Next-Door Neighbours

Groundwood Books
Paperback | 123 Pages
ISBN: 978-0888990846
Reading age from 9 to 12

A new town, a new school, and new friends to make. Peggy dreads the prospect, despite the assurances of her parents and older brother and sister that is will be all right. But indeed it isn’t all right. In a moment of panic at school Peggy tells a lie, a lie that catches up with her before long.

Where did this book come from?
Of all my books this is closest to my own childhood. Like Peggy I once told a lie to the kids at school and, like Peggy, I got found out. Also like Peggy I’m shy and I’ve always found storytelling a good way of talking to people without my self getting in the way. In Next-Door Neighbours I wanted to describe those feelings of shyness. The other germ of Next-Door Neighbours was the desire to record my memories of the house I grew up in, a big old rambling house full of trapdoors, hidden cupboards and back staircases. It was perfect for messy projects, practical jokes and hiding away by yourself. My father, like Peggy’s was a clergyman, and the house was a church house. We knew, therefore, something about all the families that had lived there before us, and I was fascinated by all those layers of lives.

What did the reviewers say?

No-nonsense storytelling, homey fun, and poignant humor.
-The Five Owls

The theme of prejudicial scapegoating is confidently woven into an essentially optimistic school and family story.

-The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

A wealth of memorable scenes make every page a pleasure

-Kirkus (a pointer review)

*known as Next-Door Neighbors in the U.S.