Monday, July 2, 2012

MMGM: Everything on a Waffle by Polly Harvath

This is my very first Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday post! I'm excited to finally share some of my middle-grade reads with you. (It looks like my "Bookshelf Monday" feature might need to be moved to another day.) You can find out more about MMGM at Shannon Messenger's blog here.

Title: Everything on a Waffle
Author: Polly Harvath
Publisher: Sunburst (2004)

Source: Purchased from Scholastic Book Clubs
Summary from Goodreads:
A Newbery Honor Book 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 one of my favorite middle grade reads. I didn't expect to fall in love with the way I did when I first read it several years ago. It is definitely a great read for both young kids and adults as well.

Polly Horvath has a way of making what could have been a really sad story into a very light, touching story about a girl who never gives up hope that her parents (who are lost at sea) are still alive. Primrose has to live with her Uncle, a reluctant caretaker and an awful one at that. A series of accidents happen to her that seem ridiculous at times considering what she has already gone through, but you root for her. Despite all odds, you hold onto the hope in Primrose's heart along with her and find yourself believing in what she believes in - that her parents are still alive. Horvath holds you all the way to the very end before giving any answers.

I loved Miss Bowzer's character and wish I could eat at her restaurant, "The Girl on the Red Swing." I do enjoy waffles and might be even brave enough to try something other than butter and maple syrup on then especially if they're made by Miss Bowzer! 

Food + books = wonderful recipe for an enjoyable read! I love that each chapter ends with a recipe that connects to something that happened in that chapter.

This is definitely one of my favorite books to share each year with my reading groups. The chapters are easy to read and I think this would make a wonderful read-aloud with lots of opportunities for rich discussions.

5 out of 5 stars

The great news is that a sequel is finally coming out from Random House Children's Books!

Title: Everything on a Waffle
Author: Polly Harvath
Publisher: Random House Children's Books (September 11, 2012)
Summary from Goodreads:
Readers rejoice--Primrose Squarp is back! The wise and curious heroine of the Newbery Honor Book Everything on a Waffle is facing another adventure-filled year in Coal Harbor. Even though her parents, once lost at sea, are home, there's a whole slew of problems and mysteries to keep Primrose--and eager fans--busy. There's Uncle Jack and Kate Bowzer, who may (or may not) be in love. There's Ked, a foster child who becomes Primrose's friend. And there's the new development on the outskirts of town that threatens the Coal Harbor Primrose knows and treasures. Prolific and brilliant Horvath has delivered a masterful sequel to a beloved novel, sure to please old fans and gain new ones.

About the Author: Polly Harvath
Polly Horvath grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She went to college at the Canadian College of Dance in Toronto, studying with the Royal Academy of Dance and later becoming an R.A.D. teacher.
After graduation, she lived in New York City and Montreal before settling  in Metchosin, British Columbia, with her husband, Arnie Keller, and their two daughters, Emily and Rebecca. They have a dog, Andrew, and a horse, Zayda. They live on a hilltop with an assortment of deer, rabbits, two ducks who visit their pond daily—and the occasional cougar and bear.

Polly Horvath has written many books for children that have won awards in both the United States and Canada including a Newbery Honor, National Book Award and The Vicky Metcalf award for her body of work. Her books have been picks of both Rosie O'Donnell and Oprah amd have been translated into over twenty five languages.

Did we mention an occasional bear?

Author's website:


  1. Welcome to Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, Jasmine. I'm a frequent contributor, though not this week.

    And what a wonderful and thorough review. It really made me want to pick up EVERYTHING ON A WAFFLE.

    1. Thanks for dropping by Michael! You won't be able to put down Everything on Waffle once you get started. :)

  2. Hi Jasmine! Welcome to MMGM! This book looks so cute! I hadn't heard of it before. Reminds me of the quirky style of Pippi Longstocking.


    1. Hi Gina! Thanks for dropping by! (There's a newer cover that's even cuter.)


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