Cover image for Everything on a waffle
Everything on a waffle
Horvath, Polly.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2001.
Physical Description:
149 pages ; 22 cm
Eleven-year-old Primrose living in a small fishing village in British Columbia recounts her experiences and all that she learns about human nature and the unpredictability of life in the months after her parents are lost at sea.
Reading Level:
950 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.8 5.0 48071.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.9 10 Quiz: 24936 Guided reading level: V.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Open Shelf
X Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order



By the author of The Trolls , a National Book Award Finalist.My name is Primrose Squarp. I am eleven years old. I have hair the color of carrots in apricot glaze (recipe to follow), skin fair and clear where it isn't freckled, and eyes like summer storms.Readers will know right from the start that the narrator of Everything on a Waffle is going to tell her story straight and pull no punches. Primrose's parents have been lost at sea, but she believes without an iota of doubt that they are still alive, somewhere. She moves in with her Uncle Jack, but feels generally friendless. Her only real refuge is a local restaurant called The Girl on the Red Swing, where the owner, Miss Bowzer, serves everything on waffles - except advice and good sense, which come free of charge and are always reliable.Food in general plays an important role in Primrose's journey toward peace and understanding (a recipe dictated in her unmistakable voice is appended to each chapter), and readers will eagerly cheer her on through this funny, bittersweet novel. Everything on a Waffle is a 2001 Boston Globe - Horn Book Award Honor Book for Fiction and Poetry and a 2002 Newbery Honor Book.

Author Notes

Polly Horvath is the author of many books for young people, including The Pepins and Their Problems , The Canning Season and The Trolls . Her numerous awards include the Newbery Honor, the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, the Vicky Metcalf Award for Children's Literature, the Mr. Christie Award, the international White Raven, and the Young Adult Canadian Book of the Year. Horvath grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She attended the Canadian College of Dance in Toronto and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York City. She has taught ballet, waitressed, done temporary typing, and tended babies, but while doing these things she has always also written. Now that her children are in school, she spends the whole day writing, unless she sneaks out to buy groceries, lured away from her desk by the thought of fresh Cheez Whiz. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and two daughters.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 5^-7. Eleven-year-old Primrose Squarp is an orphan. At least that's what the town of Coal Harbor thinks. Her mother sailed out during a storm to find her fisherman father and neither has been seen since. Primrose, however, knows, just knows, that her parents are alive. First, Primrose lives her with her persnickety baby-sitter. Then her dashing uncle, a developer, comes to Coal Harbor to take care of her and gentrify the town. When his plans go up in smoke, literally, Primrose is sent to an elderly couple as a foster child. Narrated by Primrose, the story is dotted with her pithy observances about the vagaries of life, especially her's. Although Horvath employs the same arch tone that worked so well in her highly acclaimed novel The Trolls (1999), this book doesn't have quite the same wit and verve that carried its predecessor so well. Still, there are some funny moments and clever touches, including the (mostly) mouthwatering recipes given for each of the noteworthy culinary references that pop up throughout the story. Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

Even after her parents disappear at sea, an 11-year-old girl is convinced that they are still alive. As she is shuffled from household to household, the heroine delivers a "lively recital of her misadventures," PW wrote in a starred review. "A laugh-out-loud pleasure from beginning to triumphant end." Ages 10-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-Primrose, 11, waits patiently for her lost-at-sea parents to return to their charming town of Coal Harbor, British Columbia. In the meantime, a cast of delightfully eccentric characters weaves in and out of her world. Her charismatic Uncle Jack agrees to take care of his niece while trying to get rich on the town's tourist-industry possibilities. A misguided school counselor ineffectively tries to convince Primrose that her parents are gone forever, while at the same time setting her sights on Uncle Jack. An aging neighbor, a restaurant owner, and a charming pair of foster parents are among the other adults who try to help Primrose. Though temporarily parentless and decidedly accident prone (she loses two digits and sets fire to a guinea pig, among other mishaps), Primrose has a subtle, but profound effect on the grown-ups who come to her aid. In a variety of ways, she asks each of them whether they've ever placed hope and faith above mere logic, and the answers are always revealing. At the same time, the girl grows by observing and listening to those she encounters. Her first-person narration is just right, conveying her matter-of-fact optimism in the face of some pretty bizarre (and funny) events. Each chapter ends with a recipe that Primrose collects from various people, including the restaurant owner who serves each dish on her menu atop a waffle. The story is full of subtle humor and wisdom, presented through the eyes of a uniquely appealing young protagonist.-Steven Engelfried, Deschutes County Library, Bend, OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

My Parents Are Lost at Seap. 9
I Move to Uncle Jack'sp. 21
The Dead Whalersp. 28
I Am Almost Incarceratedp. 40
Lena's Boiled Potatoesp. 47
What Miss Bowzer Knewp. 58
I Lose All My Sweatersp. 69
I Lose a Toep. 77
Uncle Jack's Ideap. 95
I Set Fire to a Guinea Pigp. 103
Dinner at The Girl on the Red Swingp. 113
I Lose Another Digitp. 125
Fire!p. 136
Miss Perfidy Leavesp. 143
Everybody Goes Homep. 159