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Little Yellow House: Finding Community in a Changing Neighbourhood
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Little Yellow House: Finding Community in a Changing Neighbourhood

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  113 ratings  ·  24 reviews
"Ma'am, you sound like a very reasonable person. Can I advise you to just move?" A young family moves into a neighbourhood with a reputation for crime. As they make their home in one of the oldest parts of the city, Carissa Halton reflects on the changing view from her little yellow house. While others nervously examine the less than-stellar reputation of her surroundings, ...more
Published September 17th 2018 by Gutteridge Books
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Average rating 4.14  · 
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Nov 24, 2021 rated it liked it
This was an interesting look at the Alberta Avenue neighbourhood here in Edmonton, AB.
Ms. Halton and her family make this area their home and from the time they move in she is very invested in their life there. It's more than just stucco and and a yard - there are people and events that shape the community. Alberta Avenue has not been a real "gotta live there" neighbourhood but it's affordable for a young family. There are also people who've lived there for many years and have seen the changes.
Dorothy Hermary
I first met Carissa at a Lit Fest event in Edmonton and the only word to describe her was dynamic. By the time she had finished her presentation I decided that I really had to visit her neighbourhood, one that I had never been interested in visiting before and I really really had to read her book, Little Yellow House. I haven't visited her neighbourhood yet as the Lit Fest that I'm referring to was in the fall of 2018 and this is February 2019 and I have procrastinated. I still have time, but I ...more
Ann Douglas
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, read-in-2019
A warm and honest memoir that is positively infused with empathy and that does a great job of connecting the dots between the personal and the political (but in a subtle, small-p kind of way).
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Halton says that gentrification is the new colonialism. Let that sink in a bit. It's definitely provocative, but there's some truth in it I think. I enjoyed this read about people who live a life undefined by property values and commercial interests. Instead, they are doing the real work of community building in the most challenging circumstances and, yes, they are thriving. For Edmonton lovers, this book is a celebration of some of those notorious places we all know, and a joyful shoutout to th ...more
Jeanne Williams
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book had me grinning, then laughing out loud, and then it gripped me so that I thought I might read it to the end in one sitting. And then one chapter was so heart-breaking that I had to put it down and think about it for a bit. This is a well-written, enjoyable, and thought provoking tour of the author's neighbourhood and her diverse neighbours that will likely get you thinking about your own neighbourhood in new ways.

Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Little Yellow House” explores the meaning of community in an Edmonton neighbourhood. It is a collection of stories about the experiences that Halton has had in her little yellow house. Some of the stories are sad, while others are uplifting and give hope for the human race. It is a wonderful read and really made me think about life in Alberta.

I have not lived in Edmonton, but I have stayed there a couple of times. I do not like big cities. I am a country girl where any place with over two thou
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadiana, 2020
Having lived in Edmonton for nearly 8 years (excuse me what?) my knowledge of the neighbourhood Carissa writes about was "this is not a safe part of the city, don't go there". This book really challenged my thoughts on so called "less desirable" neighbourhoods and painted a wonderful picture of what community looks like in places that many tend to avoid. Throughout the book she addresses challenges that her community faces such as drug use and prostitution and while she does not provide solution ...more
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A sweet series of nonfiction essays that, intertwined, explore what it is like to live in a struggling but revitalizing neighbourhood in Edmonton. The memoir style is approachable and some difficult issues like drug houses, the sex trade, and the relationship between social service organizations and the community are explored. Often no clear solution or resolution is given but the conversation is opened. This is a deeply hopeful book, perhaps even overly sunny in the author’s willingness to deal ...more
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a delightful little book! I was intrigued when I saw this book by a local author at a local bookstore. Carissa Halton provides commentary on working and raising a family in Edmonton’s less-than-prettiest neighbourhoods. I live close enough to the area she’s talking about that I understand the tensions that come with living life there. Carissa is a talented writer – weaving humor, poignancy, and thought-provoking reflection in each vignette. If you live in a community that is rough around th ...more
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-david
I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. A great and candid peek into a family's life in one of the less desirable neighborhoods in Edmonton. As someone who has contemplated moving into the neighborhood, it gave what I thought was a fair view of the best parts and the hardest parts of living there. The stories were well written and very enjoyable to read. ...more
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I spotted this book and was quick to buy it as I spend majority of my days in the alberta ave neighborhood that these beautiful stories take place in. It was tenderly written, and I could feel myself inside each story being told. A very enjoyable read, that brought many smirks and thoughtful moments
Amanda Lee
Jun 06, 2021 rated it liked it
I'll start by saying, as someone born and raised in Edmonton, I found it quite interesting to read portions of this book. The perspective and some stories kept me wanting more. That being said, it felt a bit like the author needed filler. Some of the chapters fell flat and were repetitive. I think that there was definitely more positive than negative though. ...more
Paula Kirman
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A collection of snapshots of inner city life, written first hand by a woman who moved to a the Alberta Avenue neighbourhood in Edmonton with her family. Halton portrays the people, situations, and life of the inner city that those who live elsewhere or who never venture there likely do not realize exists.
Darren B
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes when you move to an older, somewhat rundown neighborhood, you look at it as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. This book reminds us that our neighborhood may not always be perfect, but it’s how we see ourselves in it that makes it our community.
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
A really lovely collection of essays about life, and challenges in Edmonton's Alberta Avenue district. This book was engaging and easy to read. The lessons about community, neighbourhoods and family definitely apply to people beyond Edmonton too. ...more
Kelly Macfarlane
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable look at life in a "sketchy" Edmonton community. ...more
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Like the neighbourhood it describes, it has so much character and bounces between humour and poignancy (leaning more on the humorous side). I highly recommend it.
May 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Loved the vision of community
Al Hoeft
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great little book that captures the spirit of a regenerating neighbourhood and the heart of community (re)development
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own-a-copy
Carissa writes beautifully, and tells a number of short but intricate stories of life in my home city. It's a great book. ...more
Gail Amendt
Feb 14, 2022 rated it liked it
For the most part I enjoyed this collection of essays/memoir about the author's experiences living in one of Edmonton's oldest and least desirable inner city neighborhoods. She and her husband purchased their home their before they had children, attracted by its affordability and proximity to their jobs. They have chosen to remain there to raise their children, in spite of the downsides to the neighborhood. As her stories reflect, they have found that the good outweighs the bad, as the community ...more
Laurie Callsen
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In Little Yellow House, we meet the people of an inner-city neighbourhood that is so often looked upon with disdain, whose stories are often only told during their worst moments. Halton's deeply personal and nuanced writing made me laugh, made me cry, and challenged my assumptions and bias - all in the first few pages.
Little Yellow House will inspire you to connect more deeply and more meaningfully with your community.
Jonah Dunch
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
The author shares entertaining and moving stories from her family's life in an inner-city neighborhood, which are at times dampened by limp and stilted prose. So-so as literature, pretty good as an Edmonton book. ...more
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book one Sunday afternoon and enjoyed every minute of it. So many lovely stories. It gave me hope that we really can build inclusive and healthy communities.
Tessa Busenius
rated it really liked it
Jan 01, 2019
John Stadt
rated it really liked it
Jun 23, 2020
rated it really liked it
Dec 27, 2018
rated it really liked it
Dec 09, 2019
James Boyce
rated it really liked it
Nov 29, 2019
Jessica Sabell
rated it it was amazing
Sep 28, 2019
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