About this book
I'll Be Watching
Shortlisted for the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize
In a small prairie town like Argue, Saskatchewan, everyone knows everybody else’s business. Everyone knows that the Loney family has been barely hanging on -- the father, George, reduced to drink and despair since the loss of his farm and the death of his wife, Margaret. That the four Loney children do not get along with George’s second wife, the pious, bitter Effie. Then George dies in a drunken stupor -- locked out, it seems, by Effie to freeze to death on his own doorstep. Effie takes off with a traveling Bible salesman, and it looks as though the children are done for. Who’s to save them when everyone is coping with their own problems -- the lingering depression and the loss of the town’s young men to the Second World War.
Yet somehow the children find a way, under the watchful eye of their ghostly parents and through the small kindnesses of a few neighbors, but mostly by dint of their own determination and ingenuity.
This is an extremely powerful novel about children at risk because of adult hypocrisy, indifference, self-interest and outright immorality, all cloaked in a self-righteous exterior. In the end they redeem their own lives by drawing good people to them and by rising to the occasion themselves. And when they at last are able to leave Argue, they do so together, as a family looking ahead to a future of promise and hope.
About the Author
Pamela Porter was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and she lived in New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Washington and Montana before emigrating to Canada with her husband, the fourth generation of a farm family in southeastern Saskatchewan, the backdrop for much of Pamela's work. She is the author of three collections of poetry, and her poems have appeared in numerous journals across Canada and the US as well as being featured on Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac. She is also the author of a number of children’s books, including Sky and Yellow Moon, Apple Moon (illustrated by Matt James). Pamela's first novel in verse, The Crazy Man, received the TD Children's Literature Award, the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year Award for Children, the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People and the Governor General's Award, as well as several children's choice awards. It was also named a Jane Addams Foundation Honor Book and won the Texas Institute of Letters, Friends of the Austin Public Library Award for Best Young Adult Book. Pamela lives near Sidney, B.C., with her husband, children and a menagerie of rescued horses, dogs and cats.