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I'll Be Watching

4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  68 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
In a small prairie town like Argue, Saskatchewan, everyone knows everybody elseOCOs 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. And that the four Loney children do not get along with GeorgeOCOs second wife, the pious, bitter Effie ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Groundwood Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I wanted to read this book all in one sitting, but I couldn't. I felt so sorry for the family of orphaned kids and so disturbed by how mean and nasty the townspeople were--to children!--that I had to take it in a bit at a time. The story centers around the four Loney children, Ran, Nora, Jim, and Addie, who live in a small rural town in Canada during World War II. These kids just can't get a break. Mom dies, Dad remarries a woman who hates them and abandons them, then he dies, the local postmist ...more
Jubilation Lee
So here’s a book, friends, that at first I was feeling pretty Eh about. “Oh, book in verse,” I said, “I am unimpressed with you and your words. And your plot. You are not sweeping me away into the magical land of Saskatchewan.”

And by the end, of course, I was absolutely INCOHERENT WITH EMOTIONS.

This is not, I will tell you straight off, a book where you want to get super invested in characters. You’re pretty sure that Ran, Nora, Jim and Addie are going to make it out okay, but anyone else is fai
Buried In Print
This review was deleted following Amazon's purchase of GoodReads.

The review can still be viewed via LibraryThing, where my profile can be found here.

I'm also in the process of building a database at Booklikes, where I can be found here.

If you read/liked/clicked through to see this review here on GR, many thanks.
I'd give this book 100 stars if I could. It broke my heart and then pieced it back together again. And the Porter truly understands the storytelling power of the poetic form and utilizes every line of it. It's a multiple first-person point of view, which I know some readers will struggle with, and there's a bit of the supernatural thrown in, but it's a beautiful book that offers a new perspective on an old story.

On a personal note, the story of the Loney children is very fam
Jun 13, 2011 Trish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most moving book I've read in years. Pamela Porter's verse is so smooth, so brilliantly constructed, so agile in switching narrative voice without disrupting the plot or atmosphere. You will love this book and you will go to all your friends and family and press copies of it in their hands. That's what I plan to do.
Rene Kirkpatrick
What an AMAZING book. Short, written in that "poetry" style I dislike reading, but the story and characters are so compelling it was impossible to put down.

Four children are watched over by their mother who died. Their father is a drunk, still sad after the death of his wife, and is coerced into marrying a woman so the kids have a mother. Unfortunately, she is a nasty piece of religious work, and really dislikes these kids.

Horrible things happen to the four children and still they carry on. The
Caroline Woodward
This is a brilliant book for all ages, really, but high school students may find scales dropping from their eyes during the reading of it. First of all, the 'voices' of Argue, Saskatchewan (perfect place, perfect name) are presented in free verse, mini-monologues if on the stage, in pitch-perfect colloquial phrasing. The good and pure hearts, the malignant predators among us, the enablers and avoiders, the innocent boys heading off to war (World War II in this case) for the promise of new boots, ...more
Jan 26, 2012 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because I was alerted by my library system's materials selection dept that some considered it YA, but it was up to me if I wanted it there or not. I read some reviews, and decided I would have to read the book myself to determine where I wanted it.

Pros for YA:
It's written in verse, which seems more of a YA trend than adult
It's about teenagers
It has ghosts

Cons for YA:
There is an incestuous relationship

Okay, that's the main thing. It bothered me a lot. There's also a lot of horrib
So far, masterful use of language. It's not prose that makes your eyes glaze over, nor do you know immediately what kind of sentiment the author is trying to express before the author even expresses it. You have to turn your mind on. It's not hard to understand, but it's not lightweight either, which makes sense, since the story is promising to be pretty heavy.

Will update review as soon as I get my internet running on the other computer. All you need to know, right now, is that this was sim
Sylvia McNicoll
Jul 10, 2014 Sylvia McNicoll rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sad story told in beautiful verse about a small town that suffers small mindedness that is only sometimes balanced out by small kindness. Each character gets a few verses to tell their side and the characters' poems get woven together to form the narrative. Quick reading.
Rachel Seigel
Mar 09, 2012 Rachel Seigel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story told in verse and in multiple voices illustrates both the small-midnedness and the generosity of sprit that people are capable of. Because there are so many voices, it is hard to get to know any of the characters especially well, but you will feel compassion for the kids. There are a lot of dark moments, but ultimately ends with hope that everything will work out. Not suitable for under 14.
Aug 07, 2012 Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Format was fascinating...could see it as a very long readers' theatre. Heartbreaking, heartwarming, chilling, short, excellent. However, for a number of reasons, I wouldn't have categorized this as childrens' lit - definately some adult themes present. I suppose my favorite thing about it was the roles the parents played.
Gretchen Petry
Dec 12, 2012 Gretchen Petry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pamela Porter has word power. Her imagery and storytelling are crisp and memorable. Start with THE CRAZY MAN first. Meant for young adults (I have taught it for nearly ten years to eighth graders.), however, adults will truly connect with the story and her style.
Apr 29, 2012 Glenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

After a run of bad luck, four Canadian siblings are left to fend for themselves. This novel is set in the thirties and written in verse, which makes their situation more stark but also seems to get to the heart of things.
Nov 25, 2011 JennLynn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anita Struyk
Sep 26, 2012 Anita Struyk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
novel-in-verse, I love reading these kind of novels. This one is written for intermediate/high school kids. It's takes place in Saskatchewan during WW 1.
Ilaria Tomasini
Apr 11, 2013 Ilaria Tomasini rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it. It reminded me of Spoon River, with the voices of all the characters, dead and alive.
Aug 02, 2013 Lesley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful. Heart wrenching.
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Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on July 14, 1956, Pamela Porter of Sidney, B.C., has also lived in Texas, Louisiana, Washington, and Montana. Her husband's family has operated a family farm near Weyburn, Saskatchewan, for generations, and Pamela’s family goes to Saskatchewan every summer to work on the farm.

Having gained her undergraduate English degree from Southern Methodist University in Dall
More about Pamela Porter...

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“We are all stumbling and falling under our own crosses,
those carved from our hands, our sweat,
and those not of our own making.”
“Now I will know always
the thrill of a kiss,
and know what it is I am cursed to live without.”
More quotes…