The Canning Season: Book summary and reviews of The Canning Season by Polly Horvath

The Canning Season

By Polly Horvath

The Canning Season
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  • Published in USA  May 2003,
    208 pages.
    Age range: Children


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Book Summary

One night out of the blue, Ratchet Clark’s ill-natured mother tells her that Ratchet will be leaving their Pensacola apartment momentarily to take the train up north. There she will spend the summer with her aged relatives Penpen and Tilly, inseparable twins who couldn’t look more different from each other. Staying at their secluded house, Ratchet is treated to a passel of strange family history and local lore, along with heaps of generosity and care that she has never experienced before. Also, Penpen has recently espoused a new philosophy – whatever shows up on your doorstep you have to let in. Through thick wilderness, down forgotten, bear-ridden roads, come a variety of characters, drawn to Penpen and Tilly’s open door. It is with vast reservations that the cautious Tilly allows these unwelcome guests in. But it turns out that unwelcome guests may bring the greatest gifts.

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Book Awards

  • award image National Book Awards, 2003

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Readers are in for a wise and wacky ride when they open this novel." - School Library Journal

"Once again Horvath displays a genius for creating multigenerational, interestingly extended families, and for blending high and low comedy into a tale rife with important themes and life-changing events." - Kirkus

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Author Information

Polly Horvath Author Biography

I grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. My father, John Horvath, was a C.I.A. agent until he was in his forties and married my mother, Betty Ferguson. After that he became a high school biology teacher. My mother wrote picture books, so I remember the excitement around the house about the New York Times special children’s book sections, Horn Book reviews, who was getting the Newbery and Caldecott that year. I also learned how to submit a manuscript properly. I taught myself to type when I was in the fifth grade so that I could send my manuscripts out looking professional. Today’s children will think this is no big deal because they all learn to type the second they come out of the womb so they can use computers, but when I was growing up, there were no computers and typing was more of ...

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Name Pronunciation
Polly Horvath: hor-vath (second syllable rhymes with math)

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