Leaving the Log House cover

Early Chapter book for 7-13 year olds
Available now from Red Diamond Books.

Originally published by Orca Publishing, Spring 2003.
ISBN 1-55143-258-7

The Plot

Far from home, Teresa stays with relatives in the big city, where she spends her days at the hospital, preparing to walk on her first prosthetic leg. Her teenage brother, Tom, stays with her for the first weekend. To her surprise, he joins her in playing elaborate games with two old dolls named Tape and Curly. Tom leaves to work on a nearby farm and Teresa is bereft, even more so when he doesn’t’ call or answer her letters. When she finally reaches out to him, she ends up pushing him farther away. In the end, Teresa makes a brave journey to face her brother and reconnect. In doing so, she discovers her own strength and independence.

Study Guide

A study guide is now available from Orca for “Leaving The Log House”. You may download this at: http://www.orcabook.com/teachers.htm

Review Excerpts

Clinical Resource Physiotherapist, GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, Vancouver, BC

Leaving the Log House” fills a void in children’s literature around issues of disability. Teresa’s thoughts, feelings and worries are aptly described by the author (as if Teresa were one of my many patients). Her journey of building confidence in herself and in her abilities is a tear jerker! Amputee rehabilitation is not a destination but a journey of building emotional and physical confidence.

Linda McLaren, BSR (PT)

CM Magazine, (Manitoba Library Association)

Teresa is a sensitive and gutsy little girl with a big obstacle to overcome. As in many of Jean Little’s novels, Manson’s main character still has her physical handicap at the end of the book, but she has taken several steps forward in spiritual growth as she tackles physical and emotional challenges. As well, she has discovered the true meaning of Christmas giving when she finds the generosity of spirit to leave the little log house for the delight of the children who are not yet finished with their therapy sessions at the hospital.
The story concentrates on Teresa’s character development, but the plot is certainly of interest as are the details of the number of stages in the process of acquiring an artificial limb. The difficulties are not surprising when one thinks about them, and that is exactly what Teresa’s struggles make the reader do. Books like this one are a useful aid to acceptance of the idea of the integration of variously challenged children into the regular school system. Highly Recommended.


Nominated for:

OUR CHOICE, Canadian Children’s Book Centre: 2004
2004 Silver Birch Fiction Award
2005 Hackmatack Fiction Award
2006 Red Cedar Fiction Award