________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 27. . . .March 20, 2015


Not For Sale. (Orca Echoes).

Sara Cassidy. Illustrated by Helen Flook.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2015.
53 pp., pbk., pdf & epub, $6.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-0719-8 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-0710-4 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-0711-1 (epub).

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Kate Hachborn.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



At this point, Rudy decides it’s a great time to scratch his head. As he lifts his hand in the dark, his elbow bashes my lip. My mouth goes numb and fattens like a marshmallow swelling over a fire. As I wince from the pain, the closet shelf creaks beneath me.

“Did you hear that?” the man asks.

“Hear what?”

“In the closet. Rats.”

“You’re always hearing things, Arnold.”

Rats. Good idea. I draw my fingernails against the shelf. Scritch scratch scritch.

“What about that?” the man squeaks.

“What about what?”

I draw my nails along the shelf again, this time more loudly. SCRITCH SCRATCH SCRITCH.

“Now that I heard,” the woman says.

“There’s rats in this house, Alissa. Hundreds, I bet! Giant rats with long teeth and disgusting pink tails.”

“What’s that?” the woman asks. She has clearly seen something she doesn’t like. “It’s…a potato! It looks like it has been gnawed on by the rats!”

“We’ve got to get out of here, Arnold. Immediately. Quick, out that dirty window.” Rudy and I listen as the two clamber through Rudy’s bedroom window and crash into the hydrangea bush below.


Mom has just told Cyrus and Rudy that their family is struggling financially and that they will need to move to a smaller house in order to make ends meet. Rudy is often anxious, and this news makes him more worried than usual. Rudy decides to try everything in his power in order to prevent the house from selling, concerned that their family cannot be the same without the house in which he has been raised.

internal art     Part of the “Orca Echoes” series, Not For Sale follows the conventions of other series titles, offering an age appropriate plot and funny characters. At just over fifty pages, with illustrations interspersed throughout, the length is manageable for readers transitioning from picture books to chapter books. The concept of what constitutes a family is suggested in the family make-up (Cyrus is adopted, their father works away from the family for extended periods) as well as in Cyrus’ focus on keeping their house, worried that it will change their family unit. Each character has their own quirks that are embraced and celebrated by their family members, and Cyrus shows a great deal of empathy towards his brother.

     Sara Cassidy has written many titles for Orca and lives in British Columbia.


Kate Hachborn is a library technician at the W. Ross Macdonald School in Brantford, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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