cover image One Year in Coal Harbor

One Year in Coal Harbor

Polly Horvath. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $16.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-375-86970-9

Primrose Squab, the star of Horvath's Newbery Honor title Everything on a Waffle (2001), returns in this delightful sequel, chronicling the latest goings-on %E2%80%A8in her British Columbian fishing village. Now 12 and happily reunited with her parents, Primrose has set her sights on compiling a cookbook and helping Miss Bowzer at the Girl on the Red Swing restaurant ("She was teaching me how to cook and I was trying to move the romance along between her and my uncle Jack"). When Ked, a foster child, arrives in town, Primrose gains an accomplice in her culinary efforts and an ally in opposing a local logging operation. More importantly, she hopes she has found a true best friend. Like its predecessor, Horvath's tale features wonderfully deadpan chapter headings and recipes ("If your parents have been stranded on an island for a year, this is a very poignant dessert," writes Horvath of floating meringue islands). Though the quirky (and highly memorable) characters and remote setting provide ample opportunities for humor, Horvath skillfully balances the story's light and dark moments, leaving readers with an ending both satisfying and honest. Ages 9%E2%80%9312. (Sept.)