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Awake and Dreaming

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  2,064 Ratings  ·  155 Reviews
Theo and her young, irresponsible mother seem trapped in their miserable, poverty-stricken life. Theo dreams of belonging to a “real” family, and her dream seems to come true when she is mysteriously adopted by the large, warm Kaldor family. But as time passes, the magic of Theo’s new life begins to fade, and soon she finds herself back with her mother. Were the Kaldors re ...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published May 25th 1999 by Puffin (first published April 1st 1996)
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When I first read this book three or four years ago, I was struck by it's depth and feeling, as the emotion had been coming from an eleven year old. It was a beautiful story, focused completely on the love a young girl needs from her family, and I was so touched that when I dug it up again a year ago, I couldn't believe I'd forgotten it's amazingness. Today, having forgotten about it, I suddenly imagine a life where a person can have a dream about something else, but still love what they're doin ...more
Jun 22, 2010 Serena rated it it was amazing
Wow.. I had such a deep, emotional attachment to this book. I still do. It's a big part of my childhood. Some say a good book is determined by a writer's ability to write. I partially disagree. I believe that every book will strike a reader differently. I found this book to resonate with my emotions at the time of reading so deeply that this book will always rank up there with Austen and Shakespeare. I wish more people knew about Kit Pearson. There's a lot of talented authors who go unknown and ...more
Nathan Triangle
May 13, 2010 Nathan Triangle rated it really liked it
Shelves: term-3-reading
This was a very good book about a young girl named Theo who lives a tough life. She and her young mother are very poor and they keep moving from school to school across Vancouver because they can't afford rent in there apartments. When her mom meets a boy and they fall in love, Theo has to go live with her aunt for awhile in Victoria because the boy who her mom falls in love with doesn‘t like kids. On the ferry, she meets a nice family. The kind of family that she dreams of. Then she‘s running o ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 19, 2012 Lily rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE IN THE UNIVERSE!~
Recommended to Lily by: Terry Costantini
Oh my.... This book was absolutly amazing!
Theo such a young girl who wants to be in a "real" family.
I love this book so much! The pation in the writing was
Theo,I love her character! She is so sweet but sad at the same time!
I felt so bad for her since she had to pan handle and live the way that she did!
But I was so happy when she made friends and pretty much gotten
what she needed the most, LOVE!
I hope to read MORE SOON!
I love all t
One of my favourite books of all time. I could happily read this book over, and over, and over, and over....

I read this book the first time, shortly after it was published in 1998. It probably would have been right at the end of Grade 10, or the summer after. I laughed, I cried, and the book landed on my all-time favourites list.

I read the book the second time, 10 years later, while rereading some of my favourites books of all time. I wanted to soak up the style and inspire myself for my own nov
Apr 08, 2010 Jasmine rated it liked it
Maybe it's just that I hate books that talk about writers and usually dislike ones about kids who love reading. I'm a reader, I'm a writer, it's a part of myself I know intimately, you never give me any insights on it that I couldn't have figured out myself ("reading is good! Reading is an escape from a cruel world!"), move on. I read to live vicariously through your characters, don't give me that copout bs.
Hannah G.
Apr 08, 2012 Hannah G. rated it really liked it
this book has stuck with me throughout the years and its one that i've never been able to forget due to the amount of feelings it invoked in me while i was reading it. theo's loneliness, her desperate longing for a family to belong to and her use of books to escape her life hit very close to home the first time i read it. it still does.
Jul 27, 2010 Shannon rated it it was amazing
Perhaps one of the most heart-wrenching and heart-warming childrens novels I've ever read. Having read it long ago in grade school, it is the book I look back on most fondly of. The story is beautiful.
Apr 30, 2013 meghabhav rated it it was amazing
A childhood favourite. I haven't read it recently, but it has always stuck with me.
2.5, if GR would let you do fractional ratings.
Pearson is an excellent writer in that her descriptions of everyday settings and events are vivid and very realistic. The book reminds me a bit of the Wizard of Oz movie that way: we meet Theo in her dark, rainy, miserable world of poverty and neglect, but when she is inexplicably transported to the home of the Kaldor family, where she wants for nothing and is finally happy, we're treated to a world of bright color and scent. Pearson even accurately
Pippin Andrews
Nov 23, 2013 Pippin Andrews rated it really liked it
Kit Pearson sets the tone as she describes the poverty stricken life of Theo, a nine year old girl, living in an impoverished neighbourhood of Vancouver, with her young inexperienced mother Rae. Theo spends the nights alone, whilst her mum does two-bit night jobs to make ends meet, Theo’s only comforts being the company of a ratty old doll, Sabrina, a stray cat that sneaks in at night and a book. Through books Theo is able to escape the hardship and imagine life, being part of a happy family. Th ...more
Terry Costantini
Dec 15, 2012 Terry Costantini rated it it was amazing
On the suggestion of a friend and colleague, I read this book to my Grade 6/7 classroom. I am so glad I did. Kit Pearson writes with elegance, and her words often moved me while painting pictures in my mind. The story acts as a window into the difficult life of a depressed and often "grey" young girl named Theo. I do not want to spoil the message of this book, because part of the magic of reading for me, is deciphering a book’s significance as you go. I can only say that the message will affect ...more
Joshua Blanc
Mar 26, 2011 Joshua Blanc rated it it was amazing
Awake and Dreaming is part ghost-story, part fairytale, and overall a compelling study of the harsh nature of reality. It unfolds in three acts, following the trials of a nine year-old girl named Theo, whose mother, Rae, gave birth to her when only a teen. She is dragged from school to school in the city of Vancouver. Her clothes are rarely washed, her shoes worn through. What little money Rae makes goes towards cigarettes and new clothes for herself, and when work is scarce Theo is forced to da ...more
Aug 31, 2010 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 14, 2013 Lenora rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
This was, and still is, my favorite childhood novel. Little did I know that I was going to be so affected by the heartwarming story of Theo's personal emprise.

I first read this when attending elementary school and couldn't put it down, even if I tried. I even gave it to my sixth grade teacher to borrow, and she also loved it. I was drawn to the depth of Theo's emotional turmoil, never expecting it to touch my heart as fondly as it did. I suppose in later years, I grew to appreciate it more beca
Monika Cho
Jul 09, 2015 Monika Cho rated it really liked it
This is my first time rereading this book post high school and I'm surprised that I haven't noticed the progressive nuances in the past. As always though, Kit Pearson has put together an incredible coming of age story with the less privileged side of Vancouver as her backdrop. As a local, I felt uncomfortable and helpless at Theo's situation; more so now as an adult than I did as a child.

Other reviewers have mentioned that they didn't feel like there was any significant character development, b
Mr. Kenney's Happy Hippies Literature Group
There is a girl named Theo and she is with her mom that leaves her a lot and beats her. She has to dance for money and her mom is mean to her. So her mom (ray) gets a boyfriend that doesn't want Theo so her mom gives Theo to her aunt. On the way there on the boat she looks and finds this family she goes to play with them and they let her. She all of a sudden wishing on a star and faints. When she wakes up she is now part of a loving family the Kaldors which is the kids and there parents. She beg ...more
Dec 19, 2012 Alyssa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished
I loved this book. I loved it because it changed the way I think about reading and even life. After the book was finished I felt humbled and lucky to be able to live the way I do. The main characther Theo has so many issues which makes me feel sad, but also made me not take things for granite anymore. The meaning, the message and the moral are all incredibly strong. I believe Kit Pearson is saying that everything happens for a reason and that you can't let your expectations control your reality ...more
Aug 13, 2015 Anaam rated it really liked it
Kit Pearson with another amazing novel and emotional roller coasters. I have to say when I was reading this book I felt SUPER grateful for what I have and how thankful I am to belong in a wonderful family :) And when Theo belonged and became a sister of the Kaldors, just hit me right there! The way Kit would describe the family and certain details made me feel I was in the book, and made me feel at home with them as well! It's one of those books where YOU actually feel like it's magic, which I l ...more
Nov 16, 2010 APhanHan15 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Theo has been wishing of being a member in a REAL family; a family with 2 sisters and 2 brothers, mom and dad. Her dream seems to come true when the Kaldor family adopted her, but as time passes, the magic begins to fade. Was the Kaldor family real or just a dream? Will she have to get back to her real irresponsible mother? I wonder if this is a dream or not, but I hope its not, I would feel sorry for Theo if that is a dream and she has to live with her irresponsible mother. i really enjoy readi ...more
Oct 08, 2015 Jessica rated it it was amazing
By the first look of the book, I thought it would be boring.. But as I read and read, it got interesting.. A little girl basically has to fend for herself until she magically meets the Kaldors. This book talks about real life things. With mothers that aren't fit to be mothers, and how to use your imagination. I was always wanting to read more because of how Kit Pearson would put her words together. She definitely had my full attention at all times. As reading this book, I felt as if I was at the ...more
Dagan Brinda
Nov 13, 2013 Dagan Brinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Devin Maraldo
Dec 19, 2012 Devin Maraldo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this book really related to me because I have a mom who acts like Rae. She smokes alot and does nothing but sit down and wach T.V all day but she works on tue. wed. and fri. My life was like Theo's life until I started to live with my nana and papa. This book really related to me I love how it was wasn't great for Theo but she thought that it will get better and then she had the dream, which then she was with sharon and she was soon happy with her mother Rae. And now she has one of the b ...more
Kayla Cao
Mar 12, 2014 Kayla Cao rated it it was amazing
I was recommended by a really close friend, who is a bit older than me, she said that this is one of the best books she read when she was little. And I was just like OKAY ILL READ IT. It turned out to be great. A great story with wonderful description and the usage of words. One cannot simply put it down, because the you want it to end as fast as possible so that one can know what happens in the end. The fact that this book has an end is so magical, because it seems like it could be extended. I ...more
Jan 16, 2013 Richa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lovely book. Theo is such a innocent girl, i love her imagination! I also feel sorry for her that her imagination breaks and she has to leave the Kaldors and move back with her mother! At the time i was reading this book i thought that hopefully Theo would never wake from her imaginations, because she sure was heartbroken when she found that no one remember her. Overall a really nice book, i can't wait to read another book from this author! Kit Pearson your books are really good, anyone reads ...more
Oct 15, 2012 Lindsay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is one of my all time favourites! I have read this book over ten times. It is full of adventure and mystery as a young girl tries to find placement in a family. Having an abusive mother, she escapes through her imagination which ends up leading her to a loving family. She describes her time with this family and the amazing experiences she has. Experiences she would have never been able to experience. The story ends by finding out she was dreaming, but potential is seen and a hope for the re ...more
Jul 13, 2016 Lorraine rated it it was ok
Shelves: canadian, ya
I read this years ago. I remember being intrigued by the storyline, a young girl who is looking for an escape from the harsh reality of her life. Many young people feel that heir lives could be different and better. In this way the book satisfies the criteria for YA novels, a connection with the target audience. However, I dislike the use of time travel as a plot device unless the book is clearly a science fiction novel. Otherwise, I think it is an easy way out for authors to deal with issues.
Anna Smith
This book was one of the most surprisingly well written books I've read in a long time. My cousin originally was the one to request it to me and I started to read it thinking "Oh man I read book so much more advanced than this and I don't really read books like this one What on earth am I doing" and then about 20 hours later, its 2 in the morning and I'm reading this book and loving its plot and all the characters. This book has got to be one of the best written children's novels I've read in su ...more
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Kit Pearson spent her childhood between Edmonton Alberta and Vancouver, British Columbia. As a high-school student, she returned to Vancouver to be educated at Crofton House School. She obtained a degree in English Literature at the University of Alberta, and spent several years following the degree doing odd jobs or travelling in Europe.
In 1975, she began her Library degree at the University of B
More about Kit Pearson...

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