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Everything on a Waffle (Coal Harbour #1)
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Everything on a Waffle

(Coal Harbour #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  10,556 ratings  ·  922 reviews
In the small Canadian town of Coal Harbour, in a quaint restaurant called The Girl on the Red Swing, everything comes on a waffle--lasagna, fish, you name it. Even waffles! Eleven-year-old Primrose Squarp loves this homey place, especially its owner, Kate Bowzer, who takes her under her wing, teaches her how to cook, and doesn't patronize or chastise her, even when she put ...more
Paperback, 150 pages
Published September 8th 2004 by Sunburst (first published April 1st 2001)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  10,556 ratings  ·  922 reviews

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Dec 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
I loved this sweet little gem of a book! It is so surprisingly wise and inspiring and humorous. It really touched me and I'd give it five stars except that I don't think I would have liked it much when I was a kid and kids are, after all, the target audience for this book. I don't mean this in any sort of demeaning way to kids--I think they are incredibly wise and perceptive, sometimes in ways grown-up never can be again--but I think that so many of the observations about people and how and why ...more
Jul 19, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can hardly believe that the Newbery Honor was awarded to “Everything on a Waffle”. Cute cover, interesting title, but one of the most boring books I have ever read. There are so many superb Honor books, but this one doesn’t even come close to other winners such as: “Because of Winn Dixie”, “The Wednesday Wars”, “A Long Way from Chicago”, to name of few.

The plot is flat line and the humor is non-existent. The characters were just blah. Two things that bothered me: the cook smoking a cigarette w
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I didn't expect to like this book, but I did, very much. What kept me reading was the main character, Primrose, who seemed separate from, in her youthful perspective, and yet a part of, the crazy/interesting people and events around her. And the idea of serving food on a waffle had a kind of appeal to me. Made me want to try it... ...more
Luisa Knight
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children
This is ok. It's a lighthearted book about a girl that becomes an orphan after her parents go missing in a storm at sea. If you're looking for a similar story, I'd highly recommend Counting by 7s instead. It's written so much better, and has incredibly likable and memorable characters.

Cleanliness: Landsakes, crap, heaven's sake, god-awful, darn it, oh my God are said in the book. "Jesus, Mary, and Maude" is said. A character smokes. It mentions a character swears for emphasis. A girl thinks the
May 02, 2009 rated it liked it
"At heart, we're all violent raging wolves, but in our actions we can be pacifists."

—Primrose Squarp, "Everything on a Waffle", P. 16

"Sometimes you get tempted to make something wonderful even better but in doing so you lose what was so wonderful to begin with."

—Primrose Squarp, P. 36

"Everything on a Waffle" was not exactly how I expected it to be, but it is an excellent novel that is built around a solid, empathetic heart and soul of gentle wisdom. Polly Horvath's quietly sage reasonings
Jun 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
You have got to love Polly Horvath. No, really, you do. Who else could pull off a novel such as this one, in which all the ingredients for a grim tragedy (parental deaths! maimings of innocents! homes burning down! children being shunted off into foster care! people generally being mean to one another, as they are in life) are instead whipped up into something sustained, hilarious, and ultimately life-affirming? Nobody else, I'd wager.

And yet the story is not a farce. It occasionally veers close
May 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
2 - 2.5 stars
We struggled to finish this one.
I've been seeing this book in classroom libraries for years. I have to say, I enjoyed it. Maybe it was a little sweet for my taste, but still good. I thought the recipes were really cleverly incorporated, and I wanted to try them all.

The story was good, and I was engaged the whole time. I just thought it wrapped up a little *too* neatly at the end. Plus, I wanted the Girl on the Red Swing lady to get together with Uncle Jack!

Overall it was a light, fluffy read, a bit unrealistically happy but
~ Cheryl ~

“Delightful. Hilarious. Entertaining. Insightful. These adjectives don’t even begin to describe a novel I simply couldn’t put down…” –The Syracuse Post-Standard

“They’re right. Those adjectives DON’T describe this novel.”

That snappy comeback gets credited to my daughter, and it had me doubled over with laughter. We read this book together, in an attempt to revive our summertime read-aloud tradition. About two-thirds of the way through, finally admitting that this story was going nowhere, I tu
This was mildly entertaining but I honestly probably wouldn't have continued if I hadn't been listening to the audiobook. It felt like one of those award winning kids books that isn't really written *for* kids. And I don't know, maybe this is because I'm not an only child, but I just thought this book where a school age kid doesn't know anyone except adults was kinda weird. Maybe only children would identify with that? ...more
Another audio I'll come back to when I have more time to listen! For now, I have to listen to one for an assignment, and this one just isn't keeping my attention for that. ...more
Brycen Wolf
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was So good! I just could not put it down.
Chance Lee
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Almost makes me want to get a waffle maker. And to believe that everything will be okay. But the waffle maker is easier.
Zenki the Pixie
Jul 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was able to acquire this book because it only cost 20 pesos at some book sale. And though it may be a children's book, I still enjoyed reading it. Being a spectator of Primrose's boldness, stubbornness, wit and clumsiness was quite entertaining. All in all, it was a great light read. ...more
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a fun book - enjoyed the waffle recipe - we topped ours with fruit and whipped cream. Yum!
Ridgewood Public Library Youth Services
This was a fantastic read full of endearing positivity and misadventure. The plot begins with the protagonist, Primrose Squarp, introducing herself and the biggest dilemma in her life: the untimely disappearance of her parents at sea. She is juggled from caretaker to caretaker, all while fruitlessly trying to convince everyone that her parents were not, in fact, killed by the typhoon they had ventured into. Primrose frequently hangs around The Girl in the Swing, a restaurant where every single d ...more
Feb 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally reviewed here.

I believe that when most people read the phrase “emotional comfort food read” their minds will immediately turn to the Chicken Soup for the Soul line of books that were so popular more than a decade ago. And yet, Polly Horvath’s Everything on a Waffle is exactly the type of book that fits under the emotional comfort food read heading. To me, there is no better way to describe the deep-seated warmth that filled my insides as I consumed this book. Bunbury readers know that
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it
"Everything on a waffle" by Polly Horvath is a book about a girl called Primrose Squarp whose parents disapper in the sea. She lives with various people like Mrs Perfidy and her Uncle Jack. She experiences Adventures with Mrs Bowzer and even her dog Mallomar in the Canadian town of Coal Harbour. She shows bravery and she thinks about something that everybody thinks its not true but she is still convinced. She loves "The Girl on the Red Swing"were she learns how to cook and needs to hear Miss Hon ...more
Amber Scaife
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Primrose moves in with her uncle when her parents both disappear at sea. Everyone else in their small British Columbia town says they're dead, but Primrose holds on to the belief that they'll still come back. She struggles with kids at school and with the uppity, narrow-minded principal, but finds unlikely friends in the old lady who took her in before her uncle arrived and the proprietor of the local restaurant, which serves everything on the menu on a waffle.
I neat little story with vivid char
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Grand, simply grand. (Thank you, Amy!)
This was completely charming. A former roommate of mine gave this to me because I made a lot of waffles. I can't wait to try out some of the recipes (they are not anything high brow and the instructions are just like if someone was teaching you in their kitchen, too!) ...more
Madison Z
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book shows how a bad situation can turn into a good one.
Wendi Lee
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read for my 9 year old's Battle of the Books. It was both funny and bittersweet. ...more
May 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Primrose Squarp is busy believing in the unbelievable.

Primrose’s mother and father are lost at sea – and Primrose has been living with her babysitter, Miss Perfidy ever since the wild storm that (supposedly) carried them away. But then her Uncle Jack arrives in the town of Coal Harbour, to become Primrose’s guardian.

Uncle Jack leaves the navy to come and live with Primrose (and start a housing development in the picturesque town) – but Primrose expects the arrangement will only be a temporary
Dec 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
I read this with my 9-yr old daughter for her Girl Scouts Book Club. I'm glad I read it with her b/c I felt like while the story was good and well-written (and deserving a 3) I had to take off points b/c I did not feel like was appropriate for a 4th grader. While the story is told by a child of about the same age (11), I feel like the writing is way over a 9yr old's head. There are many points where the author changes from the present to the past and the transitions are hard for a kid to follow. ...more
Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone who loves a great story
Don't skip this book because it is written in the voice of an 11-year-old.
This books is narrated by Primrose Squarp, who goes to live in a small fishing village on the seacoast with a quirky and miserly relative after her parents were lost at sea. Every chapter ends in some sort of recipe, which is skillfully woven into the story.
Owing much to Charles Dickens and Charlotte Bronte (two of my particularly favorite authors, so it is no wonder that I love her work), Polly Horvath is a masterful st
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books, newbery
This audiobook was great for our trip. The story was engaging and the short chapters helped when we needed to find a stopping point while checking out our directions. The only drawback was the recipes. We wanted to try them out but couldn't remember all of them or the steps. I will check out the book just so we can leisurely peruse through the recipes and test out several of them. With the beginning, I was expecting more Pippi Longstocking but Primrose wasn't Pippi. Thank goodness! I can read Pi ...more
Feb 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Primrose is not your average little girl she has hope that one day her parents will come back some day. It all started when a storm came,her and her mother were at home and didnt expect anything much to happen during the storm but, soon started to worry because her dad had gone out a few days before on a fishing trip the storm went on and he still wasnt back yet so her mom went out to look for him the next day still niether of them were back,Primrose moved in with a famliy friend everyone in her ...more
Vikki VanSickle
This is an extremely clever, funny, and at times shocking novel from one of Canada's best writers, Polly Horvath. When Primrose's parents are lost at sea, she finds herself in the care of her lovable but clueless Uncle Jack, two befuddled dog-loving foster parents Bert and Evie, and the aloof but loyal Miss Bowzer, who runs a restaurant where everything is served on a waffle.

Horvath masterly balances humour and sadness, and creates a wonderful cast of characters that are impossible to forget.Her
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Jaycee Singleton review 7 1 2 Apr 06, 2019 10:08AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #202 - Everything on a Waffle 1 3 Jan 04, 2018 05:54AM  
Bookwarts Club of...: January 2017 Recipe + Discussion - Spoilers 14 21 Jan 29, 2017 04:59AM  
Weird? 2 22 May 07, 2014 07:16AM  
Foster Care 3 23 May 07, 2014 07:15AM  

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Polly Horvath is the author of many books for young people, including Everything on a Waffle, The Pepins and Their Problems, The Canning Season and The Trolls. Her numerous awards include the Newbery Honor, the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, the Vicky Metcalf Award for Children's Literature, the Mr. Christie Award, the international White Raven ...more

Other books in the series

Coal Harbour (2 books)
  • One Year in Coal Harbor (Coal Harbour #2)

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