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Safe as Houses

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,583 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
The date is October 15, 1954. Thirteen-year-old Elizabeth, who lives in the Toronto suburb of Weston, is a typical grade 8 girl. She has a secret crush on a boy in her class and she thinks Elvis Presley is "dreamy." Elizabeth also has a part-time job babysitting an adorable little grade 2 girl named Suzie, and Suzie’s not-so-adorable grade 6 brother, David. Elizabeth’s job ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published August 28th 2007 by Doubleday Canada
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Lauryn Silva The main point is not romance.. I read this 2 years ago and enjoyed it very much. I would recommend it!
Joana Carvalhosa Lizzy have to cook supper for them and walk them back home and keep them safe and etc...

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Kassie K.
This was definitely one of my favourite books yet! I read it in two days. Despite wishing there was a family reunion at the end of the story, I loved the book thoroughly. I wish there was a sequel!
Oct 22, 2013 added it
The novel Safe as Houses by Eric Walters is an astonishing book. It is about a 13 year old girl named Elizabeth Hardy who babysits the McBride children David and Suzie. One day they are walking home from school near the Huber River in Weston Ontario, through a rainstorm. Soon they realize it is no ordinary rainstorm. Water floods the back yard, turns out the power, floods roads which stopped Mr. and Mrs. McBride from coming home. Soon the flooding begins to invade the McBride’s home and Elizabe ...more
Ben Steez
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
SoManyBooks SoLittleTime (Aven Shore)
3.5 Quick YA read and super interesting because its based on a true story - one I had no idea happened!
In 1954 Hurricane Hazel hit Toronto and dumped so much rain that houses on the Humber river were submerged and floated away.
Yep. Houses.
81 people died, and 56 more would have, if two wild men in a small motorboat hadn't gone out again and again and plucked survivors from roofs and trees. Wow!
Janice Boychuk
"Fast-paced and dramatic..." is so true! It's a quick read, and one that you'll likely read in one or two sittings. You will probably become as absorbed as I did.

The characters are believable and real, Eric doesn't downplay the impact and severity of the event, or how children in this situation might react. Love his writing style, and I'll be sure to read more of his books.

Books based on historical events fascinate me, as they inspire me to learn more about that time period, and specifically ab
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is another one of Eric Walters interesting books based on a disaster in time, in this case the flooding of Hurricane Hazel. It makes a challenge for poor Elizabeth to have David trying to pick a fight all the time and to have a house almost under water not to mention having to to take care of little Suzie. I would recommend it for anyone who enjoys reading realistic fiction.
Bonnie Ferrante
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An outstanding mixture of Canadian history and thrilling suspense, safe as houses keeps you biting your nails until the very end. Well researched unbelievable, the story does not get lost in facts and figures, but pulls you along fretting for the safety of three children caught in an horrific flood short, sweet, and riveting.
Feb 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I figured my son was old enough that we could enjoy some of Eric Walters books together. He loved it as did I. Eric Walters has an excellent way of capturing the attention of children. I've only read one other (Camp X) which also was very good but I plan to read more probably with my son!
Apr 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book has excitement, fright and humor in every page. Based on a true story, see what happens to a group of children stuck in a flood. But not any flood. A huge flood. One that can pull houses out from the ground and move them! Eric Walters is a great author and I loed this book!
Zehna Reddon
May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm really impressed. I couldn't put it down once I picked it up.
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I love this book. It cost me 10 bucks but I bought it a while ago I read it in school before and I wanted to read it again.
May 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was really surprised. This was an amazing book.
Nicole White
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Incredible historical fiction book for children. Highly recommend it.
Ruth Teeninga
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book. I read this book to the grade 6's at my school last year. We were all on the edge of our seats.
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing I was hooked and could not put it down, I really wanted to know what happened to Elizabeth, Suzie, and David. I totally and completely recommend this book to anyone!
Ysa Nollido
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lorraine Montgomery
Nov 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: grade 5 up
This is another dramatic novel from Eric Walters based on a true story. Safe As Houses (2009), in this sense, is an ironic cliché. Houses should be safe, hence the expression. However, this particular house, its neighbouring houses and its occupants are not safe. It's October 15th, 1954 and Hurricane Hazel is about to hit its peak in Toronto, Canada. Worse, Suzie and David McBride are home alone with their teenaged babysitter, Elizabeth, and their dog, Daisy.
Elizabeth, a typical teenager, loves
Starlight Starbright
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Elizabeth Hardy is a typical 13 year-old girl who lives in Weston, Ontario. Elizabeth has a part-time job babysitting an adorable little girl named Suzie, and her rebellious brother named David. Elizabeth’s job is to walk Suzie and David McBride home after school and then stay at their house until their mother and father get home from work. David is annoyed by Elizabeth because he thinks he is too old to be in the care of a babysitter, and he strongly believes that he can look after Suzie all by ...more
Suzanne Zhen
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Eric Walters has plenty of breathtaking novels that are based on a true story and Safe as Houses is one of them. The setting of this novel takes place in October 15, 1954 in the Toronto suburb of Weston. In this novel, a thirteen-year-old girl named Elizabeth Hardy has a job of babysitting two children of the McBride family, a lovable grade 2 girl named Suzie and a resentful grade 6 boy named David. On a rainy, stormy day, Elizabeth’s job was to walk the children home from school; however, they ...more
Mar 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure
Elizabeth is a typical grade 8 girl. She has a part time job babysitting two kids and her job is to walk them home from school everyday and stay with them until their parents get home. On one particular evening though, it starts to rain really hard causing their banks and roads disappear as they are swallowed by water. Lizzie finds herself and the children in the middle of an escalating situation while their house from the storm and advancing waters, is in danger of being washed away with the no ...more
Jan 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Oct. 15, 1954 Humber River floods over after severe rainfall in Weston Ont. and kills many. A documented piece of Canadian history that is riivetingly told in this story. I was really on edge and couldn't put it down. Lizzie Hardy is a young teenager babysitting David and his kid sister after school when she gets unexpectedly stuck there in the rain storm. Before the night is out the house has flooded and she must lead the children to the roof and hope for help in escaping. I followed up with se ...more
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: march-april
Baby-sitter (Lizzie Hardy) and 2 kids (David and Suzie McBride) get stuck in the middle of a rainstorm. But it isn't an ordinary rainstorm, this rainstorm starts to make a flood across her street. It's night, the phone dies, the lights go out, and the flood soon enters the house and its rising fast. Cars float by, big trees snap. How will they get out of this?

I picked this book up because I am fimiliar with the author.
I finished this book because during this book it makes you think what will hap
May 04, 2010 rated it liked it
It is 1952. Elizabeth is a happy, typical grade 8 girl. She has a crush on Elvis Presley and has a part time job babysitting two kids. A 7 year old girl and 11 year old boy. Her job is to walk them home from school everyday and stay at their house with them until their parents get home. She is used to this routine, as it gets easier everyday. Although on October 15th, this drastically change. The weather has been awful lately, pouring and thundering. After getting home with the kids, she realize ...more
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a book I picked up at the last minute, a classic Eric Walters piece and an interesting work of historical fiction on a time period not so frequently seen in YA literature about in Toronto's history.

On the whole, I found it to be a good engaging story, with strong conflict, and leaving the reader to wonder what will happen next. The tension rose like the water, and I found myself genuinely curious as to how close this book was to reality, making it all the more terrifying, knowing that
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
A historical-fiction. It really only bases on one night. It writes about Hurricane Hazel in 1954 it really just pulls you in from the starting. The characters are 16, 12, and 7. The characters are just like average kids with normal lives- until that night. The characters face scary things and the main character risks her life a lot of times. The one character changes and whole story is changed. It is a perfect read aloud and for both girls and boys. I would recommend this book for a novel study ...more
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
This story is about 13 year old Elizabeth who is babysitting when a huge flood hits. She fights through water and rubble for hours with a young boy and his little sister. Trying to get to higher ground they have to work together to survive. I enjoyed this book because of the tension that it left you with in between chapters and the feeling of I can't stop now, I have to finish this book!
The story line is fun to read and is full of twist and turns. The characters are described in depth and you ca
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read this phenomenal book when I was in grade six, and I had just recently came across it again. From what I can remember about Safe As Houses was that it was one of my favourite books when I was younger, and that I was so addicted I stayed up til midnight (which was really late on a school night for me back then) to finish reading it. It was a fantastically written book, and the fact that it took place where I live right now (literally just a few minutes away) was both shocking and crazy to m ...more
Curtis Lowton
Jan 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Always on the lookout for an engaging read-aloud for my students, a colleague recommended this gem by Canadian writer Eric Walters. A quick read, this story chronicles the fictionalized experience of three children trapped in Hurricane Hazel, which ravaged southern Ontario in 1952. While I was familiar with Walters' body of work, I had never actually read any of his novels, but if his other works are as engaging as this one (I couldn't put it down!), I will be reading many more of his YA titles!
Matthew Thiessen
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love this book very much because I like how the houses are moving when the water takes over and how she is confident that she will be able to save the kids. It's really intense when the water starts creeping in the house and how it goes up the floors until there forced on the roof. And the ending is very well written how they finally get saved and see their parents again. I like how the book was based on a true story and how Eric Walters made it sound interesting.
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was amazing, it was hard to put down. 'Safe As Houses' is a book where you can only infer. I've inferred the struggles that the people who've been through and survived Hurricane Hazel. This novel made me feel as if I was apart of the family. The growth of the characters really got to me. I would recommend this novel to anyone because this is one of the few novels that are worth reading.
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Eric was born in Toronto in 1957, which makes him "real old". But, as Eric says, "Just because I have to grow old doesn't mean that I have to grow up!" In his many roles as parent, teacher, social worker, youth sports coach and writer he is in constant contact with children and young adults. He draws from these experiences and feels that this helps him to capture the realistic interaction between ...more
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