The Accidental Orphan

Overview

Short-listed for the 1999 Silver Birch Award

Eleven-year-old Ellen finds herself wrongly accused of stealing while selling flowers on the Liverpool docks. In her escape she becomes a stowaway aboard a steamship bound for Canada, an unwilling member of a band of orphans headed for new families on the Prairies. Adopted by the Aitkens, a family on a Manitoba homestead, she soon lands herself at the centre of a number of calamities, unexpectedly learning about rural life in the New World and the value of family ties, both those forged in blood and those forged in trust.

Awards

Short-listed
Silver Birch Award
1999

Reviews

Written for the eight to 12-year-old audience, Horne's novel vividly portrays Canadian life in the late 1800s.

Focus on Adoption (February, 2000)

Horne paints a very credible picture of homestead life in the 1880s in rural Manitoba, its one-room schools, the flurry of activity at threshing time, the battles with blizzards and hailstorms.

The Edmonton Journal (December, 1998)

... a detailed and interesting picture of life on an 1880s prairie farm.

Quill and Quire (May, 1998)

Horne writes a suspenseful novel.

The characters are well drawn, the feelings of despair, abandonment, hope, and joy realistically portrayed.

Books in Review (January, 2000)

About the Author