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Everything on a Waffle (Newbery Honor Book) Hardcover – April 4, 2001

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 15 years
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 950L (What's this?)
  • Series: Newbery Honor Book
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (April 4, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374322368
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374322366
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,396,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

In the small Canadian town of Coal Harbour, in a quaint restaurant called The Girl on the Red Swing, everything comes on a waffle--lasagna, fish, you name it. Even waffles! Eleven-year-old Primrose Squarp loves this homey place, especially its owner, Kate Bowzer, who takes her under her wing, teaches her how to cook, and doesn't patronize or chastise her, even when she puts her guinea pig too close to the oven and it catches fire. Primrose can use a little extra attention. Her parents were lost at sea, and everyone but her thinks they are dead. Her Uncle Jack, who kindly takes her in, is perfectly nice, but doesn't have much time on his hands. Miss Perfidy, her paid babysitter-guardian, smells like mothballs and really doesn't like children, and her school guidance counselor, Miss Honeycut, an uppity British woman of the world, is too caught up in her own long-winded stories to be any kind of confidante. Nobody knows what exactly to think of young Primrose, and Primrose doesn't quite know what to make of her small community, either.

She entertains herself in a variety of ways--mostly by wryly observing those around her with wisdom, compassion, and slightly cynical humor that belie her years. She also sits on the dock and waits for her parents to get back, goes to the store and tells the grocer the cottage cheese has expired (not appreciated), and writes recipes that her mother taught her in a memo pad. About Caramel Apples, she writes: "Do not muck around with chocolate or nuts or anything else fancy that may tempt you. It will only gum up the works. Sometimes you get tempted to make something wonderful even better, but in doing so you lose what was so wonderful to begin with." Everything on a Waffle is ultimately a folksy, Garrison Keillor-style take on small-town life, spiced with sometimes hilarious, sometimes poignant anecdotes about the quirks and adventures of individual townspeople as seen through Primrose's wise eyes. It's a quiet, but very funny book, infused with the hope of a girl who knows in her heart that there are things that science, and even the uppity Miss Honeycut, can't explain. We first were introduced to author Polly Horvath with her National Book Award finalist, The Trolls, which you absolutely have to read if you haven't already! (Ages 9 to 13) --Karin Snelson

From Publishers Weekly

Horvath (The Trolls) delivers another hilariously puckish read with this tale of a (possibly) orphaned girl from a small Canadian fishing village. Eleven-year-old Primrose Squarp refuses to attend the memorial service for her parents after they disappear at sea. "Haven't you ever just known something deep in your heart without reason?" she demands of all and sundry, convinced her parents are still alive. Meanwhile, she is shuffled from the custody of her elderly neighbor Miss Perfidy to her likable but somewhat feckless Uncle Jack. Not unlike another beloved red-haired Canadian heroine, Primrose whose own hair is "the color of carrots in an apricot glaze (recipe to follow)" attracts trouble like a magnet. In addition to singeing the fur on the class guinea pig, she manages to lose a baby toe and part of a finger in chapters entitled "I Lose a Toe" and "I Lose Another Digit" accidents that land her in the foster care of an older couple whose stature and girth give them the look of "kindly old hard-boiled eggs." Primrose's lively recital of her misadventures comes complete with recipes, pungent descriptions ("the feeling of joy swept through my soul like fire up a vacuum") and memorable characters, among them the tough-talking, golden-hearted owner of a local restaurant that serves everything (even fish and chips) on waffles. A laugh-out-loud pleasure from beginning to triumphant end. Ages 10-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Highly recommend for ages 10-12, and adults who enjoy thoughtful YA fiction.
Michelaneous by Michele
The strength of the story lies in Primrose's faith in her parent's being alive and her honesty with adults.
B. Cuenin
My great grandchildren love this book and want it read to them over and over again.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By "emtimmins" on February 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Everything on a Waffle is an enjoyable book. I discovered this book on the library shelf by accident. The title caught my attention first. As a fifth/sixth grade teacher, I am always looking for read-aloud books that my students and I will both find enjoyable. My students loved this book, and so did I! Students can relate to Primrose's awkwardness at this age. And while some of the characters are a bit exaggerated in their descriptions, everyone can think of someone they know that has some of the quirky traits of Primrose's uncle, the school guidance counselor, Miss Perfidy, and other characters in the story. While the underlying topic is serious (grieving for lost loved ones), there are many extremely funny scenes in this book. In fact, on several occasions, while reading Everything on a Waffle aloud to my class, I laughed so hard that I couldn't continue! At first, I used this book with my class purely for enjoyment purposes. However, I found it to be a helpful lead-in to discussions about topics such as bullying and cooking. The recipes at the end of each chapter encourage students to try things in the kitchen. The conclusion of the book was predictable though. Even my students figured out the ending ahead of time.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By L. Morris on December 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I am a mother of an 11-year old daughter and am constantly looking for non-Sailor Moon type books that my daughter will enjoy reading. Occasionally I will find a gem that the whole family can pile up together and enjoy. Everything on a Waffle is one of those books. Primrose is an interesting and insightful little girl surrounded by quirky grownups. I laughed out loud several times during the reading of this book. It is one of those books that makes you feel good when you're finished reading it. I am looking forward to sampling more of Polly Horvath.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I thought the book Everything on a Waffle was great. Primrose Squarp is an 11 year old girl who looses her parents at the beginning of the book. The story starts with Primrose and her mother together and her father out at sea. When her mom finds out that a typhoon happens, she is so worried she goes down to the dock and tries to rescue him. She leaves Primrose with the neighbor Mrs. Perfidy. Instead of rescuing Primroses father, she also vanishes.
The rest of the book is filled with adventures. As I read this book it reminded me of the Pippi Longstocking stories. Both Pippi and Primrose are brave, smart, alone alot of the time and never give up what they are trying to acheive.
Primrose lives with many different people. My favorite was Uncle Jack. She makes friends with an interesting person named Miss Bowzer. Miss Bowzer runs a restaurant named "The Girl on the Red Swing". She serves every meal she makes on a waffle. For example, she served broiled swaordfish on a waffle to Uncle Jack. She also lost body parts in some of her adventures. You'll have to read the book to find out which ones.
One of my favorite things about the book is that the author ended each chapter with a recipe. So there are 15 new recipes to try. Each recipe has something to do with something mentioned in the chapter. My favorite recipe is Aunt Tilly's Lemon Sugar Cookies.
I will not tell you how the book ends, you will have to read it and find out. I am a 10 year old girl that loves to read and I think that this book is especially good for this age but really any age will love it. My mom read it and liked it too. Enjoy the book!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly on September 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Everything on a Waffle, a Newbery Honor winning book, captures your attention as the main character Primrose Squarp captures your heart. The setting takes place in British Columbia with the plot of the story moving along at a good pace keeping the attention of the reader.
Mr. Squarp, Primrose's father is a fisherman and is out at sea when a typhoon occurs. Her mother, worried, decides to go out on the water to search for her husband. They both are missing! Primrose an eleven-year-old girl experiences hard times after both her parents are lost at sea. Throughout the story, she must live with several different people including an uncle. Primrose also becomes great friends with a restaurant owner who serves everything on a waffle.
Through good characterization, the author Polly Horvath allows the reader to understand the characters. The book demonstrates through these characters how everyone needs friends. Here a young girl and her adult friend show kindness, trust, and compassion for each other. Primrose also begins a relationship with an older couple that becomes her foster parents, once again demonstrating warmth and love between these characters. Not only do these adults influence Primrose's life, but she impacts their lives as well.
The readers will find themselves experiencing many emotions throughout this book. One will feel compassion for Primrose as she longs for her parents and her old life and then quickly burst out laughing at some of the comical situations in which Primrose finds herself. Situations such as almost baking the class pet and actually losing a couple of body parts! I enjoyed the character because she is likeable, vulnerable, comical, and has a good heart.
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