Prairie Pictures

Prairie Pictures

By (author): Shirlee Smith Matheson
ISBN 9781772030112
Softcover | Publication Date: October 17, 2014
Book Dimensions: 5 in x 7 in
128 Pages
$9.95 CAD

About the Book

Finalist, Manitoba Young Readers’ Award

For twelve-year-old Sherri, moving is a way of life. Her family has lived in seven different places in as many years, three in the last year alone. But no place has ever been as strange as Gardin, Alberta, a ranching community right out of the Old West and struggling to accommodate new industries.

Sherri makes friends with Jamie, another newcomer, who suffers with the burden of his father’s alcoholism. Like Jamie, Sherri and her younger sister, Bonnie, must adapt to life in a small town divided between new and old residents and urban and rural lifestyles. While they miss many aspects of city life, the girls also come to appreciate the advantages of life in a small town. Suitable for readers aged nine to eleven.

About the Author(s)

Shirlee Smith Matheson was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, but has lived in over twenty different communities. Her own experiences of making new friends and leaving familiar things behind inform many of her stories. Shirlee is an alumna of the Banff Centre’s writing program and has published award-winning fiction and non-fiction books for adults and young people. She lives in Calgary, Alberta.


"Matheson's theme has depth and the reader feels the poignance of the transient worker and his family." —Kathleen Tripp, Calgary Herald
"[Matheson's] appreciation for the Canadian west is clear; she writes of the prairie landscape and of the people and their history with an insider's view. She also has captured well the rhythm and swing of a young girl's thoughts." —Deirdre Kessler, The Guardian, Charlottetown, PEI
"The author pays close attention to detail, and her discerning eye reveals intriguing mysteries in a girl's everyday life." —Alberta Report
"Going where the job is has become a lifestyle for many families in Canada, and this story shows how it affects some children." —The Independent, Elmira, Ontario
"Each chapter deals with an episode in a year in the life of Sherri and her family in a booming village in southern Alberta. The problems of adjustment to the new school and making friends will be shared by many readers and appreciated by others." —Alma Webster, CM: A Reviewing Journal of Canadian Materials for Young People