Odd Man Out
Written by Sarah Ellis
Publication Date July 31, 2006
Winner of the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize and the TD CCBC Canadian Children's Literature Award
Kip is spending the summer with his grandmother and his five eccentric girl cousins, including Emily, who thinks she's a dog. Gran's house is about to be demolished, so anything goes, whether it's drawing maps on the walls or sawing off the knob at the bottom of the banister for a smoother ride.
When Kip bashes through an old closet, he discovers the binder his late father kept as a teenager. He's bewildered by what he finds: puzzling lists, hair samples, old newspaper clippings and business cards -- all accompanying a confidential report written by a mysterious young operative who is carrying out a secret plan to infect teenagers with a cell-altering virus.
This wonderful novel has all the Sarah Ellis hallmarks -- quirky characters, insight and wit -- underpinned by resonant themes of family, memory and the creative imagination.
Winner of the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize 2007
Winner of the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award 2007
Short-listed for the CLA Book of the Year for Children Award 2007
Short-listed for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award 2007
Short-listed for the Alberta Children's Choice Award 2008
Short-listed for the Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award 2008
Long-listed for the Chocolate Lily Award 2008
Long-listed for the OLA Silver Birch Award 2008
Selected for the ALA Notable Books for Older Readers list 2007
Selected for the CCBC Our Choice (Starred Selection) 2007
Selected for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award 2007
Selected for the Maine State Library Cream of the Crop List 2007
Selected for the OLA Best Bets - Top 10 Fiction for Children 2007
Sarah Ellis is the author of sixteen books for young readers, including The Baby Project and Odd Man Out. She has won the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the Violet Downey Book Award, the Governor General’s Award, the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Her books have been translated into French, Spanish, Danish, Chinese and Japanese. She is a masthead reviewer for the Horn Book Magazine and was recently writer-in-residence at the Toronto Public Library.
In 2013 Sarah was nominated for the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, children’s literature’s richest prize. She was also honored with the 2013 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence.
Sarah teaches in the MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
"Quirky characters and a solid plot make for an engaging read." Book Links
"Ellis creates with splendid and inviting detail a chaotic houseful of happy relatives who treat the old house as a big toy because of its forthcoming demolition...this is a determinedly individual and warmly affectionate family story about a boy who finds strength in new understanding of both the present and the past." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Ellis...offers an insightful character study in this novel....the themes of growing up, accepting change, and finding out where one belongs make it a universally appealing work that teens will enjoy..." VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
"Ellis's language is restrained but rich, and she brings readers directly into Kip's world, never wavering from his sensitive point of view; and Kip's gradual understanding of his father's mental illness is affecting. The characterization is vivid..." Horn Book
"Ellis's restrained but rich language and vivid characterizations bring readers directly into Kip's world." Horn Book
"Kip...is an engaging protagonist, and his search for the truth is suspenseful enough to hold readers' attention." Booklist
"Odd Man Out is a mystery novel full of thoughtfulness and humour." Teaching Tolerance
"Odd Man Out is beautifully written: clever, funny, and hauntingly sad. Ellis has a sure hand at dialogue, bringing to life each cousin's eccentricity and Gran's warmth." Vancouver Sun
"The strength of this novel rests not only in the intriguing plot, but also with Ellis's amazing ability to bring her characters to life....all of the characters stay alive in the readers mind far after the book is finished." Resource Links
"This is a thoughtful and often funny book of a boy on the verge of adolescence challenged to think...in a different way." School Library Journal
"This is another superb novel by Sarah Ellis. Odd Man Out is a multifaceted story of imagination, suspense, family, fun, and even fear...without a doubt, Odd Man Out deserves a spot on every library and classroom shelf. Highly recommended." CM Magazine