She was the executive director of a homeless shelter and worked at a public library for more than 40 years. Lois lives in Nanaimo, British Columbia.

Taryn Gee is an artist who specializes in lifestyle illustration and possesses an affinity for both figurative and narrative art. She has been illustrating since 2011 after earning her bachelor of applied arts at Sheridan College. Her work has garnered numerous awards, appearing across various local and international publications. Some of Taryn’s clients include The National Post, The Globe and Mail, IBM, RBC, LA Galaxy and the social networking service Ravelry. Taryn is passionate about the process and exploratory nature of traditional sketching and often finds herself filling many pages of her various sketchbooks. She lives in Stoney Creek, Ontario.

Marketing and Promotional Plans

  • Print and online advertising campaigns
  • Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade conferences
  • Extensive digital ARC distribution, including NetGalley
  • Blog and social media promotion, including online events
  • Feature in Orca newsletters

“Balanced, up-to-date coverage...Students, teachers, and parents will appreciate these detailed and engaging offerings.” - Booklist

“A very accessible and compact overview on the causes of homelessness in society and various ways to help those in need.” - School Library Connection

“A thought-provoking book that is suited to the target audience. Recommended.” - CM: Canadian Review of Materials

★ “An outstanding, sophisticated introduction to a complex topic, this book encourages readers to prioritize kindness towards and dignity for people experiencing homelessness. ­Recommended as a first purchase.” - School Library Journal, starred review

“An insightful deep dive into a huge issue that is presented in a sympathetic and accessible way. Overall, the content makes for a well-written, thoughtful primer that would prove useful for children and adults alike.” - Quill & Quire

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