Four sisters search for true family in this story of resilience by a Newbery Honor author. When the McCready sisters' parents are washed away in a tsunami, their Great Aunt Martha volunteers to have them live with her on Pine Island in British Columbia. But while they are traveling there, Martha dies unexpectedly, forcing Fiona, the eldest, to come up with a scheme to keep social services from separating the girls - a scheme that will only work if no one knows they are living on their own. Fiona approaches their grouchy and indifferent neighbor Al and asks if he will pretend to be their live-in legal guardian should papers need to be signed or if anyone comes snooping around. He reluctantly agrees, under the condition that they bring him dinner every night. As weeks pass, Fiona takes on more and more adult responsibilities, while each of the younger girls finds their own special role in their atypical family. But even if things seem to be falling into place, Fiona is sure it's only a matter of time before they are caught. Written in Polly Horvath's inimitable style, gentle humor and tough obstacles are woven throughout this story about the bonds of sisterhood and what makes a family. Don't miss the sequel, Pine Island Visitors, which Kirkus Reviews described as "terrifically entertaining" in a starred review. A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection A Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year
- ISBN-13: 9780823447855
- ISBN-10: 0823447855
- Publisher: Margaret Ferguson Books
- Publish Date: September 2020
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.75 pounds
- Page Count: 240
- Reading Level: Ages 9-12
Pine Island Home
Stories of orphans making it on their own and finding family are a staple of children’s literature, and Newbery Honor author Polly Horvath’s Pine Island Home has an old-fashioned feel. It’s a comforting coming-of-age tale about four sisters whose missionary parents are killed in a tsunami. Their great-aunt Martha agrees to take them in, but when Fiona and her younger sisters, Marlin, Natasha and Charlie, arrive on Pine Island, they discover Martha has just died.
The sisters move into her house anyway. Determined to keep her family together, Fiona negotiates with Al, the eccentric and often inebriated writer who lives on the property adjacent to Martha’s. He agrees to pretend to be their guardian in exchange for beer money and dinners cooked by budding chef Marlin.
Horvath (One Year in Coal Harbor, The Night Garden) is a master at creating winning characters, and each sister emerges as a distinct individual. In particular, Fiona is a study in resilience, shouldering the burden of financial responsibility and the insistent emails from their great-aunt’s attorney. The girls’ efforts at self-sufficiency are appealing, as are the cast of townsfolk and the bucolic setting, as the sisters discover that families can be created in surprising ways.