Shelter: Homelessness in Our Community

My first middle grade non fiction book was released on October 12, 2021
during Homelessness Action Week
by Orca Book Publishers, BC Canada.
This is one title in their new ORCA THINK series of books on social issues.

Homelessness is a huge problem in North America – and all over the world.   
     But who is homeless? Why? What is being done to address the situation? What can I do?
    These questions and many more are addressed in this book for readers aged nine to 12, and the adults in their lives.
      25% of author royalties from sales of this book are donated to the Nanaimo Unitarian Shelter.

Balanced, up-to-date coverage…Students, teachers, and parents will appreciate these detailed and engaging offerings.”

Canadian Children’s Book News. This well presented book on an important topic will promote discussion between generations, empower children to understand homelessness and invite involvement as they recognize that everybody deserves a safe place to live.
CM Magazine: “Shelter is a thought-provoking book that is suited to the target audience.”  Full review here.
Quill and Quire: “Shelter is an insightful deep dive into a huge issue that is presented in a sympathetic and accessible way. Overall, the content makes for a well-written, thoughtful primer that would prove useful for children and adults alike.” 

School Library Connection: “Overall, this is a very accessible and compact overview on the causes of homelessness in society and various ways to help those in need.” 
School Library Journal: “An outstanding, sophisticated introduction to a complex topic, this book encourages readers to prioritize kindness towards and dignity for people experiencing homelessness.” (My first starred review)


  • SHELTER has been nominated for a 2022 BC Red Cedar Award.
  • Recommended title in the Canadian Children’ Book Centre’s Best Books 2022
  • Selected as a Junior Library Guild Gold Selection title. (My first sticker!)
  • Included on Recommended Books by The Tyee.
  • Named a Notable Book by the US National Council for the Social Studies
  • Nominated as a 2022 Information Book of the Year by the
    Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable.

Learn More

  • Interviewed by Ursula Maxwell-Lewis in the Feb 2022 Today’s Senior here – on p.11 here.
  • Interviewed by Joseph Pugh for People First Radio – Feb 2022.
  • In a joint interview with Jen Sookfong Lee (FINDING HOME) at The Tyee here.
  • On my Youtube Channel here.
  • In an interview on Laura Roettiger’s blog here.
  • In my presentation to the First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo on October 9 here.
  • In ‘Home Truths’, a presentation with Jen Sookfong Lee for the Vancouver Writer’s Festival on Oct 19 2021 here.
  • On my Facebook page where I post more information about my writing and teaching actities.
  • Article on the website of my local newspaper The Nanaimo News Bulletin.

Read the book

Photo: L Peterson

Updated Oct 19 2O21